Monday, October 20, 2014

Remarkable Lake County - A-Haunting We Will Go Part IV

The eastern half of Lake County is often under appreciated when it comes to reporting historical stories or other local lore.  Today's entry looks into the back stories of two Madison sites and their professed wayward spirits.

The first site is the Ohio Cottage in Madison Twp.  Located off of State Rt. 84 near Perry and Geneva, it began as a small frame house in 1847.  In 1859 a brick facade structure was added to the east side.  Its current appearance is circa 1891.  At first the residence served as a boarding school and was known as the Madison Home.  After the Civil War the home became the site of the Ohio Women's Relief Corps.  Their organization was an offshoot of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and served as a refuge for war widows, women abandoned or stranded and women of other needs.  The building remained dedicated to this cause thru 1904 when it was donated to a similar group.  From 1904 until 1962 the site remained a residence for women in need.

1962 saw a new chapter in the building's history unfold.  It became a residence for the mentally disabled and developmentally delayed.  This portion of its history was reportedly 'dismal' times.  The Lake County Board of Commissioners took over the property in 1975 and used it for county offices for many years.  In 1998 it was sold to John Cassell.  It remains unoccupied today and has been the alleged site of many ghostly sensory reports.  Spirits have been seen by locals and sounds eminate from the building lending credence to the theory that the melancholy women inhabitants left there from the past remain to this day.

Madison City Hall is the second so-called site of haunted residents.  The building served as a one time Civil War hospital and in later years an insane asylum.  It has been reported that the ghostly inhabitants rearrange furniture and disrupt camera equipment at the current City Hall site.  Some have even reported seeing the walkers or hearing them throughout the hallways as evening hours approach.

These poltergeist stories may or may not be true.  What is known is that both buildings have a past history that can be documented and events happen there that can not be explained.

source- gleaned from an article in cleveland.about.com titled Haunted Ohio Sites

Friday, October 17, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- A-Haunting We Will Go Part III

As All Hallow's Eve draws nearer, we look at another part of local lore that is part of our county ghost stories.  Not as widely known as some county ghost stories, this one nonetheless is a tale worth examining.  Today we share the story of the veiled lady of Kirtland - Hattie Martindale.  Traditionally ghost stories fall into one of two categories, that of the wayward spirit or that of a haunted structure.  Our veiled lady moves between both.

Hattie has been known to frequent the Historic North Cemetery, the former Kirtland Mills Burying Ground (1830's) and a colonial blue-ish home on the top of the ridge near the Rt. 615 hill and corner of Baldwin Rd in Kirtland.  Her sister's old home is nearby the latter site too.  Records are scarce and much of the tale is hearsay at best but some basic facts are documented.  Hattie was born in Massachusetts in 1838 and death records report her passing in 1919.  Her tombstone is located in Plot Section B- Lot 59 #5 in the cemetery.  An 1862 document reveals her membership in the Young Ladies Literary Society of Kirtland.

Local lore has it that Hattie was jilted by her one true love, who may or may not have left her for her sister. Scared by this event, she never marries and lives a melancholy life till the end.  Through the years Kirtland locals and other paranormal visitors have reported seeing a veiled lady wander the cemetery at night near that gravesite.  Down the road in the home mentioned earlier, it is reported that furniture is moved at night and rumbling noises in the home have been heard.  The culprit according to those residents and alleged sitings - the veiled lady of Kirtland aka Hattie Martindale.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- A-Haunting We Will Go Part II

Today we look at one of the Western Reserve's oldest institutions for higher learning - Lake Erie College.  Founded in 1856, it was in 1859 that a Lake Erie Seminary accepted its first class of 137 women.  Since that date over 10,000 students have graduated from this Lake County college campus.  Some students though still remain on campus and have left their mark even to this day.  One wonders if Tiberius, the quiet four foot canine mascot has witnessed those who still frequent some of the campus buildings today.  Let's share the the ghost stories that are part of Lake Erie College lore.

College Hall - Stephanie, a student who attended in the 1800's is perhaps the most well known and oft-reported sighting on campus.  An affair with a campus professor left her in a family way.  Jilted by her lover, Stephanie hung herself from the fourth floor belltower.  She has been seen throughout the years roaming the top floor of the hall.  Not even ending all access to this upper floor has proven effective in diminishing her sightings.

Morley Music Hall - One of the college's signature buildings early on, it is said to be haunted by Mrs. Morley.  She has been seen in her white flowing gown on the stairs of the music hall by many former students.  It is even reported that College Hall's Stephanie visits through a parlor mirror at times.

Kilcawley Dorm -  Toilets flush themselves and sinks filled with water show reflections of a young woman's figure are the two most commonly reported occurrences in this dorm.

Fowler Dorm - A brown haired female who passed many years ago is often seen standing next to students in dorm mirrors.

Andrews Dorm -  Mary Evans, a former president is said to wander the site.  Her poltergeist rattlings and tossing items from shelves are still reported by students today.

Fine Arts Building -  A man with dark tough skin is said to frequent the theater's green room.  Students have reported feeling surrounded or uncomfortable as if someone invaded their space.

