Thursday, September 3, 2015

Nostalgia: How long's that been around?

Never has that quote by Bill Bailey proved so true as in Lake County.  It is a common theme in all sorts of print media and life experienced by ‘boomers’ like myself.  The landscape of America has been steamrollered over by time.  Seven day a week newspapers, hard bound books, LP records, typewriters and more lost to the passing of time.  Despite the new ‘age’ and way of the world, much remains from our past and is visible to us if we only look.  One can simply drive the roadways and follow the Historic Markers in the county and learn / view so much.  Here are just a few of my favorite sites – ones that have been around for how long?

  • Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad Depot – First established in 1848, this depot saw three U.S. Presidents stop here before its closing in the 1970s.  Stop by and visit this museum in progress on Railroad Street in Painesville.
  • Pheasant Run Airport – Now a part of Lake Erie College, this airport located in Leroy Township is home to aviation history.  Over 33 vintage planes may be viewed at this operational airport.
  • Indian Port Fort – Remnants of this Native America fort date back to 1650 and are still visible in this Lake Metropark property located in Painesville.
  • Pleasant Valley Road Bridge – Dating back to 1881 this Whipple Truss structure found in Willoughby Hills was a main thoroughfare until 1952 and was know as the GAR – Grand Army of the Republic Roadway.
  • Rabbit Run Theater – One of the last remaining barn theaters in the U.S., its history began in 1946.  The theater is located in Madison.
  • Grand River Lighthouse in Fairport – From 1825-1925 this lighthouse was at the center of our county’s history.  One of the few lighthouses still open regularly to visitors with tower access welcomed.
  • An 1834 Medical College history, dental history collection and more await visitors to the Willoughby Welcome Center on Spaulding Street.
  • Lake County History Center- The current historical home of all things Lake County, this county poor house was built in 1876 replacing an earlier structure dating back to 1852.
  • Downtown Painesville – A walk on State Street will reveal a hardware and bakery business with histories dating back to the 1800s.
  • Coulby Mansion – Home to one of Cleveland’s famous millionaires from 1900, this Wickliffe site is often missed by the public.  Just walk inside City Hall and relive the Gilded Era of Cleveland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Beginning this weekend and continuing into early October a Historic Lake County Treasures Tour is available to all.  This family friendly educational tour challenges participants to visit over 14 historic county markers and learn some important history of the area.  Participants who complete the tour are eligible for several grand prizes.  Tour maps may be obtained (two dollars) at the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, Lake County History Center,  Downtown Willoughby Welcome Center or Outdoor Market during open hours.   More questions - call Barb at 440-639-2945 between 10am-2pm Tuesdays thru Saturdays at the LCHS.

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