In 1974, Lakewood Historical Society designated this as one of the city’s Century Homes and five years later it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Murphy family purchased the home in 1987 and started an extensive renovation, including conversion of its second-floor ballroom into a two-room suite. Cliff Murphy, a musician, singer and entertainer took a night course in carpentry to improve his skills as a handyman. He said he tried to rebuild/renovate/restore it in the way Captain Day would have wanted it rebuilt.

The updated interior of this historic Lakewood home, painted throughout in Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore, today features white oak herringbone floors, original hardwood doors with porcelain doorknobs, 10-foot ceilings and tall windows which create light-filled spaces and welcoming double front doors. There is a trap door in the entrance hall on the first floor with nearly vertical steep stairs that lead to the basement (which could indicate that the home may have been a part of the underground railroad that came from Oberlin to Cleveland and then through to Canada to help runaway slaves. Photographs by Alana Clark

This historic Lakewood home located on Hilliard Ave. was built in 1874 and is known as “The Captain’s House.” It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Lakewood Landmark. It was once the home of Captain Erastus Day, a Captain on the Great Lakes, who purchased it in 1871.
According to information from “Lakewood Lore,” Captain Erastus Day was born in Ogdensburg, N.Y. in 1834 and came to Lakewood with his wife Sarah in about 1869. They had four children, residing in this home. Captain Day was first a cook, and then skipper and commander of Great Lakes vessels in the mid-1800s and retired from active business life on shipboard in the 1860s. In 1872, he was appointed superintendent of the New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio ore docks in Cleveland. In 1892, he left Cleveland to construct the fine system of docks at Conneaut Harbor (according to the “History of the Great Lakes,” Vol. 1 by J.B. Mansfield.) Eventually he became famous for inventing hoisting and conveying systems used in the shipment of ore. He died in 1917 at the age of 83 and is buried in Scott Union Cemetery, Huron, Erie County, Ohio.
Although historically known as the Erastus Day House, according to “Lakewood Lore,” it was first owned by Jeremiah Gleason, who came to Lakewood with his wife Catherine in 1931, bringing their own cattle and settling near Hilliard and Madison. Gleason bought the future Day property in 1852 and built the original dwelling there soon afterward. The home was inherited by Gleason’s daughter, Ann Eliza Warren, who then sold it to Captain Erastus Day in 1871. In the late 1870s, Captain Day made such substantial changes that he may have constituted a completely new structure around the initial building. His handiwork on land the size of three city lots at the southeast corner of Hilliard and Atkins became what today may be the most elaborate Victorian farmhouse with Italianate and carpenter gothic detail in Lakewood.
The Fox family, current owners of this home, are related to Currents photographer and advertising sales executive, Alana Clark, and graciously agreed to allow us to share some photographs of this historic home with Currents readers who appreciate Northeast Ohio history and the many examples of fine, historic homes still being lived in and enjoyed today.