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Look Back At Miles Heights Village, Cleveland's Black Suburb

It’s widely known that Carl Stokes was the first African-American elected mayor of a major U.S. city – but he wasn’t the first elected in the state of Ohio. That honor goes to Mayor Arthur Johnston and the Village of Miles Heights – which no longer exists.

Miles Heights began as an enclave of shacks and shanties that went up around Lee-Seville and Lee-Harvard in the early 20th century. Available land, the search for a better life and opportunity attracted black builders and homebuyers to the area.

A new book from the Cleveland Restoration Society, “The Making of Cleveland’s Black “Suburb in the City”: Lee-Seville & Lee-Harvard,” highlights the village.

In 1927, the residents organized and formed Miles Heights. The village, however, was short lived. A few years later, the City of Cleveland annexed the newly formed community, becoming a part of Ward 1.

Today a park named in honor of Mayor Johnston is at 4583 East 144 St.

Arthur R. Johnston Park, 4583 East 144 St. [ideastream]