Monday, December 29, 2014

Lake County in Review - Year 174 and counting...

Since late 2009 I have had the opportunity to work at, volunteer at or just simply visit many of our county’s iconic historical places.  Many are well known to local county residents.  Unfortunately many have been razed for what is termed ‘progress.’  Some garner specific visits from out-of-county travelers.  Others are stumbled upon randomly or often missed entirely as today’s streetscapes hide the past edifices from public eye.  Below are but ten of my favorites.  The list is totally incomplete and in no apparent order.  All though are worthy of a visit sometime as you travel the roads of Lake County in 2015.

#1.  The Aviation Museum in Leroy is home to one of the largest private collections in our country.  Many of our county’s lost airfields have been reported upon but the Pheasant Run Airport and Aviation Museum offers views of over 22 aircraft, some the only ones in existence.  The efforts of Gretchen Reed have resulted in a life estate with Lake Erie College (2010).
#2  Lantern Court in Kirtland.  Situated on the corner of the Holden Arboretum property, it was the residence of Warren H. and Maud Corning.  They purchased the land for their country estate in 1929 and built their residence circa 1930’s.  Acquired by the Holden Arboretum in 2007, the estate welcomes public visitation and is not to be missed.
#3.  Chapin Reservation/Gildersleeve Mountain/ Pine Lodge Ski Center is under the auspices of Lake Metroparks.  The scenic overlook located in Kirtland’s Chapin Forest      (Chillicothe Road entrance) offers a panoramic view of downtown Cleveland, Lake Erie and sites east and west.  Truly a four seasons visit is warranted.
#4.  Historic Marker #24-43 is located in Wickliffe.  Currently the site of Wickliffe City Hall, it was the former estate of Harry Coulby.  Coulby was the 19-20th century Great Lakes shipping magnate and his office now serves as the Mayor’s Office.  A visit to the estate will offer a glimpse into Cleveland’s Gilded Age and shipping history.
#5.  Since 1988, The Herb Society of America has been housed in the county’s oldest stone structure.  Located at 9019 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland the former Vineyard House of Henry Earl dates back to 1841. Visitors are always welcomed.
#6.  Each year one of the country’s largest free Nativity Displays is open to the public at Historic Kirtland.  This free holiday offering is but one highlight found at the site of historic marker #21-43.
#7.  The Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum is a unique experience open to the public from May-September.  However the outdoor exhibits – an 1843 US Navy Mast, an 1876 Lifesaving Car, a 1904 Oil House, Mormon Migration dedication rock and other artifacts can be viewed any day of the year.  Display boards tell the history of the UGRR, Mormon Migration and other maritime stories.
#8.  The Ohio Cottage in Madison Township has a long and storied history dating back to the early 1900’s.  Situated just off Rt. 84 it is a visit worth the trip.
#9.  The Mentor Fire Museum, Old Station #1 is located on the corner of Jackson Street and Mentor Avenue.  Manned by retired firefighters the site serves as a museum and educational classroom tracing the history of fire fighting equipment and service history in our county.
#10.  Currently situated on the campus of Lake Erie College in Painesville, the Mathews House ( historic marker #4-43) stands out among all of the county’s historic architectural homesteads. Adjacent to the home is College Hall dating back to 1857.  Two unique pieces of history on one campus setting make this a most see stop.
Just missing the cut are the local histories of The Mentor Knitting Works/Columbia Match site on Station Street in Mentor, Painesville Railroad Depot and the unique history of  US Rt.20.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Hopeful Waiting...Season's Best to All!

May the 2014 Holiday Season bring you all that you desire.  May 2015 be your best year ever...

Buon Natale                                              Frohe Weihnachten

                        Merry Christmas!

                                                     Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!

