Visit Shaker Heights

History of Shaker Heights

In 1822, the North Union Shakers settled in what is now Shaker Heights. Known as The Valley of God’s Pleasure, the colony was almost entirely self-sufficient and reached their peak in 1850 with 300 members. After the Civil War, Shakerism declined and the North Union colony disbanded in 1889. Horseshoe Lake, the Lower Lakes, and a handful of streets were all that remained of the Shaker community.

In 1905, business partners and brothers Oris Paxton and Mantis James Van Sweringen began purchasing the settlement’s original 1,366 acres to develop a residential suburb based on the popular Garden City movement. Shaker Village, incorporated in 1912, preserved the natural landscape and provided residents with easy access to greater Cleveland on two Rapid transit lines. They implemented strict development guidelines for setbacks, building heights, and architectural styles and planted spacious and lush tree lawns.

The City of Shaker Heights was officially established in 1931 and has remained committed to diversity, community, growth, and preservation.




Things to Do

With such a rich history, there's a lot to do in Shaker Heights!

  • View the City's calendar for community events.
  • The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes has been identified as a National Environmental Education Landmark!
  • Ride a bike or go for a hike! Shaker Heights has been designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, and with approximately 200 miles of sidewalks and neighborhood streets with low speed limits, it's the perfect place to ride for all skill levels. Shaker also has six multipurpose trails and easy access to the Lakes-to-Lake trail.
  • Enjoy the City's parks and playgrounds.
  • Shop, dine, or take in a ballet performance at Shaker Square. The second oldest shopping area in the nation, Shaker Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Visit the Van Aken District for trendy local shops and a dining experience that includes award winning chefs and the region's first food hall.

Multiple RTA stops make getting around Shaker Heights and Cleveland a breeze!