1876 marked the United States centennial and celebrations were underway in all corners of the country. Philadelphia held a world's exhibition and local communities held activities looking back at their own histories. The early settlers of Lake County were no different. Some had fought in the Revolution, others helped in the founding of the country, some settled the west and some were now the children and second generation residents of Lake County.
On September 20, 1876 a Pioneer Picnic was held at Alfred Morley's grove in Kirtland. Well attended and offering recollections of the past, both oral and artifact curiosities - the picnic would become an annual event. The picnic sites rotated to Perkins Camp in Concord and Capt. Burridge's grove in Mentor. Attendance swelled to nearly five thousand. In 1887 the picnic moved to the newly formed Lake County Fairgrounds on Bank Street in Painesville. As mentioned in part I, an economic panic took place in 1893 and an ensuing depression a year later ended the era of the fair. Pioneer Picnics continued but struggled as a central location failed to materialize and attendance bottomed out. Also of note- the original pioneers were aging and by 1910 a final picnic was held in the park in Fairport.
While the Log Cabin was the main topic in part I of this series, it is interesting to mention that around 1910 the arrival of the summer estates and Cleveland Industrialists led to the rebirth of the Fairgrounds and all its history. Some of the prominent names of this era of rebirth included William P. Murray of Murray Stock Farm, Henry A. Everett of Leo Doro Farm, Liberty Holden of Gold Horn Farm, Samuel Runner of Cherry Farm and James Corrigan of Nagirroc Farm. These gentleman farmers desired a place to showcase their livestock and products. Within a year or so and at a cost of $40,000 the 65 acres of land once belonging to Benaiah Jones and his son-in-law Jonathan Goldsmith became the new and current site of Lake County's Fairgrounds.
Part I highlights the building of the Log Cabin and its history. Both part I and II are short synopses. One may read the entire story of History Hall and the early pioneer families in the anthology that was released in July 2014.
source - article - A History of History Hall by Carl Thomas Engel