Happy Hanukkah                    Joyeux Noel                Feliz Navidad



Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Season Potpourri

Christmas is a holiday celebrated all around the world.  Whether your season festivities are spiritual or secular - involving a gift-giving character the season is overflowing with possibilities for every kind of believer.  Let's take a look at some of the many interesting ways Christmas is celebrated in Lake County and all around the world.  Included will be some holiday trivia too!
  • Upside down Christmas tree - said to date back to St. Boniface in the 8th century, it remains popular throughout Eastern Europe.  Legend has it that Boniface confronted non-Christians and chopped down their giant oak tree in an angry moment.  A tiny evergreen grew in its place and the triangular shape was used to explain the Holy Trinity.  the tree was hung upside down and the Trinity Tree had its origins.
  • Nativity Scenes (Vatican and Lake County) - Depictions of the nativity figures owe their origins to St. Francis of Assisi.  The first creche appeared in 1223.  In less than a century the custom was entrenched throughout Italy and the world.  Historic Kirtland has a nativity display annually that is considered a top 100 destination in the United States.  Free and open to the public daily into January, one should make every effort to view the more than 400 creches on display, some from countries far away.
  • Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer - Rudloph is 50 this year.  Taken from a 1939 poem, an animated television short about Rudolph aired in 1964 featuring the voice and singing talents of Burl Ives.
  • Frosty the Snowman - A 1950 song was used for a 1954 animated short about this most famous snowman.  In 1969 the television show still shown today remains.  Jimmy Durante was the voice talent used in the 1969 classic.
  • Mistletoe - The bush-like plant found on trees dates back to the Celtic people to about five centuries before Christ.  It is said the Druids considered mistletoe a sacred plant and hung it above their doorways for protection.  Enemies in battle would often declare a one day truce if they met near the plant.
  • George Harrison of Beatles fame is the only member of the Fab Four to never write or record a Christmas Song.
  • Holly & The Yule Log - The log is associated with winter solstice / December 21st.  Its origin remains in doubt although believed to be Germanic in nature.  Burned to bring good luck, holly was part of the ritual and placed under the log.  The sprig of holly symbolized buring up the troubles of the past year as well keeping safe their homesteads.
  • The Grinch -  Dr. Suess wrote his classic tale of the Grinch in 1957.  The animated version first appeared in 1966 and is third in longevity when one recalls Holiday TV specials.
  • It's a Wonderful Life - The 1946 holiday classic includes what today would be called a 'blooper' or DVD-extra.  An inebriated Uncle Billy has trouble walking in a scene.  A crash is heard and Uncle Billy says, "I'm alright."  The actual crash was that of a crew member dropping something during filming.  The gaffe is part of holiday history.
  • It's a Wonderful Life - "Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings..." is well known.  If you listen carefully you will hear 42 bells ringing in this seasonal movie classic.
  • Madagascar - Santa is known as Dadabe Noely.  Only small gifts are exchanged.
  • Wales - Carolers highlight the season and Christmas Day.  They sing at dawn and are invited in for snacks.  Carol writing contests are annual events.
  • Russia - Children carry a star and go house to house singing carols and receiving sweets.  A porridge, kutya is popular and served with honey or poppy seeds to ensure happiness and peace for the coming year.
  • Philippines -  Simbang Gabi are the nine days before Christmas.  A practice dating back to Spanish rule of the islands, attending mass is the main focus of the season.
  • Charlie Brown -  Charles Schulz's characters were widely popular since the 1950's.  The comic characters got their first television exposure in 1965 with A Christmas Special.  Arguably the best known holiday special it is a December viewing tradition.
  • Country Lights at Farmpark began its Toyshop in 1990.  Originally meant to just supplement an outdoor wagon ride and visit with Santa, 2014 will feature more than 70 varieties of wooden toys and possibly surpass 15,000 toys built in December 2014.
  • Check out Historic Lake County Alliance Member activities this month and throughout the upcoming year.  Whether it is a visit with the Grinch in Fairport Harbor, holiday fireworks in Eastlake, a traditional concert performance in Painesville or a holiday stroll in downtown Willoughby that includes a visit with Santa as part of their Welcome Center,  there are always holiday traditions Yule Enjoy!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Serving Up Good Will in Fairport Harbor ---The 'Grinch' visits December 6th

Dr. Suess’s holiday classic first appeared in 1957 in an issue of Redbook and shortly thereafter in book form.  In the story a bitter and hateful Grinch is irritated at the thought of the nearby village having a happy time celebrating Christmas.  As the story unfolds Dr. Suess poses two essential questions.  “What if Christmas doesn’t come from a store?”  “What if Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more?”  Winter is in the air.  Holiday programs have started.  Lists are being made.  The countdown to December 25th is officially underway.  In the Village of Fairport Harbor on December 6th, one may experience the answers to Dr. Suess’s classic questions.

