Pepper Pike Centennial Celebration- 100th Year Anniversary

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Welcome to the official webpage for the City of Pepper Pike's Centennial Celebration! As we embark on a journey to commemorate 100 years of history, community, and growth, we invite you to join us in celebrating this significant milestone.

Nestled in the heart of Cuyahoga County, Pepper Pike has been a beacon of charm and community spirit since its founding in 1924. From its humble beginnings to its status as a vibrant and thriving number one suburb, Pepper Pike has witnessed a century of progress, development, and the forging of lasting connections among its residents.

Throughout the Centennial Celebration, we will delve into the rich tapestry of Pepper Pike's history, showcasing the stories, events, and individuals that have shaped our community. Join us in honoring the past, celebrating the present, and envisioning a future filled with continued growth and prosperity.

This webpage serves as a central hub for all things Centennial-related. Explore our historical archives, discover upcoming events, and engage with the diverse array of activities planned to mark this momentous occasion. Whether you are a long-time resident, a newcomer to our community, or just curious about Pepper Pike's unique history, there's something here for everyone.

As we reflect on the past 100 years, we also look ahead to the next century with optimism and a commitment to building an even stronger, more connected community. Join us on this journey as we celebrate the City of Pepper Pike's Centennial and the countless stories that have shaped our shared history.

Thank you for being a part of our Centennial celebration!

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Share Your Story
As we approach the historic centennial celebration of Pepper Pike, we want to hear YOUR stories that make Pepper Pike special. We believe your experiences and memories are an essential part of our city's history. Whether you have been here for generations or recently joined our community, your stories matter. We invite you to share stories, memories, and reflections that capture the life of Pepper Pike. From the early days to recent events, every story helps paint a picture of our city's journey.

 Here is how you can participate:

  • Submit Your Story: Write down your favorite memory, a significant event, or a personal reflection about Pepper Pike. Feel free to include photos and dates if you have them.
  • Record a Video: If you prefer expressing yourself verbally, record a short video sharing your story. 
  • Social Media: Share your stories on social media using our centennial hashtag #PepperPike100

Do you live in a century-old home? We're celebrating the unique character of our community's century homes and want to recognize them. We'd love to hear your stories and memories of living in a piece of history.

We are excited to compile these stories and experiences of Pepper Pike's residents over the past 100 years. Your contributions will be part of a time capsule that future generations can explore.

Stories can be sent to building@pepperpike.org

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History

The origin of Pepper Pike’s name remains uncertain, with some maintaining that it was named after an early settler and others insisting it derived from the pepper trees once found here. In either event, today’s city has its origins in historic Orange Township, of which it was once part. The area was settled beginning in about 1820, when it was traversed by stagecoach lines running between Cleveland and both Chagrin Falls and Pittsburgh. In 1824, the Ohio legislature chartered State Route 422, which later became Chagrin Boulevard, and spurred the first round of modest development.

Industry

Still, until well into the 20th century, it was primarily a farming community, with cheese-making a primary industry. Although still rural at the turn of the 20th century, the city’s growth was stimulated by the building of the Chagrin Falls-Cleveland interurban railway in 1897, which made the community easily accessible to downtown Cleveland with its hourly service, until the trains were discontinued in 1924, a victim of the automobile (although a Rapid Transit line along the same right-of-way later stretched almost to Pepper Pike). The city’s location would be considerably enhanced with the arrival of nearby Interstate 271 in the 1960s.

The City's Founders

In many respects, the city’s real founders were the famous Van Sweringen brothers, Oris Paxton and Mantis James, who developed Shaker Heights and built Cleveland’s Terminal Tower, before later going bankrupt during the Great Depression. Historians have written that developing the areas east of Shaker Heights, including the area now called Pepper Pike, all the way to the Chagrin Valley were the brothers’ “third dream,” after building Shaker and their railroad empire. 

They began buying farmland in the area as early in 1910, and by the 1920s were acquiring larger parcels and drafting development plans, which included paving roads. Land prices began rising, along with the population, and by 1924 Orange Township was split into five villages, including Pepper Pike, which had been until then been known as Orange Hill.

While financial setbacks in the 1930s prevented the brothers from finishing the job (they died within a year of each other in 1935 and 1936), they nevertheless laid much of the groundwork for the area’s later success.

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