The early history of Beachwood dates back to the Western Reserve, the establishment of the state of Ohio, the formation of counties within the state, and the division of counties into townships. One of the original townships was Warrensville. Warrensville Township lost land over the course of a century to seven cities and villages, including Beachwood.
Early state legislation permitted incorporation of villages with a minimum of 30 inhabitants. Beachwood Village was part of Warrensville Township until 1915, when it seceded following a decision by township officials to close a school in that area. On May 29, 1915, a petition signed by 57 freeholders of the northeastern part of the township was filed with the trustees. They asked that their section, containing a population of 151, be permitted to incorporate as a village. On June 26, 1915, the trustees of Warrensville Township ordered the incorporation of Beachwood Village.
The Birth of City Council
The village started to hold regularly scheduled council meetings on October 4, 1915. The first city council meeting was held at the old, red brick schoolhouse. This building was first erected in 1868 as a part of Warrensville Township. The following council meetings and all village business was conducted out of the homes of elected council officials until June 24, 1924, when council changed the official headquarters of the village back to the red brick schoolhouse, which was shared with the Beachwood Board of Education.
From Beechwood to Beachwood
During the first 10 years, the council approved a water contract with Cleveland, employed an engineer to prepare a plan for laying out the village, provided some street lighting, and contracted with Cuyahoga County to keep prisoners of the village. Beachwood received its name from the Beech trees that once covered the majority of our city. Rumor has it that an early village hall clerk misspelled the name on some official documents giving us today’s current spelling.