Serving up good will is what ‘Harbor Holidays’ are all about.  It is a Rockwellian slice of Americana worthy of partaking in.  Harbor Holidays began in 1994.  In 2000 the Grinch made his first visit to Lake County’s best kept secret.  The efforts of the Fairport Harbor Merchants Association married the Grinch visit to Harbor Holidays and a Lighthouse Tower Reading of the classic tale.  Attendance averaged 75 annually.  In 2009 the current Grinch partnered up with the Fairport Harbor Historical Society  and the evening event with the Grinch, Santa Claus, and a local church social has resulted in 550 and 285 visitors attending the evening program in 2012 and 2013 respectively.  Free and family friendly have always been the operant words.  2014 will see the event grow some more as the Fairport Harbor Heritage Foundation has stepped up to enhance visitor experiences the entire day.  Lolley the Trolley, music performances at the gazebo and DFH window lighting decoration contests will supplement the Toys for Tots collection and other community holiday programming.

Harbor Holidays -  Local businesses, churches and the school will be open from 10am-4pm for visitor shopping experiences.  Food, ethnic specialties, stocking stuffers and more will be available.  You may even catch a glimpse of the Grinch stealing toys throughout the day.

Fairport Harbor Library -  The Grinch will be on hand with Max the dog from noon -1:30pm.  He will autograph copies of the classic book, mug for pictures and perhaps even share an irritable word or two with the locals.

Grinch / Lighthouse Program -  The Grinch and his cohorts will be at the Fairport Harbor Village Lighthouse at 6pm for a classic retelling of his story from atop the tower.  Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and sit below to listen to the story. At approximately 6:30pm the Grinch will lead all true believers to the park down the street to meet Santa Claus as well as pose for candid pictures.  The Congregational Church across the street from the park will offer hot chocolate and cookies to conclude the evening.  The event ends around 8pm.

Toys for Tots -  The FH Police Department and local VFW Post will once again accept donations for those less fortunate in 2014.  Bring a new wrapped or unwrapped toy to the event and make a holiday memory.

The Grinch Gang promises to be in rare form as they venture once again from Mount Krumpit.  Come and enjoy a day / evening put on by dozens of volunteers.  As stated earlier, serving up good will has been a Fairport Harbor staple since 1994.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Historic Markers of Lake County

There are currently over 1516 historic markers in the state of Ohio.  These markers exist to provide tangible records of Ohio's importance in early American and Western Reserve history.  Lake County is Ohio's smallest county yet has perhaps the most history to offer.  To date 28 markers dot our county's landscape.  Today we offer our readers just an appetizer of the history that is unique to some of our hometown communities.  Here is a sampling of ten markers and the year each achieved its moment of official recognition.  See if you can identify the one incorrect statement for each marker.

Historic Marker #1-43  Indian Point Fort
a.  It is the first recognized marker in our county (1964)
b. The fort is located in what is now Eastlake near the Chagrin River.
c.  Only a low wall remains.
d.  The fort's history can be traced back to the Erie Indians and 1650.

Historic Marker #24-43  Harry Coulby- 2003
a.  He was known as Czar of the Great Lakes
b.  He was born in Wickliffe and lived there most of his life.
c.  He was Wickliffe's first mayor (1916).
d.  His estate was known as Couallenby.

Historic Marker #23-43  Cora Gaines Carrel
a.  Her marker was dedicated in 2003.
b.  She was educated in Painesville in the 1890's.
c.  She was the first female councilperson in the State of Ohio and served in the '20s.
d.  She was part of the suffrage movement.

Historic Marker #15-43  Daniel Beard
a.  Daniel Beard was a noted illustrator, artist and author.
b.  Beard was born in Canada and moved to the US in the 1800's.
c.  Beard designed the BSA emblem.
d.  His marker was dedicated in 2003.

Historic Marker #25-43  Uri Seeley House
a.  Dedication services were held in 2006
b.  Seeley served in the Revolutionary War.
c.  Seeley was one of the county's earliest settlers.
d.  Uri was anti-slavery and a member of the UGRR.

Historic Marker #16-43  Henry Kelsey Devereau -2002
a.  His home was located on the current Telshe Yeshiva property in Wickliffe.
b.  He was Wickliffe's first settler.
c.  His image was used for the drum player in The Spirit of '76 painting.
d.  Archibald Willard selected Devereau for his iconic Revolutionary War painting.

