Monday, August 18, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Wickliffe-opoly

As one examines the history of Lake County the familiar communities of Painesville, Willoughby, Kirtland and Mentor garner the most notoriety historically speaking.  Well one small community on the western-most edge of Lake County is a hidden gem when one recalls important facts in American history -- that city is Wickliffe.  See how much you know about Wickliffe in this ten question trivia activity.  Good Luck!

1.  Historic Marker #24-43 pays tribute to this 19th c. English immigrant whose local career began with Pickand Mathers and in time saw him rise to Czar of the Great Lakes with his company Interlake Steamships.  Name this famous Wickliffe resident.

2. The Center for Pastoral Leadership (Borromeo) on Euclid Avenue use to be the grounds of this famous steel (later Republic Steel) magnate whose partner was James Corrigan.  Name him...

3.  He served as mayor of Wickliffe, built Cobblestone Garth and is best known for a nearby castle bearing his name.  Who is this Wickliffe millionaire?

4.  In 1817 these two pioneering families arrived and settled on land near Lloyd Road and Euclid Avenue.  Name either of these first settler families...

5.  Pine Ridge Golf Course occupies the land that once was the estate of this Wickliffe millionaire and steel magnate.  His one time wife was perhaps just as famous in her time.  Name the industrialist...

6.  This Orthodox settlement was originally located in Telz, Lithuania before Nazi occupation forced its move to Wickliffe.  Name the educational institution that now occupies a former Wickliffe estate.

7.  Wickliffe High School is situated on his former estate and his carriage house is currently the BOE building.  Name this famous industrialist who resided in Wickliffe.

8.  Marker #16-43 recalls the 'Spirit of '76' and this Wickliffe personality who lived on the 1910 estate now occupied by Telshe Yeshiva.  Name the young man whose likeness became the famous drummer boy forever etched into American History lore.

9.  She was an international socialite whose 1917 marriage to a Wickliffe industrialist was the start of an unforgettable career that included WWII espionage.  Name her...

10.  He was Wickliffe's first mayor and his estate Couallenby serves as City Hall today.  Name him...

answers-  1.  Harry Coulby  2.  Price McKinney  3.  Fergus Squire   4.  William Jones or Abner C. Tarbell   5.  James Corrigan  6.  Telshe Yeshiva   7.  Frank Rockefeller   8.  Henry Kelsey Devereau
9.  Laura Mae Corrigan  10.  Harry Coulby

Monday, August 11, 2014

Acolytes Welcome --- 'Free' Fairport Harbor Lighthouse Concert & ArtFest Returns this Sunday

Calling all acolytes.  Sunday August 17 is the day for you.  Do you enjoy an afternoon concert?  Do you enjoy perusing or purchasing lighthouse themed art?  Do you want to climb 69 steps and view Lake Erie from atop a lighthouse tower?  Do you enjoy museums that share maritime histories?  If your answer is 'yes' then a visit this Sunday to 129 Second Street in downtown Fairport Harbor between 1-6pm will allow you an opportunity to experience all these possibilities.

The Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum will be hosting its third annual free concert and art festival.  This major fundraiser for the Fairport Harbor Historical Society is the result of three random acts of kindness from local organizations.  First WRUW-FM 91.1 of Cleveland Ohio will be providing four free musical acts that day.  Second the amphitheater at the base of the lighthouse hill is made available for free by Lake Metroparks and its Outdoor Education Division.  Finally the Lake Humane Society will be on site to share in the event.  The FHHS will be sponsoring the art festival featuring lighthouse themed lithographs and watercolors from NE Ohio artist Bill Csatary.  Bill was a local educator from the Parma Schools as well as a reknown maritime artist whose gallery quality renderings have been featured throughout Ohio for many years.  Bill will be on hand to sign any purchase Sunday afternoon.  For the usual donation fee visitors may climb the Lighthouse Tower and visit the keepers dwelling museum from 1-6pm.

Free Music begins at 1pm...Art Festival Hours are 1-5pm (cash or check)...Lighthouse Museum hours are 1-6pm.  Music Acts are as follows-
1:00pm  Patty and the Guys, Polka Music
2:00pm  Lost State of Franklin, Americana
3:00pm  Take This Hammer, folk, country, country rock
4:00pm  The Hillbilly IDOL Trio, town & country
Bring your family, bring chairs and blankets, food available on site or bring a picnic lunch (no bottles or glass) and enjoy a Blossom-like afternoon of music and activities.

