A paperback book was released on July 23, 2014. Titled 'History Hall of Lake County, Ohio Fairgrounds A Biographical Anthology', it contains 180 portraits, photos and illustrations recounting an important era in our county's early history. The Lake County Fair and Fairgrounds had its genesis in 1840, the same year as our county's formation. Located on Bank Street it was an early epicenter for the area until 1894. Hard times resulted in an eighteen year window of inactivity before a new site was chosen. From 1912 until an opening witnessed by more than 28,000 visitors in 1915, the current 65 acres that comprise the Lake County Fairgrounds remains to this day a vital link to our past. From Cleveland's Industrialist 'Gentlemen Farmers' who made Lake County their summer estates to the early pioneers who settled our region, the one constant is a log cabin, often overlooked - that is located on the fairgrounds property.
In 1913 the Pioneer Monumental Association was organized and charged with erecting a log cabin monument on the Fairgrounds property. This cabin would be named History Hall and would pay tribute to the pioneers of Lake County and the Western Reserve. On February 9, 1914 a site was chosen just west and south of the Goldsmith cottage on Mentor Avenue. Logs were soon delivered from the lands and estates of our early pioneers. The first log to arrive was drawn from the early pioneer Benjamin Blish Farm, then a part of the Old Orchard Farm. Additional logs arrived from the Samuel Huntington lands in Fairport and Painesville Township. Other logs followed. Isaac Annala was the master builder of the cabin. He and his 11 Finnish house carpenters used over 200 logs to complete the project at a cost of about $3000.
The book - History Hall...recounts the stories of the names found in a small booklet published for the dedication of the memorial log cabin in 1914. More than a century has passed and the cabin still stands as a tribute to the pioneers who founded our 43rd county. The book is a must read and another hidden gem in our genealogical history.