Historic Marker #22-43  Rabbit Run Theater -2003
a.  The Klump Family converted an old barn into the theater.
b.  The theater began in 1946 and closed in 1967.  It reopened in 1979 and closed for good in 2010.
c.  It is one of the last barn theaters in the country.
d.  Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Tandy and Jim Backus are a few performers who did summer stock in Madison's famous theater.

Historic Marker #8-43  Willoughby University / Lake Erie Medical College
a.  The college began in 1834 and closed 13 years later.
b.  The medical campus marker is the county's second oldest dating back to 1999.
c.  Both the OSU and CWRU medical campuses have roots tracing back to this institution.
d. Grave robbing was alleged during the medical college's history.

Historic Marker #7-43  Hugh Moser
a.  The marker was dedicated in 1999 in Perry, Ohio.
b.  Mosher was a WWI veteran.
c.  Mosher served in the Civil War and was Ohio's finest fifer.
d.  Mosher's image was used as the fifer in the Spirit of '76 painting by Willard.

Historic Marker #26-43  Pleasant Valley Road Bridge
a.  The bridge was constructed in 1881 and is one of ten Whipple Tuss style bridges remaining today.
b.  The bridge located in Willoughby Hills is no longer in use.
c.  The bridge was part of the GAR Highway until 1952.
d.  The bridge received its official historic designation in 2006.

Historic Marker #18-43  Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Station - 2002
a.  The station is part of rail fanning events.
b.  The NY Central line station is still active today for commercial use.
c.  President-elect A. Lincoln visited this Painesville station.
d.  The station was opened in 1851 and closed in 1971.

answer-  As my former students well remember, the one incorrect answer for each was 'b'

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Lantern Court

A hidden gem of Lake County may be found on Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland.  It is a Georgian style country house surrounded by over 25 acres of informal gardens as well as a pond.  This country house served as a weekend / summer retreat up until WWII before becoming the primary residence of the family and their five children thru 1966.  The home is situated within the 3600 acres known to many as The Holden Arboretum. The house is known as Lantern Court and was formally acquired by the arboretum in 2007.  It is open to the public for much of the year and I can attest that my visit as part of the Northeast Ohio Intermuseum Council some years back left a lasting impression.  Here is a mini-chapter on this truly unique residence.

Mr. and Mrs. Warren H. and Maud Corning were married in 1928.  Mr. Corning made his fortune in investment banking.  The newlyweds purchased land in 1929 and their country home  began to take shape.  They lived in the gatehouse while much of the country house and its classic gardens were built throughout the 1930's.  The blend of architecture, horticulture and interior decor took its inspiration from the Civil War estates era that prevailed until nearly 1940.  Lantern Court as it was known totaled 17 rooms, eight of which are open for public viewing today.  The family settled in the home full time after WWII and remained there until 1966 when their last child moved away.  The Cornings then took up residence just down the road on another property.

 The Corning family and Lantern Court are intertwined with a well-known landmark - The Holden Arboretum.  The history of the arboretum began in 1931 and its story has been told previously to our readers.  What remains to be shared is this.  Mr. Corning was one of the original pioneers of the arboretum's genesis.  He served as the first unpaid executive administrator.  He helped facilitate many of the land purchases that resulted in the 3600 acres it now boasts of.  Mr. and Mrs. Corning donated their private collection of horticultural classics that comprise a library collection second to none.  Their former residence now serves the arboretum as an educational setting and the 25 acres of informal gardens are shared with all who visit.

If you have a chance to stop by this holiday season, do so.  If not, make Lantern Court a top priority for 2015 - it is a hidden gem and a part of our county history not to be missed.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remarkable Lake County --- Lake Erie College Part II

In a previous entry last week the history of Lake Erie College was examined.  As we continue to celebrate the history that is our county, we look again at one of the Western Reserve's oldest higher education institutions Lake Erie College and the traditions that have shaped the college throughout the years.  Some of the more notable ones are shared below...

Founders Day -  The oldest tradition on campus began on November 8, 1894.  The day pays tribute to the six men who began the school, nurtured it throughout its beginning years, and even sent their daughters there.  The six founders were William L. Perkins, Charles A. Avery, Reuben Hitchcock, Aaron Wilcox, Timothy Rockwell and Silas T. Ladd.  All six are buried nearby at Evergreen Cemetery in Painesville.