As with all things that go bump in the night, some events are proven to be genuine while others fall under the category of local lore.  Lake Erie College is just another chapter in the haunted history of Ohio's smallest county.  If you missed the ghostly campus tour today, remember to visit the Painesville campus next October when another evening tour of these supernatural tales is certain to be once again in the offering.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Remarkable Lake County - A-Haunting We Will Go Part I

It's that time of year once again.  A time when documented haunts, local legends and hearsay all come together.  While some tales prove to be genuine, others have become a part of the fabric that is local lore.  This month will begin a series examining some of Lake County's forgotten past.  Today's blog seeks to test your Ghostly IQ as we explore ten Lake County hauntings.  See if you can match the story to the town or city it originated in.

1.  While not specific to just Lake County, Ohio the tale of 'cry baby bridge' resonates in this local community...name the town

2.  Lucretia walks the upstairs and is said to rearrange the tools in this famous NHS home.  Name the city and home if you can.

3.  Mrs. Morley is said to haunt this musical site and has been seen wearing her long white gown as she floats down the stairs.  Name the institution or city...

4.  This City Hall was once a Civil War hospital and insane asylum and is said to be haunted by some of its previous patients.  Name the eastern Lake County town...

5.  Snake Bite Scroggs killed a young couple for venturing too close to his fishing hole.  Name the site or city where this gruesome episode took place.

6.  They died in a tragic fire at this site and are said to be seen dancing on the premises still to this very day.  Name the event site or local municipality...

7.  She was killed by her third husband but Mistress Suzanne still haunts this local establishment.  A Civil War soldier is also seen waving from a window on the premises too!  Name the establishment or city.

8.  A feline may be more popular but Robbie Babcock's untimely death is another haunting story from this iconic 1825-1925 Lake Erie site.  Name the place or village where it is located...

9.  Hattie Martindale was jilted by her lover and is said to haunt the historic North Cemetery and nearby homestead on Baldwin Road.  Name the town where she lived...

10.  The Monsters of Little Mountain Road haunted children and families alike for many years.  The noises and cries seemingly came from nearby caves.  Name the locale most associated with this tale of long ago...

These stories and other well known lore will be presented on October 8 as part of the Fairport Harbor Historical Society's Ghost Stories of Lake County event held at the local lighthouse.  Deadline to sign up for the program is Saturday, October 4th.  Visit www.fairportharborlighthouse.org or leave a message at 440-354-4825.

answers-  1.  Kirtland    2.  Lawnfield in Mentor   3.  Morley Hall on the campus of Lake Erie College in Painesville     4.  Madison   5.  N. St. Clair Bridge in Painesville    6.  Lake County Fairgrounds in Painesville   7.  Rider's Inn in Painesville    8.  Fairport Harbor Lighthouse    9.  Kirtland    10.  Kirtland Hills

Monday, September 15, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Mentor-opoly

The City of Mentor may have just celebrated its 50th anniversary but its history dates back to 1797 when it was first settled.  The timeline of Mentor includes many important dates and facts.  Today you will find a thoroughly incomplete and brief sampling of but ten questions.  How well do you know Mentor?

1.  In 1942 Fire Station #1 on Jackson Street was constructed.  Although it is no longer an active station, it does serve the city as an important historical landmark.  What is its current use?

2.  In 1973 the Cleveland Museum of Natural History donated 619 acres to Mentor.  What is this area now known as to community residents?

3.  In 1961 it opened and was the first of its kind in the U.S.  Name it...

4.  In 1868 it was built as the Hart Nut and Washer Company.  In 1891 it became the Mentor Knitting Mills.  What product was made there and sold nationally to retailers?

5.  In 1914 it became the second school in Mentor.  Located literally yards away from an earlier school site, the building is still intact today. Its doors closed less than a decade ago. Name the school...

6.  Gramma 'G' was directly responsible for this business district becoming a reality in 1951-52...name the location / street?

7.  Founded in 1921 this nursery was not Mentor's first but by 1958 it was Mentor's and the Midwest's largest rose grower and supplier.  It sat near the current MHS site.  Name the nursery owner...

8.  In 1899 the Salvation Army established its first camp in the U.S. in Mentor.  What was its name?

9.  Mentor derives its name from Greek literature.  Mentor was the tutor to the son of Odysseus.  Name the son...

10.  In 1876 James A. Garfield purchased the original 1832 home of Col. Corning.  What was the name of this farm located on Mentor Avenue?  It has undergone many changes and is now a NHS presidential home.

answers-  1.  Mentor Fire Dept. Museum   2.  Mentor Marsh   3.  Great Lakes Mall   4.  underwear  5.  Center Street School   6.   Tyler Blvd. Business District  7.  Gerard K. Klyn   8.  Camp Fort Herrick    9.  Telemachus   10.  Dickey Farm



