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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan



These are the FACTS about the Franklin Castle and its first resident. Everything that you have read about Tiedemann ownership is correct to the best of my knowledge. I'm certain that many aspects of it may seem boring and only interesting to anyone who's really into genealogy and early Cleveland Ohio History, but it is all part of the haunted history, tragedy and life of a fascinating family who arrived in this country as immigrants only to leave an enduring American legacy to succeeding generations.


The story begins in the early summer of 1848. In May of that year a 16 year old boy named Hannes Tiedemann arrives in New York with his 51 year old mother Wiebeka (pronounced “Veebkah”), brothers Claus (age 25) and Ludwig (age 21) sisters Catharina (age 19), Rebecca Elise (age 11) and Lowiese (age 5). Left behind is the ancestral farm outside the village of SÃderau, Holstein, Prussia (now Germany) and another brother, 20 year old Heinrich, who decided to remain on the family lands with his new wife, Anna. Hannes’ father, Han, was the local blacksmith and is now at this time deceased.


Franklin Castle orbs


The Tiedemanns purchase, sight unseen, adjoining farmlands located in the townships of Brooklyn and Rockport, Ohio. In 1849, Hannes accompanies his mother and sister Louisa to Ohio to take up residence on their new lands. The whole family travels to Ohio settling on a farm in Brooklyn. Ludwig continues on and settles in Defiance, Ohio where he marries and raises a family. Catherina Tiedemann remains in New York, where she meets Catharina met Gaston G. Allen in Ohio where he lived since about the age of 10. He was originally from New York state, where, on October 31, 1852, they are married. Hannes joins them in Cleveland around 1855, finding employment as a clerk with the wholesale grocery firm of Babcock and Hurd, then located at No. 146 Water Street (now West 9th Street). Hannes boards at a rooming house – the Bennett Forest City House located on Seneca Street (now West 3rd) – and remains at this address until 1863 when he moves into a house located at 112 Hanover Street (now West 28th) on the northwest corner of what at the time was Hanover and Franklin Circle.

Hannes Tiedemann

Around this same time, Hannes Tiedemann marries his first, Louise (some accounts record her name as Louisa or Luise) who, like Hannes, is a native of Prussia. The following year (1864) Hannes enters into a partnership with Bavarian-born immigrant John Christian Weideman, whom he had met when Weideman was working for a rival grocery firm adjacent to Babcock and Hurd. The new venture would be called Wiedeman and Tiedemann, Wholesale Liquor and Grocers and operated out of No. 30 Merwin Street.

Hannes marries Louise HÃck in 1862 in SÃderau. Hannes and Louise Tiedemann had their first child, named August J. Tiedemann, in 1864. Another child, a daughter whom they named Emma, followed in 1865. On October 6, 1865, the growing Tiedemann family moves from the Hanover Street house to a house located at 279 Franklin and previously owned by a Mr. Alonzo Wolverton. City rezoning changes the address to 275 and then, in 1869, to 283; around the turn of the century another redistricting changes the home’s address to 4308 Franklin, which it remains to this day.



In December 1869 a third child is born to the Tiedemanns, a boy whom they name Ernst. Sadly, on July 10th of the following year, baby Ernst succumbs to fever of the brain (meningitis) and was interred by his grieving parents in Cleveland’s Monroe Street Burying Ground. In September 1870, a first child is born to the Tiedemanns, a girl named Wilhelmina. Ten weeks later, however, the infant girl dies and was buried alongside her ill-fated brother. In 1871, another child – the Tiedemann’s fifth – is born: a daughter named Dora Louise. A sixth and final child, a son named Albert, is born in 1873 but also died in infancy, joining his siblings in Monroe Street.

Around this time, Hannes sells his interests in Weideman and Tiedemann, but keeps his business offices in the Weideman building. In late 1880, Tiedemann (who calls himself the “Capitalist”) has two houses built. The first was located at 12016 Lake Avenue in the Rockport hamlet of Lakewood. Tiedemann named this house “Steinburg” which in English is translated “TheStone Castle.” The house, though quite beautiful, was not constructed of stone, nor did it resemble a castle, although it was four stories high and built in the half-timbered English Tudor-revival style popular at that time. It was the second home, however, that history would name “The Franklin Castle,” after the road on which it was built and because it does, in fact, resemble a castle in many ways. Over the years some have speculated that Tiedemann merely commissioned the modification of an existing structure at the Franklin Street site, however, , that is a mystery that may never truly be solved.


