Running through eastern Cuyahoga County and western Lake County, in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs, is a street called SOM Center Road. Not Som Center Road, but SOM Center Road; SOM is always referred to in capital letters only.
I have no idea what SOM means, nor does anyone else I know around here. I assume it’s an acronym for something, but what?
Solon, Orange, and Mayfield. The three townships at the eastern edge of Cuyahoga County whose centers the road passes through. Thus “SOM Center.”
Warrensville Center Road likewise passes through the center of (what used to be) Warrensville Township (before it all got incorporated).
Ohio was surveyed according to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, so before any settlements were founded, square townships were laid out. When a community gets 1,000 population, according to Ohio’s constitution, it can petition the state legislature to incorporate as a village. 5,000 population and it can become a city. IIRC.
“Center” roads are called that for passing through the center of these unincorporated squares called townships.
Jomo Mojo has it correctly. The road runs through the center of the three original townships (and not necessarily the three cities that were later incorporated). Note that south of Solon, the road enters Summit County where it crosses the line into Twinsburg and becomes Darrow Rd. (The nearly forgotten Darrowville is about halfway between Hudson and Stow at Darrow Rd. and Norton Rd.) North of Mayfield, it enters Lake County. So the original S.O.M. Center designation was a reference to the 15 mile long portion of the road travelling through Cuyahoga County. The road does not change names in Willoughby and Eastlake in Lake County, but it has always seemed to me that the portion north of Euclid Ave/US-20 was a later extension, so the original section extending into Lake County would not necessarily have been long enough to demand its own name (especially before the build-up prompted by the completion of I-90).