“While I’m in Cleveland, I want to drive up Woodland Avenue to see if the Harm & Schuster Carriageworks is still there,” I said to my brother last week on a visit to our hometown.
“No way,” Craig said. “I don’t believe it. It can’t still be there.”
But you never can tell about Cleveland. All those battered, coal-smoked buildings, overlooked by modern-day standards, trace back to a vibrant era of history. When my great-great-grandfather’s carriageworks moved from Champlain Street around 1880, Harm & Schuster was relocated to 811 & 813 Woodland Avenue. The address today would be 50th & Woodland. Since the street names have long since been converted to numbers, I used an 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance map to determine that 50th was once Beech Street. In addition, I compared satellite images to the Sanborn maps.
And so, hoping against hope, I dragged my family to where I believe Harm & Schuster Carriages and Wagon Manufacturers once stood, and lookee here. Designed by Theo. Rosenberg, architect, historic records indicate the manufactory was one of the most fire-safe buildings of its time. This furniture store stands at the exact same location, and, quite possibly, is the exact same building.