On January 16, 1881, 15-year-old Emma Tiedemann dies of complications from diabetes. Services are held from the family home on Franklin Street and she is the first of the Tiedemanns to be buried in the new family plot at Riverside Cemetery when she is finally interred on March 18th of that year after a two-month wait for the cemetery ground to thaw sufficiently to receive burials. Emma was joined at Riverside by Hannes’ mother, Wiebke , who died of natural causes in April 1881; in 1883, they would be reunited with the other deceased Tiedemann children when Hannes orders the removal of their remains to the new family plot at Riverside.
Following the deaths of his daughter and mother, Hannes and his wife Louise leave Cleveland for approximately two years. It is believed that during this time they traveled back to the family home in Prussia.. During their absence from home the Tiedemann’s son August is left to manage the Franklin Castle and to supervise his younger sister, Dora, who is only ten and very likely still in the care of the family’s nanny.

In 1884, two men arrived in Cleveland from Prussia. They were Johannes and Ludwig Tiedemann, sons of Heinrich ( Hannes Cousin) and wife Anna Tiedemann; Hannes' nephews. Shortly after arrival, Ludwig took ill with brain fever (meningitis). He was admitted to Cleveland City Infirmary where he resided until his death on July 6th, 1886 at the age of 30. He is buried in the family plot at Riverside. Johannes (or John as he was called in the U.S.) stayed with the family at the Franklin Castle until 1890 when he returned to Prussia.



On June 20, 1889, August Tiedemann married Helena Elisabeth Rauch or Ella as she was more commonly known. She was the daughter of Marie Strebel and Charles Rauch, owner of the Rauch and Lang Carriage Company who would later build the Rauch and Lang Brougham and Club Roadster, two of the most sought after automobiles by collectors. August would work for this company from 1890 to 1892. They had two children: Carl H. (1890 - 1929) and Herbert August Tiedemann (1892 - 1934). Carl would eventually marry a woman named May Glenn and have two children, Frances and Carl. Herbert would never marry; he died in St. Petersburg, Florida.

August was employed from 1892 till 1899 by the Phoenix Brewing Company located on the corner of Columbus and Willey Ave. in Cleveland. (St. Wendelin's Church currently sits on the site.) He would work briefly at Langenau Manufacturing and finally at the Beckman Company, until his death on April 23, 1906 from cerebral lelerosis.

Meanwhile his sister, Dora Louise Tiedemann, married a man from Holstein, Prussia named Edward J. L. Wiebenson who worked as a teller at Hannes Tiedemann's bank. They were married on May 23, 1891 and would have five children Edward R. Wiebenson (1892 - 1970), Walter E. (1896 - 1992), Albert A. (1896 - 1896), John J. (1897 - 1969), and Howard C. (1899 - 1969). The Wiebenson family lived briefly at 71 McLean St. and later at 4304 Franklin Ave. Built by Hannes Tiedemann as a dowry to his son-in-law Edward. It was built on the site of the Weideman house.

Dora Louise Wiebenson would die from accidental injuries sustained while vacationing with her husband in Frankfurt, Germany (or Switzerland as other accounts state) on December 4, 1906; less than 8 months after her brother, August. Louise Tiedemann, Hannes wife, passed away from liver trouble on March 28, 1895. Services were from the home on Franklin; she was buried at Riverside Cemetery.
After his wife's death, Hannes traveled to Prussia where he met a woman named Henriette M. In 1896, the two were married and returned to the U.S. later that same year. The Franklin Castle was ultimately sold to the Mullhauser family in 1897 (not 1895 as previously believed). Hannes and Henriette moved into Steinberg in Lakewood.