Need more information- visit or

Concert and festival attendees are asked to donate to the Humane Society Pet Food Drive

Monday, August 4, 2014

National Lighthouse Day and Lake County's Dual Beacons

‘Honoring 225 Years While Continuity Remains Elusive’ is this week's focus.  August 7th celebrates the 225th birthday of the federalization of our nation’s lighthouses and the 225th birthday of the United States Lighthouse Service.  This is quite an occasion.  Twenty-four years have passed and the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate still can not get together to agree on making this date a National Day in perpetuity.  It has been a one-time event and as such has left today’s world of lighthouse preservation in flux.  True lighthouse aficionados want not only to save lighthouse structures, but also to save the memories, the photographs, and the artifacts associated with them.  This is not some frivolous whim.  In Fairport an organization began in 1945.  These men and women planned, developed, created, and served in various capacities in a society designed to honor the people and history who came before us. They have done so as volunteers and have for the most part kept Fairport’s 1825 lighthouse intact without federal, state or village monies for most of its post 1925 history.  Although federal grant money is available, it is occasionally, but rarely made available to nonprofits.  Groups like the Cleveland Foundation offer opportunities but lighthouses are a niche special interest group.  County commissioners have reduced monies available in any given year to nearly zero dollars.  The Village of Fairport Harbor has committed little if any resources to its historic icon for decades.  Basically there is no standard of continuity when it comes to helping preserve lighthouse structures.  A National Lighthouse Day is just one small and token gesture to honor the many volunteers who have saved lighthouses from government neglect or possible destruction.  It is also a day to honor those who saved artifacts, those who work to preserve what others have started and the museums that are preserving them.

Lighthouses and their museums are under attack on all fronts.  Special interest groups want more without giving back.  Expenses rise while dedicated revenue streams dry up.  Volunteers continue to serve without relief in sight.  August 7th is a day to celebrate all that is good at our lighthouse.  I thank our volunteers who make the commitment each week, month or year to serve.  I urge our readers to write your local legislator and urge him/her to make August 7th a ‘National Lighthouse Day’ in perpetuity by 2015.

Visit -

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Kirtland-opoly

It is always difficult to craft an article or entry that shares 100% of your vision.  This can be especially true when one attempts to choose historical events to share about a particular city, municipality or community.  I begin today's entry with my usual refrain about Lake County being Ohio's smallest county with perhaps the most history.  With apologies to The Kirtland Temple, The Mooreland Mansion and Historic Kirtland history sites let's begin today's challenge.  Do you know the answers to these ten questions dealing with Kirtland, Ohio?

1.  In 1923 the John Wanamaker Store in Philadelphia purchased three stone cottages from England.  One cottage dated back to 1492.  The structures found their way to America in 1925 and to Kirtland by 1945.  American entertainment icons Cole Porter, Gloria Swanson and Joan Crawford visited this man's estate.  Name this Kirtland personality or estate on Little Mountain Road and Hart.

2.  Pastoral Terrors abound each fall as the story of these personalities lead visitors to Wisner Road in search of a siting.  Name these local legendary figures.

3.  A 1920 meeting of David Norton, Edward Moore and Mrs. Henry Everett led to the creation of this famous Kirtland site.  It still exists today- Can you name it?

4.  If you know the answer to question three, then you know the 580 acres, 25 outbuildings and 1910 stone mansion was once known as this?

5.  Kirtland got its name from Turhand Kirtland yet it is is son that may have had the most lasting impact on this community.  Name this famous son whose contributions to the fields of science are many.

6.  Samuel and Blanche Halle purchased 424 acres in 1912 in Kirtland for their summer farm.  What Lake Metropark property occupies their former site?  Hint - a horse barn is the visitor center.

7.  Sixty percent of this 1808 holding lies within Chapin Forest.  This topography also marks the beginning of the Allegheny Plateau.  Name the man or mountain that goes by this surname.

8.  9019 Kirtland-Chardon Road is the location of the county's oldest stone home dating back to 1841.  The owner was Henry Earl.  Known as the Vineyard House, today it is home to this national organization.

