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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

John W. Heisman Birth Site

 
 
John W. Heisman Birth Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 12, 2009
1. John W. Heisman Birth Site Marker
Inscription.  Here was born (October 3, 1869) the man after whom the Heisman Football Trophy is named. The College Football Hall of Fame enshrines him as superior coach. Important pioneer game innovator. Father of: forward pass; center snap; interference on end runs; hidden ball play; double pass; dividing game into quarters; statistical score board; quarterback's "hike" or "hep" to initiate plays.
 
Erected 1978 by the Rotary Club of Cleveland, the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, and the Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 7-18.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Sports. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list.
 
Location. 41° 29.076′ N, 81° 42.448′ W. Marker is in Cleveland, Ohio, in Cuyahoga County. Marker is at the intersection of Bridge Avenue and West 29th Place, on the right when traveling east on Bridge Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cleveland OH 44113, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Saint Ignatius High School (about
House with Heisman Birth Site marker in front of it image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 12, 2009
2. House with Heisman Birth Site marker in front of it
This house is neither the house in which Heisman was born, nor is it on the location of the house where he was born.
700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Market Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. John’s Episcopal Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); LGBT Civil Rights Movement (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ohio City / Monroe Street Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Welcome to Monroe Street Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Irish Famine Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); Industrial River Valley (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cleveland.
 
More about this marker. The marker is not actually in front of the Heisman birth site. Due to a street number change, the marker was placed in front of the wrong house - the actual house on the location of his birth site is .4 miles away, on the opposite side of the road.


Heisman's birthplace is at 3928 Bridge Avenue. The change of location is especially notable as the structure in question at 3928 appears to be the actual house that Heisman was born in, whereas the one that the marker is in front of was built at a later date. The documents below illustrate the plot of land owned by the Heisman family and the house existing on that plot of land.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Heisman Trophy. (Submitted on April 14, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
2. Entry on Heisman in the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. (Submitted on April 20, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.)
 
Deed transfering property from Henry Kessler to Sarah Heisman image. Click for full size.
3. Deed transfering property from Henry Kessler to Sarah Heisman
This deed, held by the Cuyahoga County Recorder (AFN: 186805220011) recorded on May 22, 1868, documents the transfer of "the east half of sublot five hundred and ninety three in Barber and Lord's subdivision in said city".
Barber and Lord's Subdivision in 1874 image. Click for full size.
4. Barber and Lord's Subdivision in 1874
Note that sublot 593 is the fourth lot east of Randall, on the north side of the road. This selection is taken from plates 36 and 37 of J.D. Lake's 1874 atlas of Cuyahoga County. The full plate may be viewed at: http://cplorg.cdmhost.com/u?/p4014coll24,409
Barber and Lord's Subdivision in 1892 image. Click for full size.
5. Barber and Lord's Subdivision in 1892
Note that the relatively small outline of the house on the east half of sublot 593 and that it is placed closer to the east side of the lot than the existing structure. This selection is taken from leaf 53 of the 1892 Atlas of Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland, Ohio. The full plate may be viewed at: http://cplorg.cdmhost.com/u?/p4014coll24,158
John W. Heisman Birthplace image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 14, 2009
6. John W. Heisman Birthplace
This house, at 3928 Bridge Avenue, is on land that was owned by the Heismans in 1869 at the time of John Heisman's birth. It appears that the main part of the house, closest to the camera, was likely built in the 1850s or 1860s. The lack of uniformity of roof lines with the later additions reinforces this possibility.
Certificate of Survey for John W. Heisman Birth Site image. Click for full size.
By 1929 Survey, May 24, 1929
7. Certificate of Survey for John W. Heisman Birth Site
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 29, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 12, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 3,450 times since then and 89 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week June 7, 2009. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 12, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   6. submitted on April 14, 2009, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   7. submitted on November 24, 2018, by Carol Rauch of Berea, Cuyahoga.
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