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Quirky Street Spellings

The quirky spellings of some of our street names have long perplexed even excellent spellers. Let’s begin with Beechwood Avenue, spelled like the tree rather than the eastern suburb. The name is in the pattern of Oakwood and Elmwood Roads, and is older than the Beachwood suburb, which originally was spelled like our street.

Beechwoods’s neighbor, Altamont Avenue, has the “mont” spelling, like the Altamonts in California, Illinois, and New York—not the “mount” of Rydalmount (Rydal Mount is in the Lake District of England) or Fairmount Boulevard. Fairmount, in turn, is spelled like the district and famous park in Philadelphia, not with the “mont” of the luxury hotel of San Francisco’s Nob Hill.

Bendemeer Road, with its “meer” ending, is named for a village in New South Wales, Australia, while Delamere Drive’s name, with its “mere,” is also an Australian town but was more likely named for the district and forest in England. We also have Vandemar (generally alone, but sometimes three-word surname, with the “mar”) Street and Montevista Road—“Montevista” a picturesque Spanish name as one word, but as two words (Monte Vista), the Colorado village.

Scarborough was originally spelled “Scarboro”—in the style of Marlboro Road and Roxboro Drive. Interestingly, there are many legitimate “Roxboro” and “Roxborough,” “Marlboro” and “Marlborough” around the United States, Canada and England, but “Scarboro” seems to be only a common shortened form of the name.

“Navahoe” (Road) ending with an “e” was once a more common spelling for the Native American tribe than today. Our Forest Hills Boulevard still retains the “s” in the “hills,” even though other uses of the name in that district have recently returned to the original “Forest Hill” appellation—what the Rockefellers called their sprawling estate (though the famous development in Queens, New York has the “s”).

Finally, our North Park and West Park Boulevards—should they be listed in street listing under “N” and “W” or under “P?” Directory publishers, as well as the County Auditor, have disagreed on that point for almost a century!

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For easy access, the following list of stories will appear at the end of each story page.
  • A City Of Few Streets
    Have you ever wondered how your street got its name? Perhaps Cleveland Heights' bright new street signs will heighten awareness of your street names.
  • Hollywood Boulevard?
    How many readers know of streets in Cleveland Heights that actually are called "Street?"
  • National Origins
    That most Cleveland Heights streets sport the name of English towns or London streets or are derived from words in the English language is well agreed, but we have many street names originating from other nationalities gracing our community.
  • Neighbor Names
    Some of our Cleveland Heights streets take their names from thoroughfares they are near.
  • North Suburb
    Some hear the word “north” and start to shiver. Some label “northern Cleveland Heights” what is north of Mayfield, which for many years was lucky to be closer to Euclid Beach amusement park.
  • On The Avenue
    Jan Cigliano's The Grand Avenue: 1850-1920, of 1994, describes the history of selective prestigious thoroughfares in large American cities, including Cleveland.
  • On The Boulevard
    Officially naming a street 'Boulevard' was popular in the Cleveland of 1900-30.
  • Our London Connection
    Images of England were important to early Cleveland Heights developers, residents and would-be residents.
  • Our Wood Streets
    Our Cleveland Heights streets can boast no fewer than 16 streets with names ending in 'wood.'
  • Quirky Street Spellings
    The quirky spellings of some of our street names have long perplexed even excellent spellers.
  • Rocky Roads
    Cleveland Heights has several streets which honor the area's 19th-century quarries, including Quarry Road itself.
  • Royalty Among Us
    Cleveland Heights' 'royal streets'-Queenston, Kingston, Princeton and Canterbury Roads-were named with the English aristocratic imagery generally favored in the time of their development, about 1910.
  • Shorties
    Cleveland Heights has its turn-of-the-century 'country lanes,' but also has its very short streets-cut-throughs not found in the newer suburban areas of highways, winding drives and cul-de-sacs. Most of our short streets are by-ways connecting two to four streets.
  • Take A Drive
    What image does 'Drive' in a street name evoke to you?
  • Threes And Twos
    Our community is flush with streets grouped in trios and pairs.
  • The Name's (Almost) The Same
    Cleveland Heights, with most of its streets named within a 25-year period many years ago, has a number of street names so similar that they have confounded the public since first platted.
  • We're Flattered!
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Cleveland Heights must be appealing to residents elsewhere because some of our street names have been conscientiously copied in other communities.
  • What's In A Name?
    Sometimes the name of a street is influenced by that of a more major street nearby.

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