In 1898, Heinrich and Anna Tiedemann, Hannes' brother and sister-in-law, died together with their son August from coal oxide gas poisoning.
In January of 1907, Hannes Tiedemann retired as president of the United Banking and Savings Trust Co. of Cleveland. His son-in-law, Edward J. L. Wiebenson succeeded him as president. In February, Hannes changed his last will and testament (his daughter no longer being alive). He left his fortune, and it was quite extensive, to his daughter-in-law, son-in-law, his "hired man" of 23 years service Heinrich (Henry) Buehning, a west side home for the elderly, and a trust fund for his six grand-children. His wife, Henriette, inherited $50,000 provided she make no further claim against his estate. One specific item listed in the will was that Steinberg was to always be called such and was also to always remain in the family Tiedemann (referring to Carl or Herbert or any descendants thereof).
On January 16, 1908, Hannes Tiedemann suffered a stroke (Arterial Sclerosis) supposedly while strolling through Lakewood Park. He passed away on January 19th at Steinberg and was buried from McGorray Funeral Home in Lakewood. He was interred at Riverside Cemetery on January 22, 1908.

On February 20, 1908 Gaston G. Allen died from pneumonia. He was interred at Monroe Street Cemetery in the plot where the Tiedemann children were originally buried. There is a Masonic Lodge named in his honor. On April 27, 1908 Claus Tiedemann passed away.

On August 2, 1909 Emielie Tiedemann, Claus' wife, died from cancer. She and Claus are buried at Woodland Cemetery on Cleveland's east side. Edward Wiebenson died from appendicitis on April 1 1910 and was buried at Riverside with Dora. Catherina L. (Tiedemann) Allen died August 2, 1912; Henriette M. Tiedemann died about 1926.
Ella Rauch sold Steinberg in 1915 to W. J. Hunkin thus breaking the last wishes of Hannes Tiedemann that it remain in the family; Hunkin tore it down a few years after the purchase. An apartment complex named Lake Cove currently stands where the old building once stood. Ella Rauch remarried a man named John T. Clarke in 1917. He died on November 10, 1941. At his burial, Ella Rauch had August's remains exhumed, cremated and reburied beside her son Herbert. Ella died from heart disease in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 5, 1955. She is buried between her two late husbands.

And that is the history of Hannes Tiedemann and the early years of the Franklin Castle. All dates are correct; all names are spelled correctly. I have spent countless hours over the past thirteen years researching this subject and I still am not finished. I still find new facts every few days, for instance I'm still looking for Henriette's burial place as well as a maiden name. I am also still looking for a maiden name for Louise.

Currently I am working on a fiction novel based on the historical facts surrounding the house and its founding family.

Was Hannes Tiedemann an evil man: a monster... wicked and overbearing? I don't know. Honestly, he seems more like a humanitarian than anything else. He did leave a sizable amount to an old folks home when he died. He would also house newly arrived immigrants at the castle as well as at Steinberg and help find the jobs. I've never found anything pointing to him committing murder. That story comes from a psychic named Eleanora Bernstein who briefly stayed at the castle in early 1980 who also had the intentions of writing a novel about Hannes Tiedemann. There was no murdered sister named Rachel and no illegitimate daughter named Karen who hung herself. Despite popular myth, Hannes Tiedemann does have living descendants.



I've been inside the house only once and that was unfortunately after the fire of 1999. I shot a fair amount of video footage while my brother and his girlfriend took numerous photographs. I've honestly never seen more orbs recorded in one session on video or film than I did from what we took that night. There is definitely something there. Hannes and Louise Tiedemann? Maybe. Hope you find this helpful if not at least interesting.



William Krejci, Avon Lake, Ohio, © 2006.

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Press Release


Historic Franklin Castle to become Cleveland's most unique, members-only club.

Cleveland, OH -- January 1, 2005-- Cleveland-born Real Estate Investor Charles Milsaps is about to realize a dream that has been over a decade in the making. His plan: to transform the legendary Franklin Castle of Ohio City into the Franklin Castle Club, a private social club. Franklin Castle Club, located at 4308 Franklin Boulevard in Ohio City, will offer its members daily lunch and dinner services as well as dining, banquet and meeting facilities. Members will have access to additional amenities such as elaborate guest suites for overnight stays and limousine and concierge services.

