Have you seen new stream signage in Euclid Creek lately? At long last, streams that were named in Richmond Heights back in 2008 have signs to show people where these beautiful tributaries are located.
Euclid Creek is fortunate to have many small streams remaining that feed into the larger Main Branch and East Branch of the creek that travel to Lake Erie. These often overlooked smaller streams are an important part of the watershed, as they are sensitive ecosystems called Headwater Streams (where streams begin). These tributaries typically do not have a name associated with them and tend to be forgotten as part of the larger watershed system.
Giving a name to a stream, run or ditch, no matter how small, gives it an identity and raises awareness and concern about protecting our vital natural resources. Even if portions of a stream are underground, giving it a name offers hope that some day it could be daylighted, restored and brought back to the surface.
In 2008, Richmond Heights named four Euclid Creek tributaries to the East Branch that run through the City. Each stream was named either after an important family in the City’s history (Claribel Creek, Stevenson Brook and Verbsky Creek) or after a natural feature on the land, such as Redstone Run, referring to the streams reddish sandstone from the Devonian Berea formation that was quarried extensively in the late 1800’s.
Official naming of a stream is conducted through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on their topographic maps. Richmond Heights proposed four streams to name in order to identify and promote conservation efforts of these streams and all were unanimously approved by the USGS Board of Geographic Names. Information and procedures can be found at the following website: http://geonames.usgs.gov/domestic/faqs.htm.
But we need your help! Do you have a name for your backyard tributary, do you have a suggestion, or have you heard of anecdotal names for unnamed Euclid Creek tributaries that you could share with us? If so, please call or email the watershed coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-524-6580x16).
The printing of these signs was made possible in 2016 through funding provided by Friends of Euclid Creek, through a Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Service Agreement.
In 2007, the City of Richmond Heights, in supporting the aims of the Euclid Creek Watershed Council, proposed to establish formal names for those significant streams which flow in a northwesterly direction in Richmond Heights into Euclid Creek or into the East Branch of Euclid Creek. These streams may justify rigorous conservation efforts in the future and naming such streams serves the public interest.
The following is a listing of those significant streams, including descriptions of the stream locations, and the historical rationale for the proposed names.
(Also below, for reference only, is a list of less visible streams that are basically ditch and/or storm sewer systems, and for which formal names are not being considered.)
FIVE SIGNIFICANT STREAMS (with suggested names for four)
1. VERBSKY CREEK
This stream begins in farm ditches flowing north of Ammon Drive in the City of South Euclid that drain into a ditch along the south line of homes on (old) Catlin Road, on the South Euclid/Richmond Heights border. The stream flows westerly through a 42” culvert behind the Donna Drive condominiums, then northerly through a scenic ravine on the former Lustrick/Urankar property, and through a 72” culvert under Highland Road. The stream then joins storm sewers on the north side of Highland Road, enters a ravine along the south side of the Rushmore Subdivision, and flows west under Highland Road to Euclid Creek in the Cleveland Metroparks. A housing subdivision has been proposed for the former Urankar property, however, the wetlands and ravine formed by the stream will be placed in a conservation easement, to be owned by the City of Richmond Heights. The length of this creek is about 6,000 feet.
The Verbsky family moved into Richmond Heights from Bohemia in 1861, and purchased 600 acres straddling Highland Road that were drained by this stream. They later built a home and a sawmill. Their children and grandchildren were active members of the Richmond Heights community. Hence the name, "Verbsky Creek".
2. REDSTONE RUN
Storm drainage from Richmond Towne Square Mall ("Mall") at the northeast corner of Richmond Road and Wilson Mills Road flows through a culvert under Richmond Road, an open ditch between Hillary Lane and the Greek Orthodox Church, and behind homes on the north side of Geraldine Avenue to a retention pond owned by the Mall. The retention pond drains into an open stream flowing northwest through the northeast corner of South Euclid, into twin 58” x 60” culverts under Hillary Lane and Trebisky Road, then northwesterly through a series of culverts and open ditches in (new) Catlin Road, (new) Harris Road and Karl Drive before crossing under Highland Road at the southwest corner of Highland Road and Karl Drive into a 60” culvert. The stream then enters a deep ravine west of (old) Harris Road, north of Hillcrest Drive and the Rushmore Subdivision before flowing under Highland Road at the City of Euclid border and into Euclid Creek in the Cleveland Metroparks. The entire length of this creek is about 14,000 feet.
An outcropping of reddish sandstone from the Devonian Berea formation, located north of the Mall area was quarried extensively in the late 1800’s, hence the suggested name, "Redstone Run".
3. STEVENSON BROOK
This stream begins at the northwest corner of Richmond Road and Foxlair Trail. Flow from a retention pond on the east side of Richmond Road serving the Richwood Subdivision, and from storm sewers north of the Mall on Richmond Road ends in a headwall west of Tally Ho Lane in the Foxcroft Subdivision. The stream then flows west along the north side of the new Highland Woods Cluster Home project north of Foxwynde Trail, into a 91”x 58” oval culvert running north in Snavely Road and under Highland Road. The culvert then changes into a 72” pipe and flows northwesterly under Dumbarton Boulevard and into a ravine that deepens as it flows north under vacated Euclid Chagrin Boulevard and into a deeper ravine between Dumbarton Boulevard, Claymore Boulevard and Balmoral Drive and then into the East Branch of Euclid Creek. The shallow ravine between Dumbarton Boulevard and Douglas Boulevard contains at least one shallow silted up lake behind a substantial masonry dam, and there are remnants of earlier collapsed dam structures downstream, all on private properties, that suggest historic gristmills or sawmills. The length of this creek is about 10,000 feet.
