Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Small, but Not Insignificant

A visit to a museum or exhibit usually means viewing a targeted artifact or meaningful display.  Visitors may examine this piece of interest quite intently and may even read in detail any document or text associated with it.  Singular archival documents are often not as fortunate.  A singular or random archival document on display usually will illicit nothing more than a cursory glance or a big yawn from many visitors. These items are often overlooked in favor of the 'wow' item.  The museums and collections in Lake County are no exception.  Today we examine a sampling of significant archival items often overlooked or perhaps not known to most visitors at that site.

The Kirtland Temple -  An 1835 edition of the First Church Hymnal is on display.  Emma Hale Smith chose the hymns.  The original Finial was replaced in 1993.  Today the first vane and temple finial is on exhibit in the main visitor center.

Indian Museum - Petroglyphs highlight this downtown Willoughby museum.  A museum library includes over 1000 books and periodicals about Native America culture and its impact on our county.

Wickliffe Historical Society -  Housed in a room in the former Coulby Mansion and current City Hall, this collection includes attire, photos and more from Cleveland's Guilded Age.  Other featured displays are a replica painting of The Spirit of '76, Mayor Coulby's ship and artifacts from the First Fire Station.  Hours are limited but contact kasint@aol.com for public hours or tours by appointment of the Czar of the Great Lakes former mansion.

Eastlake Historical Society -  Also housed in City Hall, this society collection includes the Evans map, the story of Lost Nation Road, the story of David Abbot and a Schooner Cuyahoga Packet.

Willoughby Welcome Center -  Two items of interest stand out in this Public Square house.  First is a Medical History Display that spans our county's earliest years.  Secondly, one can view the Willoughby Viaduct plaque that dates back to 1920.  Photos and books also recall Willoughby's vibrant past.

Lake County History Center - Located in Painesville Township the former county poorhouse has two significant collections worth knowing about.  First is the 1907 Lake County Courthouse Time Capsule.  Second and perhaps more important is a 3000 family database or Genealogy Surname file.

Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum -  Celebrating over 100 years of lighthouse history, this museum now in its 70th season features a Francis Life Car dating back to 1876, a Third Order fixed white Fresnel Lens in its entirety, an 1843 Mast-the first of its kind and much more.  Visit www.fairportharborlighthouse.org for more information.  July 11-12, 2015 will see the return of a Tall Ship - the Madeline which was originally built in Fairport in 1845.

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