Mountain Day - This tradition began in the fall of 1903.  Bagpipes at 6am informed students of this new campus holiday.  Founder Charles A. Avery made available his Little Mountain Hotel property to all the students for a day of relaxation and shared fun.

Tiberius I-IV  -  A quiet sentinel now guards Lake Erie College and is a part of campus athletic lore.  The four foot canine statue was originally located in the City Park near the County Court House.  Tiberius I arrived in 1910 as a gift from Harriet Young.  In the 1950's students from Case Western Reserve University kidnapped the campus mascot and he was lost forever.  In 1975, Tiberius II arrived from upstate NY where this exact duplicate was found in an antique shop.  Unfortunately vandalism in 1984 left Tiberius II in shambles.  Tiberius III was a gift in 2004 and housed in a gazebo.  Tiberius IV arrived in 2008 and sits on the original base where he guards the campus as well as brings 'good luck' to the athletic teams who rub his pate.

Senior Week -  Common to many a campus, this week before commencement allows seniors one last opportunity to share in cookouts, local winery visits, Cleveland Indians games, visits to the President's residence and other social events.

Stormy -  Every campus has its mascot.  Stormy arrived in 1994 via student selection and became the fourth official college mascot.  Earlier mascots included a dog, lightning bolt and unicorn.

Other campus traditions may be found at  These include honors convocation, class receptions and commencement.  New traditions are in the making.

Monday, November 10, 2014

' To Those Who Have Served and To Those Who are Serving '

November 11th, Armistice Day and Veteran's Day share a most interesting history.  In its simplest form Armistice Day signaled the end of WWI on November 11, 1918 and one year later in 1919 marked the anniversary of the conclusion of the 'war to end all wars."  Its goal was to pay tribute to the veterans both living and deceased.  It became a recognized date annually beginning in 1926.  In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name to Veteran's Day and the scope of the day increased in importance.  The years 1968-1975 even saw the official date of recognition change to the fourth Monday in October before President Ford changed it back to its historical date of November 11th.  Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the day / event.  With over 21 million veterans in our country, it got me to thinking of how to link the living and the dead as we pay tribute to all those who served.  In 2014 my Uncle Mike (Borrelli) passed away in May.  He was a US Navy veteran who served in the Pacific Theater in WWII.  My dad was called to duty during the Korean Conflict.  Another cousin served in the US Air Force.  My wife's uncle Dick Snoots served in the Army and was in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII.  Two volunteer woodworkers who assist me Lew Ballard and Mike Bodnar are Vietnam Veterans.  A teaching colleague has a son who served in Iraq and is still active.  Another group of soldiers were sponsored by our volunteer historical society some years ago.  Sadly many of those we adopted were killed.  How can we pay tribute to all these veterans tomorrow and on any day?  Here is one way that is a little off the beaten trail.  Visit a local cemetery in Lake County.  Cemetery history basically began in 1831 when the first known cemetery opened.  It was Mount Auburn and was located in Massachusetts.  At first most final resting places were rurally located.  This morphed into memorial parks in the early 19th century and an entrance gate denoted the gateway from the living to the dead.  Military cemeteries number around 200 and had their genesis in 1862, yet the vast majority of veterans are buried in private or community cemeteries.  I challenge you to visit these parks without a crowd.  Wander the sections and look for the names of those who served.  I know the next time I visit my dad's grave or my Uncle Mike's I will look at the names nearby.  I am certain many veterans will be on the cemetery doles.

Here is just a brief look at some of the county cemetery histories I have learned of.  Evergreen Cemetery in Painesville was founded in 1850.  Thirteen Revolutionary War Veterans including Abraham Skinner are buried there.  Samuel Huntington, a Supreme Court Justice, our third State Governor and  Army paymaster resides there.  Civil War veterans Elezer Paine and Jack Casement are there.  Charles Eledge and Medal of Honor winner Howell Burr Treat both men of color are Civil War veterans found in Evergreen.

Historic North Cemetery in Kirtland dates back to 1828 and Revolutionary War veteran William Cahoon may be found there.  South Kirtland Cemetery has a marker dating back to 1812 in its acreage.  Wickliffe cemetery has markers going back to 1808 and has a north slope dedicated to Civil
War veterans.  Likewise the Perry Cemetery dating back to 1860  features a vault with the name of 12 Civil War Veterans and two Revolutionary War soldiers, one of whom Ezra Beebe was the first resident.