9.  Over 170 years ago Chris G. Crary obtained the first 156 acres of this site.  Other owners included the Criswell Family, Farinacci Family and Locust Farms.  In 1990 it was acquired by Lake Metroparks and is now known as...

10.  It was conceived as a memorial for his oldest daughter in 1931.  Warren Corning donated land, collections and even served as director in its infancy.  Name this well-known Kirtland property.

answers-   1.Leonard C. Hanna  2.  Melonheads   3. Kirtland Country Club   4.  Leo Doro Farms   5. Dr. Jared Kirtland   6.  Penitentiary Glen   7.  S.A. Gildersleeve   8.  Herb Society of America   9.  Farmpark   10.  Holden Arboretum

Thursday, July 17, 2014

#Instagram #InstaTour #InstaFun -- LCVB offers unique vacation opportunity July 25-27,2014

Looking for a unique family-friendly weekend getaway vacation that is not only a one tank trip or less but that also blends a combination of current technology, local history, outdoor experiences and local community flavor - then the weekend of July 25-27, 2014 is too good to be true.  Elizabeth Connor, social media specialist for the Lake County Visitors Bureau has crafted a unique experience for locals and out-of-county visitors for the entire weekend.  It is #InstaTour Vacation.  Quite simply all you need to do is visit and you are on your way.

InstaTour begins on Friday, July 25th when site specific hashtags are e-mailed to e-subscribers.  Beginning on Saturday, July 26th and continuing thru 4pm Sunday, July 27th visitors travel Lake County using site specific #'s to explore, enjoy, photograph, and possibly win prizes from designated locations.  Prizes range from $50 gift cars to paintings to theater tickets.  Over $600 in prizes will be given-away next weekend.  The final stop will be at Grand River Cellars at 4pm Sunday for those who choose.

Highlights of your InstaTour vacation include Headlands BeachFest on the 26th.  Sand sculpting, Lake Metroparks kayaking and SUP experiences, music, artists, vendors and CABBS Puddle Duck Racer sailboat building are just a small portion of the day's events.  Over the span of both days other vacation venues to explore include Downtown Painesville, Downtown Willoughby, Holden Arboretum, Historic Kirtland, Lake County History Center, Mentor Marsh, Kirtland Temple, Rabbit Run Theater and the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum.  Hours vary but one will be able to visit all sites between 9am-6pm both days.  Each photo stop offers visitors a chance to explore and enjoy some of the county's rich history and best kept secrets.  Climb a lighthouse tower and view Lake Erie as never before.  Walk thru the history that is the Mormon Migration.  Witness nature firsthand at an arboretum or marsh.  Explore two great cityscapes on different ends of the county.  Visit our NHS  honoring President James A. Garfield.

So visit for more information and bring your phone next weekend.

#InstaTour sponsors- Grand River Cellars, Downtown Painesville, Downtown Willoughby, Fitzgerald's B&B, Homestead House B&B, Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum, Rabbit Run Theater, Rider's Inn, Holden Arboretum, Lake County History Center, City of Willoughby, Lake Metroparks, Headlands BeachFest 2014 and others...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Remarkable Lake County --- Women Personalities Trivia Challenge

Today's submission examines some of our county's most interesting women personalities of the past.  It is a thoroughly incomplete listing of notables and totally arbitrary in its selection.  Nonetheless the challenge before you is to see how many famous women you can recall from our county's history.  Let's begin...

1.  She lived from 1840-1928 and hailed from Painesville.  Her husband was a famous Civil War General and instrumental in the completion of America's Transcontinental Railroad.  She was important in her own right- leading the way as an America Suffragette and Voting Advocate.  Name her...

2.  She lived on West Jackson Street and served Painesville as a nurse to her famous husband, medical secretary and mentor to hundreds of African-American youths until her death in 1992.  Do you know her name?

3.  She was fondly known as 'Gramma G' by those in the neighborhood.  She was Mentor's only female mayor and was largely responsible for Mentor's transformation into a leading commercial hub in the county.  Her name is...

4.  This 'Prop Girl' learned her trade at Willoughby Cook-Cleland Airport.  She later worked for TRW and ran her own flight school with another famous female aviator.  She is a member of the Aviation HOF located at Burke Airport in Cleveland.  Name this county aviator and flight pioneer.

