A Delicious Taste Of History, Intrigue and Hospitality.
It has been said that almost half of the couples in this area have been engaged during dinner at Don’s Pomeroy House, and more than half of all “good news” has been announced over drinks or dinner here. We’re happy about that and we’d like to think that Mr. Alanson Pomeroy and family would be pleased to see the legacy of wonderful hospitality and an unbeatable dining experience is being exceptionally served every day in his old “Homestead.”
This all started back in 1835. A young man by the name of Alanson Pomeroy was active in Strongsville’s public affairs. He was Justice of the Peace, a trustee of Strongsville and was often known as “Judge Pomeroy.” He was an enterprising man and his connections with the National City Bank of Cleveland led to his organizing of the Bank of Berea. In 1847, he built the large mansion home which he named “The Homestead”, now known as Don’s Pomeroy House.
In 1850, he built the General Store next to “The Homestead” in the same style of architecture, the Patio is now located adjacent
to that site.
History, Part 2
His office was in the wing room on the South side of the house, now known to Don’s Pomeroy House patrons as the Study, and it was
connected to his general store by a diagonal walk. This area of Strongsville became known as Public Square chiefly because it was the central location where people always came to meet, socialize and exchange ideas. In addition to his other activities, Alanson found time to be a leader in the Congregation Church. The people who went to the Congregation Church Sunday morning services, and who lived too far away to return for the second preaching service that Sunday afternoon, were always invited over to “The Homestead” for the hospitality of an afternoon dinner. (Back then, a country mile was far in the days of the horse-and-buggy with bad roads and deep mud holes.)
President Lincoln and the Union Army were popular with the citizens of Strongsville. In fact many of those citizens, including the Pomeroys, were Abolitionists. The Pomeroys’ steadfast belief in hospitality and equality led them to set up “The Homestead” as a station of the Underground Railroad. Harlan Pomeroy, one of six children of Alanson and Keziah, frequently told of catching brief glimpses of slaves when the cellar door would be opened. He would frequently see his mother going down the cellar steps with trays of fresh steaming food.
The Underground Railroad was a very secret society. Its operations were never written or recorded and, of course, kept from the children. Years later, Harlan relayed a story told to him by his father that slaves would be brought in from Oberlin by night concealed in a load of hay. They were hidden in the Pomeroy House cellar until word was received from Rocky River that the next boat would be leaving for Canada. Alanson, under cover of darkness, would then hide the slaves in his wagons and make the long journey to Rocky River leading to freedom.