Our National Heritage Area is home to many historic sites.
The Ohio & Erie Canal jumpstarted industry in Cleveland, directly contributed to the growth of the nation, and simplified travel throughout the region, including helping enslaved people travel north to freedom prior to the Civil War.
Cuyahoga County’s many landmarks and interpretive sites help to tell the story of how the Ohio & Erie Canal contributed to past, present, and future of the area. Explore these sites and many more to learn about the Canalway’s rich legacy.
Within the National Heritage Area, there is the Ohio and Erie Canal Historic District, a four mile section of the canal that became a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Here you can see the canal, a working lock and visit the National Park Service’s Canal Exploration Center.
Cleveland’s public oldest market is home to 100 vendors offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices and nuts. The Westside Market is a great way to support local vendors and get a good look at the City’s cultural diversity.
Located in Cleveland’s Public Square, the Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument commemorates the more than 9,000 individuals from the county who served in the American Civil War. The monument was designed by renowned architect Levi T. Scofield, who served as a Captain in the 103rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.
The Arcade Cleveland in downtown opened in May 1890 and was the first indoor shopping center in America. It was the first building in Cleveland to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, The Arcade is home to a hotel, a bar, a restaurant and several stores.
Founded in 1869, Lake View is one of the largest and most beautiful garden cemeteries in the United States. The cemetery is modeled after the Victorian and Edwardian garden cemeteries of France and England. It home to memorials for well-known Ohioans President James A. Garfield and Elliot Ness and is the resting place for more, including Francis Payne Bolton, Garrett Morgan and John D. Rockefeller.
Erie Street cemetery opened in 1826 and is Cleveland's oldest existing cemetery. Within the cemetery are the graves of the city's early leaders and pioneer families and soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, Spanish American War, and the Civil War. John Malvin, a freed slave, activist in the Underground Railroad, and canal boat operator was buried here. The Erie Street Cemetery is included on the National Park’s Network to Freedom.
Founded in May 1867, the Western Reserve Historical Society is Cleveland’s oldest existing cultural institution. It was established as the historical branch of the Cleveland Library Association which dated from 1848. Today you can visit the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Cleveland History Center, Hale Farm & Village or their research library to learn about its history collections.
President James A. Garfield is entombed at Lake View Cemetery. The monument features a circular tower 50 feet in diameter and 180 feet high, built of native Ohio sandstone on a broad stone terrace. Around the exterior are five panels in bas-relief depicting Garfield's life and death. The James A. Garfield Memorial is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Cozad-Bates House is an historic interpretive center highlighting University Circle’s participation in the Underground Railroad and telling the stories of freedom seekers who traveled through the area. A listing on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, the Cozad-Bates House offers educational exhibits of anti-slavery activists and freedom seekers as well as provocative displays on constitutional voting rights.
Looking for a guided history tour in Cleveland? Take A Hike Tours offers 16 tours, both in-person and self-guided, to help you explore all the city has to offer. Tour guides use local knowledge and heart to make tours an enriching and fun experience. On your tour, you’ll meet historical Clevelanders, portrayed by actors and actresses, who share their story and their role in shaping the city. All tours are 90 minutes except for Friday’s 45-minute lunchtime tour.