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Noble Stuart, Worden Ledges, Hinckley Reservation

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Visiting Information

Current status of the homestead is unknown, but the park and walking trails remain open to the public during daylight hours.

About the Artist/Site

The original Worden Homestead, constructed by Hiram Worden in 1860 on thirteen acres, was acquired by the Hinckley Historical Society around 1988, and was then extensively restored and renovated so as to serve as an open-air museum that sought to illustrate mid- to late-18th century regional pioneer life. The Society developed programming, including demonstrations of crafts and such domestic activities as candle-making, in order to develop visitor interest and support, and maintained the antique domestic and agricultural equipment furnishings of the house and outbuildings. Four generations of the Worden family had lived on this property prior to its transfer to the Historical Society.

Behind the home, the on-site sandstone formations known as the Worden Ledges were naturally created some 300 million years ago by rivers flowing to an inland sea. Many display bas-relief carvings, including a schooner, religious imagery, faces of past presidents such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and even a fourteen-foot-long sphinx. It is believed that one of the portraits is of patriarch Hiram Worden; another is of ballplayer Ty Cobb. There are nine carvings in total on the Ledges, most monumental in scale.

Although the carvings were originally suspected to date from the late nineteenth century, family descendants attribute the work to Noble Stuart, the third husband of Hiram Worden’s daughter Nettie and the last family occupant of the property. Stuart began working following Nettie’s death in 1945, and created the carvings over the next 2 ½ years. In addition to the nine Ledges carvings, which are located less than one mile behind the house, there are three freestanding works closer to the Worden homestead; these include a Native American brave armed with a tomahawk, Christ on a crucifix, and Rome’s founders, Romulus and Remus.

Although the work has weathered, most of it remains relatively intact. Nevertheless, when the Hinckley Historical Society could no longer support the upkeep of the property, it was acquired by Cleveland Metroparks, and the Historical Society began transitioning off the property in 2014. Metroparks, too, felt it was unable to support maintenance and conservation costs, so they decided to demolish the home and sell the land to a new owner. Local residents and preservationists fought this plan

Current status of the homestead is unknown, but the park and walking trails remain open to the public during daylight hours.

~Jo Farb Hernández



Map and site information

895 Ledge Road
Hinckley, Ohio, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 41.202926 / -81.718833

Visiting Information

Current status of the homestead is unknown, but the park and walking trails remain open to the public during daylight hours.

Discussion

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