Mount Pleasant from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
MOUNT PLEASANT is a section of southeast Cleveland bounded by Milverton and Griffing on the north, Martin Luther King Blvd. on the west, E. 155th St. on the east, and Harvard on the south, with Kinsman as the main thoroughfare. Settled by successive immigrant groups, the section eventually became a stable area of African American homeowners. The first residents of the area were Manx farmers who migrated there in 1826. It remained rural until 1921, when Joseph Krizek and his partners bought 20 acres southwest of Kinsman, where they mapped out streets and planted 248 maple trees along Bartlett St. The area received its name from its comely appearance. Among the immigrant groups who succeeded the Manx in Mt. Pleasant were GERMANS, CZECHS, RUSSIANS, JEWS & JUDAISM, and ITALIANS. Unlike other areas of the city where AFRICAN AMERICANS occupied housing first owned by whites, Mt. Pleasant counted blacks among its earliest citizens. Reportedly, in 1893 a contractor who employed a large number of black workers was unable to pay wages in cash, so he gave them title to lots in the section north of Kinsman between E. 126th and E. 130th. The title holders built homes there; by 1907 there were 100 black families, and 100 other lot owners. Advertised in African American newspapers as a suburban paradise, the section was noted for its high percentage of blacks who were homeowners. To prevent neighborhood deterioration, the Mt. Pleasant Community Council and block clubs in the 1950s fought delinquency, crime, and housing violations. With the aid of CLEVELAND: NOW! and the United Appeal, the community-services center was relocated, and eventually the Murtis H. Taylor Multiservice Ctr. was built at 13422 Kinsman to provide recreation and centralize social services for residents.
Last Modified: 27 Jun 1997 11:54:48 AM