Madison / Fairview Cemetery began in 1854 but has stones of possible veterans dating back to 1816.  The Willoughby Cemetery on Sharp Avenue claims 95 Civil War Veterans on their official records.  The Fairport Harbor War Memorial lists Vietnam Veteran Budd Hodd, Korean Conflict Veterans Amen P. Otto and Mervin Norris in addition to 22 WWII and 4 WWI veterans.  The Willoughby Hills Som Center Cemetery dates back to 1840 but has markers as early as 1832 honoring veterans.

While Memorial Day in May pays tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, tomorrow Veterans Day is a day to say 'thank-you' to the living veterans or maybe a day to take a walk in our memorial parks and remember those who reside now in our gardens of stone.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Lake Erie College Part I

Lake Erie College is one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the Western Reserve.  Founded in 1856 as the Lake Erie Female Seminary, College Hall was completed in 1857 and by 1859 over 137 ladies were enrolled in what is today known as Lake Erie College.  To date over 10,000 graduates comprise the ongoing history that is found on this Lake County campus.  Today we examine some of more interesting facts / happenings from the past decades of the college's timeline.
  • 1861  Students walked to the Painesville Railroad Station to catch a glimpse and listen to a speech from  President Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1880  President-elect James A. Garfield and family were dined and entertained on campus.
  • 1893  President William McKinley visited campus.
  • 1915  Former President Howard Taft visited and spoke to students on campus.
  • 1927  A Skinner Organ valued at $51,000 and the largest of its kind in the State of Ohio was installed at Morley Memorial Music Hall.
  • 1935  Night Classes begin.
  • 1935  Aviation becomes a part of the college curriculum.
  • 1936  Amelia Earhart spoke on campus.
  • 1937  The Cleveland Rams professional football team uses the campus fields for practices.
  • 1940  Three women aviators earn degrees and licensure.
  • 1951  The Mathews House is moved onto the campus at a cost of $21,000.
  • 1951  A nursing program is added to the college curriculum.
  • 1959  The first male graduate, Robert B. Lapp is awarded a degree  ( two brothers did attend the college decades earlier).
  • 1976  Anthropologist Margaret Mead visited campus.
  • 1978  Weekend College is established.
  • 1985  The Royal Lipizzaner Stallions come to campus to perform and train.
  • 2004  The Indian Museum (Lake County) celebrated 24 years as part of the campus community.  In 2014 the museum may be found in downtown Willoughby.
  • Since 2010  Expanded athletic programs / facilities, various campus housing opportunities, unique donor gifts as well as off campus partnerships with the City of Painesville infuse the college experiences for future graduates with new possibilities.
Next week -  Lake Erie College Traditions

Monday, October 27, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- A- Haunting We Will Go Part V- The Finale

As 'All Hollows Eve' looms on the horizon, our last installment of A-Haunting We Will Go looks at three sites in Painesville not quite as well-known as some of their Mentor Avenue counterparts.  However Mistress Suzanne and Mrs. Morley have nothing on these haunted spirits.  These three tales may or may not true - it depends on how you chose to explain these unexplained occurrences.

The Carroll Avenue Residence - Built in 1945 above a former Civil War encampment this home is said to be haunted by its former residents.  Mr. Olmstand met his untimely death in the bathroom.  Mrs. Olmstand met her fate on the cellar steps.  Mrs. Olmstand is known to haunt the attic sewing room and the kitchen stove area.  Mr. Olmstand can be seen in the proximity of the bathroom.  Additionally three Civil War soldiers have been seen in the basement.

Monroe Blvd. House - The house is reported abandoned but attic ghosts have been seen at night.  The ghosts are said to call to visitors and lights mysteriously go on and off on random nights.

North St. Clair Bridge -  Snake Bite Scroggs was an infamous local fisherman.  Known by the locals, he is reported to have killed a young couple on the bridge one day when they wandered too close to his fishing hole.  Fishermen and locals have reported their appearances over the years as they pass by the bridge.

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 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 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 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 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

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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Remarkable Lake County -- Mentor-opoly

Ohio's smallest county is home to many important historic events and personalities.  With the recent passing of local Mentor icon Jerome Osborne-age 92, it occurred to me to reflect on the changing history in Mentor he witnessed in his lifetime.  Remember the Mentor we know today just celebrated its fiftieth birthday in 2013.  See how many Mentor facts you know throughout the years past.

