Western Reserve Academy’s Hayden Hall is named in honor of Dr. Joel Hayden, headmaster from 1931 until 1946, credited with making music an integral part of the curriculum at the Academy.
Hayden Hall was built in 1878 as a warehouse for Straight and Son, owners of cheese factories township-wide, a business that provided much-needed employment for the community at a time when it was experiencing a severe economic depression. The company’s offices were in the Pentagon Building, located next door to the south at the time. The cheese factory ventilating system began at the foot of College Hill and extended through one thousand feet of tile to the basement of this building, ending in the cupola.
The building was later used as a feed mill by Samuel Rideout, from 1889 until 1905.
James W. Ellsworth bought the building in 1907 when he began his village restoration program. After razing the adjacent Pentagon Building, he remodeled this building for use as a club house for the village. The front section was moved back, but retained all of its architectural elements. A porch with six Doric columns and the Greek Revival entryway were added.
The building was bequeathed to Western Reserve Academy by Ellsworth and later saw use as a primary school, the Academy Bell Restaurant, and the Hudson Country Day School. Since 1932, it has housed the music department of Western Reserve Academy.