The History of Overlea

In 1858, Margaret Fuller, a widow, brought her six children from Ohio and purchased 43 acres and a tract called Sophie’s Garden Regulated, adjacent to Taylor Avenue and Belair Road. (The home they lived in is the Bicycle Shop on the corner)  The Lassahn family, as well as other early families in Fullerton, played significant roles in the business and community development of the area. The first post office and general store opened in 1885. Fullerton School started in 1886 in a one room log house. In 1890, it was replaced with a frame school house built on land purchased from the Lassahn family.

In 1895, the Kennard Land Company began development of Overlea when they bought Lange’s Farm. The streets were mapped out and named after trees: Spruce, Ash, Cedar, Hickory, Chestnut, Walnut, Willow, Beech, Poplar, Elm and Linden. Thus the community of Overlea was born.

At the turn of the century Overlea was rural, made up mainly of farmland. Real estate men recognized that the high-lying farmland would make excellent home sites and persuaded the United Railways to extend the Belair Road carline. Belair Road was unpaved in 1902, and the single track carline only ran four times a day, ending at Kenwood Avenue.

The introduction of the trolley service created interest in the location and cottages started springing up. Lange’s Farm was the first name for the area, but the name was changed to Overlea which means “over the meadow.” To learn more Overlea history visit http://www.OverleaRocks.org