Quarrying was a major industry from roughly 1850 to 1950 in Berea, attracting large numbers of immigrants in search of work. Baldwin Institute and University (1846) and German Wallace College (1863) created an academic atmosphere, and Berea’s citizens became an eclectic and resilient mix of academics, business people, and immigrants. Eventually, quarrying ended, and the downtown business district, the Triangle, was nearly destroyed by fire three times. Each time the determined residents of Berea rebuilt. Today, Berea is a unique Cleveland suburb.
Patricia M. Mote, a member of the Berea Historical Society, has lived in Berea for nearly 30 years. Fascinated with “The Grindstone Capital of the World,” she set her historical novel Upon the Rock (2004) in Berea in the 1890s. She also authored Dorothy Fuldheim: The FIRST First Lady of Television News (1997) and co-authored Showers of Blessings: A Journal of Ohio Valley Life (1993). Her research about Captain Edward J. Kennedy, a notable 19th-century Berean, won a posthumous Grindstone Award to his memory in 2004.