The Stevenson Family came to Richmond Heights from Rochester, England and Cleveland in 1837. John and Mary Stevenson, and their children, owned several properties on either side of Richmond Road, north of the Mall, and operated stone quarries there until 1930. Stone from these quarries was used in many structures throughout Richmond Heights and the Hillcrest area. Hence, the suggested name, "Stevenson Brook".
4. CLARIBEL CREEK
This stream comes from a small retention pond in the Glen Eden Subdivision that collects a series of drainage ditches and storm sewers draining the southwest corner of the City of Highland Heights. The stream flows north through a box culvert under Highland Road at the border of Richmond Heights and Highland Heights, then flows westerly in an open ditch along the north side of Highland Road, under several bridges through Richmond Heights Park, past the Police Station, and behind City Hall. The stream then flows under Richmond Road, along the north side of the Post Office, and through several back yards off Richmond Road and Highland Road before entering the heavily silted up Mayfair Lake. The stream exits the Mayfair Lake dam and flows north in a deep ravine between private home sites in the Scottish Highlands and Richmond Bluffs Subdivisions, before entering the East Branch of Euclid Creek. The length of this creek is about 10,000 feet.
The City is placing an environmental deed restriction over that part of the creek between City Hall and the Park. There are several opportunities for stream restoration, from the Highland Heights border to the Mayfair Lake dam, which are being pursued by the City.
The name Claribel appears to have come from the name of the daughter of one of Richmond Heights’ first postmasters, in 1892. The name later was attached to the Claribel School, Claribel Corners (Highland Road and Richmond Road) and the Village of Claribel, until the Village was changed formally to Richmond Heights in 1918. Hence the suggested name, "Claribel Creek", which rekindles a title important to the formation of Richmond Heights.
5. EAST BRANCH OF EUCLID CREEK
Several large tributaries from the City of Highland Heights, Mayfield Village and the City of Willoughby Hills join together in a stream flowing west, north of White Road, between Bishop and Richmond Roads. As it enters Richmond Heights, it has been called the East Branch of Euclid Creek. The East Branch flows behind the homes on the north side of White Road, and at a point about 500 feet east of Richmond Road, flows south between the City Service Department property and the Degutis property, and then along the north side of White Road before crossing under the bridge at Richmond Road.
At the Richmond/White Road Bridge, the creek channel is about 20 feet deep. It then falls rapidly as it flows southwesterly along the south side of the homes on the south side of Chardon Road, forming a ravine approximately 150 feet deep by the time the East Branch exits Richmond Heights adjacent to Balmoral Drive. The East Branch ravine continues westerly between Chardon Road and Harms Road in the City of Euclid before joining Euclid Creek in the Cleveland Metroparks at Highland Road in Euclid. The length of the East Branch in Richmond Heights is about 12,000 feet.
The City of Richmond Heights currently owns several properties in the East Branch ravine, and there are numerous opportunities for conservation there. The existing recognized stream name, "EAST BRANCH OF EUCLID CREEK", will be retained.
NOTE: The following drainage ways are not a part of this stream naming plan.
FOUR DRAINAGE DITCH/STORM SEWER SYSTEMS (without steam names)
The following drainage ditch/storm sewer systems are included for reference purposes only. Because of their limited visibility, and because they flow mainly in ditches or culvert pipes, formal steam names are not considered appropriate. However they are described and named for possible use in future drainage system maps.
HILLTOP/MONTICELLO DRAINAGE SYSTEM
This early farm ditch collects drainage from the Hilltop Shopping Center at the southeast corner of Richmond Road and Monticello Boulevard/Wilson Mills Road and from storm sewers flowing north into Richmond Heights from the City of Lyndhurst. The flow is collected in a manhole behind the Monticello Baptist Church at the southwest corner of the intersection, and then flows west out of a headwall on the west side of the church parking lot, and into a ditch behind 13 homes on the south side of Monticello Boulevard, a distance of 960 feet before entering a 48” culvert that flows into the City of Lyndhurst at Delevan Drive, and thence ultimately into Euclid Creek in South Euclid.
The name is chosen simply to denote the location.
RICHMOND DRAINAGE SYSTEM
A system of drainage ditches on the Cuyahoga County Airport property empties into two culverts flowing west under Richmond Road, south of Allendale Drive, the ditches join and form a ravine that flows behind Fairlawn Drive and north through a culvert under Richmond Bluffs Drive, and into a deep ravine that joins the East Branch of Euclid Creek south of Chardon Road at Beverly Hills Drive. Total length of this system is about 6,000 feet.
The name was chosen to honor the Richmond Family who owned property that this system drained, which later became part of the Cuyahoga County Airport.
SWETLAND DRAINAGE SYSTEM
This drainage ditch, constructed in 1975, flows westerly along the north line of the Richmond Bluffs Subdivision, picks up storm sewers from the Bluffs Subdivision, and then flows into a ravine at the west end of Karen Isle Drive and into the East Branch of Euclid Creek south of Edgemont Drive. Total length of this system is about 2,400 feet.
The name was chosen to honor the Swetland Family, who purchased property from the Richmonds and built a summer home on their estate on the west side of Richmond Road, across from Curtis Wright Parkway. Their property ultimately became the Richmond Bluffs Subdivision.
PELTON DRAINAGE SYSTEM
Several small streams on the east side of Richmond Road, and a number of drainage ditches on the Cuyahoga County Airport property, north and west of Curtis Wright Parkway, were collected into a storm sewer system which was constructed by Cuyahoga County in about 1989. This storm sewer runs north, then crosses under Richmond Road in a 72” culvert south of White Road and enters the East Branch of Euclid Creek. Total length of this system is about 4,400 feet.
The name was chosen because this area was originally known as Pelton’s Corners. The Pelton Family, who were very early settlers, once operated a sawmill on this corner utilizing the East Branch of Euclid Creek.
Lee Gase, Feb 2007