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Civil War 150th Redux

The Civil War remains a signature moment in our country's history.  Passions still burn on both sides and the years have yet to temper the many moments that individually or collectively span that era in our history.  As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War begins to wind down, many programs specific to this celebration are coming to an end.  Ohio has had a long and well documented chapter in this story of America.  And it is therefore no surprise then that this story reaches into Lake County history.  The Civil War had many deep seeded causes but one of its best known chapters but least examined is that of the Underground Railroad and Ohio.  Ohio (1803) and Lake County (1840) were in the forefront of this piece of Civil War history.  In 1793 our neighbor to the north Canada outlawed slavery.  By the year 1860 it has been reported that nearly 30-40,000 slaves emigrated and nearly 40% of all slaves passed thru Ohio.  The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 only inflamed the hotbed that was Ohio for the previous 40 years.  Ben was the first fugitive slave saved in 1806 in Cleveland by Lorenzo Carter.  Samuel Butler, lighthouse keeper and Phineas Root of Fairport Harbor were known Lake County abolitionists.  Eber Howe, noted Painesville newspaper founder was another abolitionist.  James A. Paine, Seth Marshall, Uri Seeley and Hawley Drake stood tall in this pre-Civil War county history.  The Clarke brothers incident in Madison is yet another tale to be shared.  The Riders Inn, Unionville Tavern, Dock Road and the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse all had moments in this era.  It is widely agreed upon that no 'slave' was caught or detained in our county.

What is known in this era is that four principal routes led fugitive slaves toward Lake County.  It was a path that wound 17 miles NW from Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Akron heading another 16 miles towards Chagrin Falls, followed by 20 more miles NE to Chardon and then 13 more miles into Painesville / Fairport Harbor.  Was the Underground Railroad directly responsible for this path towards freedom?  Was it more the fugitive slaves guiding their own destiny on this trek thru Ohio?  Herein reaffirms the premise that the UGRR is one of the best known stories from the Civil War Era but also the least examined.

A Lake Metroparks program offers a brief glimpse into this journey with a lantern tour hike at Liberty Creek later this month.  However one can navigate their own Liberty Line Legend UGRR tour by following the route below.  It spans Concord, Painesville, Painesville Twp and Fairport Harbor in Lake County and is an easy one tank trip.
  • Begin at Big Creek at Liberty Hollow 
  • Uri Seeley House, 969 Riverside Drive
  • Moodey House, 208 S. State St & 172 E. 5th St.
  • Judge Hitchcock site, 254 S. State St.
  • House Home, 311 S. State St.-Bank & State St.
  • Seth Marshall Home, 375 Bank St.
  • Mathews House, campus of Lake Erie College
  • Eber Howe's other home, corner of N. State & Jackson St.
  • Morley House, 231 N. State St.
  • Sidley House, 463 Casement
  • First Church Congregational, 22 Liberty St.
  • Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, 129 Second St.  (museum open seasonally)


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remarkable Lake County --- Painesville - opoly

Founded in 1840, Ohio's smallest county is perhaps the State of Ohio's largest when one combs the annals of early American history.  From its early Native American days to the era of the Western Reserve, history abounds throughout our county.  Today we recall some interesting historic tid-bits about Painesville.  Let's test your knowledge below.

1.  Founded in 1822, this newspaper ran continuously thru 1986.  The current Bureau of Employment Services occupies the original site founded by this early Western Reserve pioneer who was involved in abolitionism and early Mormonism in our county.  Name him...

2.  This family run business began in 1877 and remains today as an enduring piece of Painesville business history.  Stop by anytime for any hardware need-can you name the family business?

3.  The Utopia Theater opened in 1914 and in many ways rivaled Cleveland's Playhouse Square when it came to attractions.  Name this local son whose career in vaudeville and theater is well documented.  Hint - his annual fireworks shows were legendary!

4.  The site on Railroad Street was active from 1893-1971.  In 1997 it was donated and now serves as a museum.  Rail Fanning Days are a popular event hosted at this site.  Name it...

5.  In 1992 historic marker 6-43 was added to this site near Liberty Street marking one of the oldest recreation places in our state.  It had beginnings in 1866 and witnessed an expansion in 1905 and a merger in 1922.  Name this famous organization currently located on Mentor Avenue.

6.  Drive down Wood Street or pass by Liberty or Washington Streets and you will be in a neighborhood featuring these stately homes.  What is the official designation of the district?

7.  Three generations have guided this famous Painesville Bakery since its early days in 1898.  Name the business...

8.  Historic marker 4-43 designates this Federal Style home adn masterpiece by Jonathon Goldsmith.  currently located on Lake Erie College property - name this historic family home...

9.  Although the original high school was torn down some years ago, it was named after a local resident whose accomplishments included writing the first grammar text in 1868, serving as an educator, principal, educational union leader and college trustee.  Name this famous gentleman...

10.  This institution is the oldest one of its kind from the days of the Western Reserve.  Founded in 1856, College Hall was begun in 1857 and the first students were enrolled in 1859.  Known as Lake Erie Seminary then, today it is known as...

answers- 1. Eber Howe  2.  Joughin Hardware  3. Robert 'Bobby' Manchester  4.  Painesville Depot  5.  YMCA  6.  Mentor Avenue Historic District  7.  Gartman Bakery  8.  Mathews House  9.  Thomas A. Harvey  10.  Lake Erie College