Monday, November 7, 2011

Local Lore Celebrates 100 - Part One

One hundred is a magic number.  Unless it is pennies one hundred seems to be recognized as a notable milestone.  If you are a collector, one hundred of anything is significant.  If you are a coach, one hundred wins merits accolades. If you are a hoarder, one hundred of some things might result in problems.  As a student (public school, college, post graduate) and teacher, I doubt I even came close to writing one hundred papers total.  Today though marks my 100th blog for the News-Herald.  Local Lore has taken me on a fact finding journey throughout our county.  I definitely know more trivia and historical facts today than the sum total of all my years as a county resident.  It has been interesting to realize how much history surrounded me and how much I failed to see.  Today I look back on some of my favorite topics and some that generated feedback from those who read them in 2010-2011.

Old Ohio Schools: Lost Stories Then and Now - November 11, 2010
I found this website when I was starting The Euclid Central Alumni Hall of Fame some years back. The site features pictures of community schools from the past through the present.  Archival images tell the story of schools no longer standing, repurposed, or still in existence today.  The Tale of Willoughby Union High School was the main inspiration for the blog.

Historic Markers Dot Lake County, Roadways of Days Past - January 6, 2011
Lake County was the roadway of the Western Reserve. Stagecoaches traveled the Buffalo to Cleveland route.  Roads such as Girdled, Chillicothe, and Old State Road were major by-ways of pioneer travel.  U.S. Route 20 is the longest east-west road in the country.  This transportation route alongwith Lake Erie led many early pioneers to our region.  These men and women settled here and their contributions became cornerstones of Lake County and early American history.  The 27 markers that dot our county tell their stories.

Jonathan Goldsmith - June 2, 2011
He arrived in Lake County in 1811.  From 1819-1843 he was the most prolific architect of the era.  He designed over 30 homes and buildings, most of which still exist today.  Some notable area homes are the Howe, Seeley, Mathews, Sawyer, and Corning residences.  A lighthouse in Fairport, two Cleveland mansions, and banks in downtown  Painesville and Geauga County were also Goldsmith designs.

The Incident of Lewis and Milton Clarke - April 21, 2011
In August 1843 the Clarke brothers spoke at what today is the Madison Post Office site.  Born free men, the brothers were forced into slavery for over 20 years.  Having escaped and traveling in abolitionist Ohio, Milton was briefly caught in Madison by slave catchers.  Residents of Lake County rose up and helped secure his freedom.  Milton became the inspiration for the character George Harris in Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Ann C. Whitman, Confidential Secretary - October 13, 2011
Born in Perry, Ohio she left college to intern and began a career that included working for President Dwight D. Eisenhower and NY Governor/Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.

Other favorites -

Lot #32 - November 18, 2010    The current site of Brennen's Fish House in Grand River, this building has stories both sullied and historical to share.
Do You Remember? The Interurban / Willoughbeach - August 29, 2011   Turn of the Century Willoughby and Willowick featured a Lake Shore Blvd. area void of houses.  Instead railways, resorts, beaches, summer cottages, and an amusement park dotted the Lake Erie shoreline.
USCG Station Fairport - August 4, 2011  An anniversary celebration on this day featured the history of the USLSS / USCG site at Fairport.  The station and the iconic village lighthouse in Fairport have been a part of Lake County history since its earliest days.
The Reeve of the Shire - November 15, 2010  Traced the history of the sheriff's department from the time of Robin Hood to Thomas Jefferson's declaration of the position in our country.  The history of those who served in Lake County is examined.
Mini Profiles: Men at Work - September 29, 2011 and its companion piece Women at Work - October 20, 2011  Names such as Jesse Storrs, A. E. Vrooman and Charles Ruggles permeate the early contributors to the Industrial Age.  Martha Elwell and Frances Casement were early pioneers from Lake County in the fields of education and women's suffrage.

It is hard to single out one piece of history as more important than another.  Each fact serves as a cornerstone to our county's story.  Some facts are well known and others are hidden gems.  Local Lore's first one hundred features are now out there.  The next hundred are waiting to be told.

No comments:

Post a Comment