Monday, May 6, 2013

"Madison Truly is Living History"

Test your Madison IQ-

Q 1.  First settled in 1802, what other names preceded the name Madison, which was officially adopted in 1867.
Q 2.  From 1825-1851, this product found near Dock Road was the primary commercial business enterprise.  Timber soon followed as another major industry.  Name this early industrial product.
Q 3.  From 1828-1863, this industry made Madison a significant Great Lakes port.  In fact, Madison was the largest port of the era, followed by Fairport Harbor and then Cleveland.
Q 4.  What railroad came to Madison in 1852 as a result of its commercial successes?
Q. 5  A cabinet from Fred Ellis' business which closed in 1963 is now a focal point of a historical society collection.  Name Mr. Ellis' business which began in 1923.
Q. 6  Who is the only living founder of the Madison Historical Society?

The Madison Historical Society turns 35 this month and will celebrate its accomplishments on May 10th with its annual dinner.  Time still exists to reserve a spot at this significant event in Lake County history.  As mentioned earlier, what eventually became known as Madison - after President James Madison - had it earliest settlers arrive in 1802.  Some 175 years passed by before a historical group was founded.  It was at an estate sale on Middle Ridge Road that a chance meeting of Louanna Billington, Donna Keyes, and Alice Waterman resulted in an epiphany.  Their idea was to preserve, display and make accessible the public historical information of their hometown.  The first items saved came from that estate sale.  Within a few years, their dream became a reality.  The Madison Historical Society was founded in 1978.  The first board members were President Billington, secretary Geraldine Rhodes, Vice President Keyes, treasurer Louise Sedgeley and Lois Stanton.  Other board members included Catherine B. Rose , James Waterman, Rosemary Wayman, and Richard Hart.

Since 2010, the historical society has been located at 136 W. Main Street.  Madison artifacts, photos, documents, and displays comprise their vast collection. Nearly 250 members have joined the organization in their support of its mission.  Visitors are welcome during open hours.  If time or distance prevents you from a visit, then you can purchase a copy of  current board member Denise Machaud's book "Madison' Images of America - by Arcadia Publishers.

Sources -  Simon Husted - May article -The News-Herald,, and The Madison Historical Society
Answers to the IQ quiz may be found in Machaud's book or online.

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