5.  Born in 1846, her childhood ambition was to open a school for the education of young women.  Tragedy cut her life short but her childhood goal was realized in the decades that followed and is now known as Andrews-Osborne Academy.  Who is this female education pioneer?

6.  She was already a physician when she was elected as the first woman mayor in Ohio and arguably  the U.S.  She served Fairport from 1921-1923 before moving on to other medical accolades.  She is...

7.  The 'Sisterhood' later known as the Painesville Hoods were organized in 1862 and made an impact in the historical annals of the Civil War.  She was elected the first president of this famous social club.  Name her...

8.  She passed in 1948 but this Wickliffe socialite had a lasting impact on Cleveland's Gilded Age, British Society and WWII as a French Resistance member.  Name this famous anomaly?

9.  Her family is synonymous with Cleveland paint manufacturing.  She never married, was a local educator and headed the League of Women Voters and National Urban League in her time.  She is...

10.  She resided in Painesville briefly.  She was a kindergarten teacher whose students included William Windom(actor) and Jim Backus (Mr.Magoo / Thurston Howell III).  Her autograph included 'WWW' from her 1939 role in the Wizard of Oz.  Later in her career she was Cora for a national coffee company.  Name her...

Answers-  1.  Frances Jennings-Casement   2.  Mildred Rucker   3.  E;eanore Garfield  4.  Patricia J. Hange   5.  Margaret Marsh St. John   6.  Dr. Amy Kaukonen   7.  Eliza Wilcox   8.  Laura Mae Corrigan   9.  Belle Sherwin   10.  Margaret Hamilton

Monday, July 7, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Fairport-opoly

Ohio's smallest county came into being in 1840 and in 2014 remains at the epicenter of both early American History and that of the Western Reserve.  Each community has its own histories and personalities to share.  Today we examine one of Lake County's best kept secrets - Fairport Harbor.  Take the challenge and see how much you know about this Grand River community.

1.  The name Fairport first appeared in 1836.  'Harbor' was added in 1959.  Fairport Harbor was not the original name in 1812 when the first settlers named this community.  What is the first name on record for Fairport Harbor?

2.  Founded in 1945, the all-volunteer Fairport Harbor Historical Society has preserved the history and sentiment of the village and Great Lakes maritime history at this museum site for the last 69 years.  Name this marine museum.

3.  From 1912-1976 the chemical corridor stretched from Toledo to upstate New York and this industrial plant located in a portion of Fairport was known throughout the U.S.  Name this plant...

4.  One of Fairport's most colorful personalities was Frenchy 'the Pirate' Thompson.  Local Lore had him washing ashore sometime in the 1800's and found dead in his Huntington Beach shack in 1914.  What product did Frenchy sell by cart to make a living?

5.  A bubbling brew just offshore Fairport's beach has become part of Native American legend dating back 400 years as well as Fairport fishermen lore from the 1890's.  What is the common name of this famous legend?

6.  Madison and Fairport were leading ports and shipbuilding sites in the 1800's.  In fact, over 52 vessels are documented as being built in these two communities.  What schooner was built in Fairport in 1845 and remains a staple on Lake Erie waters today?

7.  This Finnish woman of strict cultural upbringing was not only a medical doctor but the first woman mayor in Ohio and perhaps the U.S. She was elected Mayor of Fairport in 1921 and defeated William Stange by 75 votes.  Name her...

8.  This museum began in 2002 in the former building that served as a village senior center, police station, jail, fire station and village hall.  Name the cultural organization or museum that now occupies this site.

9.  This site located on the west side of the Grand River arrived in 1921 from Buffalo, New York and was commissioned in 1925.  Since 2012 it became a private residence.  Name the structure...

10.  This WWII and Korean War flying ace served in the RCAF and USAF and is the most decorated ace in our country and the UK.  Name this famous Fairport graduate and resident.

Answers -  1. Grandon  2.  Fairport Harbor Lighthouse & Marine Museum  3.  Diamond Alkali / Diamond Shamrock  4.  water   5.  Big Water God   6.  Madeline   7.  Dr. Amy Kaukonen  8.  Finnish Heritage Museum   9.  West Breakwater Lighthouse   10.  Donald Blakeslee