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The Grand Forest Beach Realty Company bought a 200-acre tract of the former Wright property from Dr. Joseph Esch and his wife, Gertrude Wright Esch, a granddaughter of Jabez Wright, in 1921 for $175,00. Known as the Grand Forest Beach Club, the land, which included the spacious Esch Mansion, was plotted and marketed to residents of the land-locked town of Mansfield, Ohio as a summer lake resort. Residents on both the north and south sides of Cleveland Road were awarded beach access in their deeds.

Photo for Grand Forest Beach
The Wiggins house located at the north end of Canton Avenue served as the sales house for Grand Forest Beach.
Photo for Grand Forest Beach
The streets on the north side of Cleveland Road are named after Ohio cities and the streets on the south side are named after trees native to Ohio. Streets on the north side of Cleveland Road welcome residents through a set of concrete pillars whose post-tops resemble the round concretions/boulders that can be found just yards off the beaches, remnants of Lake Erie’s glaciation history.
Photo for Grand Forest Beach
At the north end of the streets residents had beach access to a breakwall and jetties called t-piers. Swimmers would dive off of the man-made structures,which were designed to protect the beaches from impending nor’easters, breaking the waves as they approached the beachfronts.
Photo for Grand Forest Beach
The Esch mansion was to be the clubhouse for the new resort, but it burned down on April 13,1929 due to arson. Mrs. Leona Esch Russell and Mrs. Gertrude Esch built the house that sits on the original home grounds today.

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