1.  In 1898 this former first lady founded the Mentor Miscellany Club - the first women's literary club.  Name her...

2.  A museum since 2007, this public service building located on Jackson Street began its history in 1942, saw improvements in the 70's and 80's before closing in 1990.  Do you remember this site?

3.  Acquired in 1997-98, this property now encompasses 450 acres of water and preserve access for the community.  Name the site...

4.  'Gramma G' served as mayor in 1952 and spearheaded much of Mentor's current cityscape and industrial footprint.  Name our only women mayor and Mentor Recreation Park founder.

5.  From 1951-57 it was known as Painesville Beach State Park.  In 1967 it reopened as this- name the state property...

6.  Two years before Mentor attained city status, this retail development opened in 1961- the first of its kind nationally.  Do you remember?

7.  Originally known as the Dickey Farm, its front porch was a platform during the first ever Presidential Campaign of its kind.  Queen Victoria sent a wreath on the occasion of his state funeral that still remains in the memorial vault on its premises.  Name the historic home...

8.  Located on Station Street and still visible today, this building has been known as Columbia Match, Lake Shore Chemical, Mentor Knitting and this...

9.  In 1973 the Cleveland Museum of Natural History transferred 673 acres of birding trails to Mentor.  Name this property...

10.  Originally located in Painesville, it came to Mentor in 1912 and still is the epicenter for agricultural programming and events today.  Name the property...

answers-  1.  Lucretia Garfield  2.  Fire House Station #1  3.  Mentor Lagoons & Nature Preserve  
4.  Eleanore Garfield  5.  Mentor Headlands State Park  6.  Great Lakes Mall  7.  James A. Garfield NHS  8.  Hart Nut & Washer  9.  Mentor Marsh  10.  Lake County Fairgrounds

Monday, June 23, 2014

Remarkable Lake County: Community Names - Then and Now

Names evoke historical curiosity.  From times long past to the present nothing can spark a conversation better than naming something.  Influences can be historical figures, significant events, or quite simply a random selection from out of the blue.  Examples abound when it comes to naming communities.  Often even roadways were named after many of our early county pioneers.  Mentor took its name from mythology.  LeRoy assumed its name from the NY settlers who arrived during the Western Reserve era.  Sometimes even entire municipalities or cities assume a surname.  Turhand Kirtland, a Revolutionary War and Connecticut Land Company figure saw his name used for what is now Kirtland, Ohio.  Capt. Abraham Skinner named his town New Market in 1806, a few years before soon to be Painesville trumped his location.  Today we examine the many names that once were part of our hometown communities.  See how many you know.

1.  The Village of Willoughbeach and Willoughby-on-the-Lake were early names of this current Lake County community.  Name it.

2.  In 1832 Thomas Richmond arrived from New York and settled here.  Hoping to make his fortune on the success of the Erie Canal and railroad boom, it was not to be.  Known as Richmond, it soon passed into the annals of history and is now known as...

3.  Its current name is generally believed to come from its postmaster in 1835.  Previous names for this community included Carlton, Charlton, Chagrin(e) and Abbott's Mill.  Do you know the name?

4.  Officially chartered in 1812 and known as Grandon, it changed its name to this in 1836 and made another name change in 1959.  Do you know this community - once the second largest port on the Lake.

5.  According to records dating back to 1844 this community was known as St. John's Township and Plains in 19th c. county history.  Can you name this community?

6.  Oak Openings and Champion, circa 1805 were two early names of this current county legislative center.  The current name comes from a key historical figure from the past.  Name the community!

7.  Chapintown (1802), Centerville (1811), Ellensburg and Madison Township are all early names of this eastern Lake County community.  Do you know it?

8.  In 1796 it was known as Range 10 Township 9.  Home to many of Cleveland's Millionaire's Row families, today it is known as...

9.  In 1802 it was known as Wilson's Corners, by 1805 this area took the name of a Revolutionary War battlesite, a name that still is used today.  Name the township!

answers- 1. willowick   2.  grand river   3.  willoughby   4.  fairport harbor  5.  eastlake   
6.  painesville  7.  madison   8.  wickliffe  9.  concord