"This is one of my dreams, I have wanted to do this for as long as I can remember. The privilege to restore this home and offer it to others is an honor," said Mr. Milsaps. The Club will offer its members the highest quality in culinary delights as well as first class service in a most unique atmosphere. "This will be a wonderful addition to Ohio City and all of Cleveland," Mr. Milsaps added.


The Tiedemann House, 4308 Franklin Boulevard, is the most noted and one of the most architecturally distinguished residences on Franklin Blvd., the West side equivalent of famous Euclid Avenue. Its builder, Hannes Tiedemann (1832-1908), was a wholesale grocer with the firm of Weidemann & Tiedemann beginning in 1864. In 1883 he was Founder and Vice-President of the Savings & Trust Co., one of the first institutions organized in Ohio under the law permitting the formation of trust companies.

The family lived continuously at this address from 1866-1895 and the present Second Empire Gothic Mansion was erected in 1881. Its architects, Cudell & Richardson, who are identified by a carved stone on the house, were Cleveland's most prestigious architectural firm in the 1880s. The style of the house, a large, rock-faced sandstone mansion with a round corner tower, was contemporary of the times, which followed architectural trends in Chicago and New York.

Tiedemann died in 1908 at the age of 75. In the 20th century, the house was occupied by a German singing society, the Deutsche Socialisten, and later by the Bildungsverein Eintracht club. The house had numerous owners and uses over the second part of the last century, serving as private home for some and a Church to others. In 1999, the house, which had again become a private residence, was heavily damaged by a fire. Plans were announced the following year to restore the home and the structural repairs were soon completed.


In 2003, Franklin Castle sits, unoccupied, primed for restoration. To transform the house into the grand Franklin Castle Club, Mr. Milsaps has retained the assistance of one of Cleveland's foremost design talents: award-winning and nationally acclaimed Architect Robert Maschke. Together, the two intend to return the house to its original grandeur, making it the focal point of Franklin Boulevard, a beacon of Ohio City restoration and the new home to the Franklin Castle Club.

"When Charles and I first met, he was a bit hesitant to tell me what he wanted to do with the castle. But he didn't need to be... I think turning the Franklin Castle into a private dining club is a fantastic idea. Short of using the Castle as a primary residence, I can't think of one other way to utilize the building to its fullest extent," said Robert Maschke.

"I think Cleveland is ready for this kind of Club and I couldn't think of a better home for the Club or a better use for the house. To me, this is part of the home's destiny," added Mr. Milsaps.

Previous owners have attempted various renovations over the years, but this is the first time the castle will be restored to its original interior design. Mr. Milsaps explains, "Because of the more public use of the house, some changes will be made, but our intention is to make everything as original as possible."

The Castle will require major renovations as part of the restoration, including all new plumbing, heating, and electrical systems, as well as rebuilding all 62 windows. "This kind of investment - in both the money and thought - helps solidify an edge of Ohio City that hasn't gotten that attention before... not to the magnitude of what this is going to be. Charlie's been thinking about this for years and now we have the chance to make it happen," said Mr. Maschke.


The Club is on schedule to open by years end, serving its members lunch, dinner, and libations six days a week. An accomplished chef and experienced fine-dining staff will cater to a member's every need, including a Club Concierge and hospitality staff. The Franklin Castle Club will offer three guest suites for overnight stays to both members and non-members. Members will have access to Club facilities during stated Club hours and access to private dinning room and banquet facilities by reservation.

Club members will enjoy all the expected amenities of a private club. The Club will have limousines and sedans available for both Club and non-club events and valet parking will be complimentary during all Club hours. Member's will also have the Sand Castle, the Club's Florida beach house, and the Sea Castle, the Club's 72' Hatteras motor yacht, at their disposal.

Memberships are limited and are available by contacting the Club. Club memberships are affordable and the limited number will undoubtedly be sold out before our opening. This is a rare opportunity to participate in a new era of elegance for Cleveland's most famous home.

Charles Milsaps
4308 Franklin Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44113





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