The neighborhood now known as Tremont started out as hunting ground for the native peoples, with lush fields and forests overlooking the Cuyahoga River. Tremont was slow to develop prior to 1830 due to the lack of large-scale economic opportunity. Some farmers came from Connecticut and New England when legend has it the only road up from the river to Tremont was a steep Indian trail. Irish came to help construct the Ohio & Erie Canal, and Germans came from Europe and elsewhere in the U.S. Over the many decades beginning with the 1880s and 1890s and through the 1950s, the area saw waves of immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire come. They were the Poles, Slovaks, Rusyns (many of whom were known as Carpatho-Russian, Ruthenian and Lemko), and Ukrainians. Some Greek and Lebanese families also settled in the area.
The immigrants built fantastic churches with soaring towers, onion domes, and active congregations. The neighborhood became known as Tremont, after the elementary school, the largest in the state (1910), or more simply, as 'The Southside." By the 1960s, outmigration to the suburbs began, and accelerated with the massive destruction of housing brought on by the construction of the freeways which cross the heart of the community.
In the 1970s and '80s, artists began to settle in the area, drawn by the fantastic homes and churches, downtown and river views, cheap studio space - as well as the unique European feel of the neighborhood. Their presence made the community exciting again, and hard work by neighbors, business owners and institutions resulted in a rebirth of Tremont. Today, the neighborhood is home to artists and galleries, award-winning restaurants featuring fine food and authentic ethnic cuisine, boutique shops, upscale housing and rehabbed Victorians, churches, institutions, parks, libraries and coffee shops.