Why I Like Living in Sheffield Village

History and Heritage

Some time ago I was asked why I liked living here in Sheffield Village. After giving the question some thought, I finally came up with a single notion—I’m happy here!

I guess to give a more specific answer I need to dig deeper and tease out those elements that contribute to my state of mind. What does make one happy? It turns out for me a lot of things influence that feeling of well being that I can best describe as happiness.

Heritage plays an important role. My parents lived on Lake Breeze Road when I was born. My formative years were spent at our orchard on East River Road and now I live in the old family homestead on North Ridge. But for many years I was gone from Sheffield, working on Lake Erie research and teaching at The Ohio State University.

My great great grandfather was Milton Garfield, one of the founders of Sheffield over 200 years ago, and it is in the house he built that I now call home. Lost during the Great Depression, it was what I believe to be one of my finest accomplishments when Ricki & I were able to bring the old homestead back into the family. They say, “You can never go home again”—that just ain’t so! The thrill of walking the fields where my ancestors toiled to carve out a village from the wilderness is remarkable.

That brings up the next element—the land itself. From the shores of present Lake Erie to the abandoned glacial lakeshore of North Ridge the rich soils have supported generations of settlers. As one drives along the Ridge it is easy to imagine the waves that must have crashed onto the sand beaches some 10,000 years ago. Fortunately, the Village still retains much of its natural beauty along French Creek and the Black River, thanks to the parks and walkways that meander for miles through these valleys. As a young boy, with buddies, we would build rafts to float down the river, endeavoring to reach the lake. Today, the busy world outside is forgotten for a brief moment as I lose track of time alongside the rushing streams.

Above all else, though, it is the people of the Village that makes Sheffield the desirable place to call home. They come from diverse backgrounds—the early New Englanders searching for better farmland, Bavarians and other Europeans escaping unrest and persecution in their homelands, and a multitude of more recent residents looking to make a living here away from the big city bustle. Pooling their talents, they have built attractive churches and schools that well serve the community. They have structured a government that not only ensures law and order, but also provides many services for the residents and an atmosphere conducive for commercial endeavors. The result is gratifying—citizens that appreciate their village and enjoy friendship with their neighbors. I guess that’s why I like living here in Sheffield Village—it makes me happy!

Eddie Herdendorf
Easter Sunday 2019

Notable Sheffield Village Buildings and Structures from 1820 to the present.

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