The Press Strikes Again
Have you been to Cleaveland, the city on Lake Erie?
Yes, it is a typo now, thanks to a local newspaper.
In 1796 on this day surveyors named an area in Ohio after the superintendent of the surveying party, General Moses Cleaveland. A nice gesture. Permanent settlers soon arrived and Cleaveland became an important supply post during the War of 1812.
A newspaper popped up to keep the locals informed. The newspaper’s editors decided in 1831 to shorten the newspaper’s name by one letter to allow for it to better fit the masthead (aka nameplate): The Cleveland Advertiser. Presumably using a smaller font size was not an attractive option.
The town soon followed the lead of the newspaper and changed the name to Cleveland. But, the city does display a statue of its founder, Cleaveland, at Public Square.
Here is a unique map of Cleveland by Artur Suchy from 1937. It celebrates Cleveland’s origins with vignettes and incorporation as a city in 1836. There is no mention of the name change. In an unusual move, the map was covered with a light amber colored varnish to match the frame.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.
Map of Cleveland – 1937 (Credit Steve Kovacs)