Monday, February 22, 2016

Saving Mentor's History -- Part III -- 'Lost to Time'

Today's final installment examines one of the first towns settled in the lands once part of Connecticut's Western Reserve.  In the two hundred plus years, this early wilderness outpost steadily morphed into an area of farmers and artisans.  Over time Cleveland's Gilded Age saw wealthy businessmen move into the county as gentlemen farmers.  These large estates gave way in the late 20th century to a local burgeoning economy based on industry and lake commerce.  Just fifty years ago Mentor, Ohio united to become the largest and diverse community of today.  Thomas G. Matowitz Jr. culled all the local history available to preserve that history.  Some of the history still exists to the discerning eye such as the 1868 Mentor Knitting Mills and the storefront corner of Mentor Avenue and Maple. Today we look at some of the names, places, or structures from Mentor's past history now 'lost to time.'

Did You Know About / Do You Remember These ?
  •  Fragments of a pioneer cemetery remain on private property on King Memorial Road at Little Mountain
  • President Garfield's sons Abram and James R. contributed to Mentor lore.  Abram, an architect designed Wildwood and other buildings.  James R., an attorney was the last surviving member of Theodore Roosevelt's cabinet at the time of his death in 1950.
  • Albert Clapp, of Little Mountain Road was the only Mentor serviceman from Mentor to receive a Medal of Honor.  His Civil War medal and the battle flag that earned this honor still exist today.
  • The L.S. & M.S. R.R. Depot in Mentor had a deadly trainwreck on June 21, 1905.  The derailment was thought to be the result of sabotage.  21 died and 20 others were injured.
  • The Willoment bar and restaurant was located on the south side of Mentor Avenue near the present day GLM.
  • Winfield's Restaurant (Weavers) stood opposite Heinen's on Mentor Avenue.  Several tourist cabins still exist today.
  • The Allchin Home and stop 51 on the interurban located just west of the GLM on Mentor was razed in 1978.  Today a dry-cleaner store stands there.
  • Hollycroft House - designed by Abram Garfield in 1905, it was damaged by fire in the 1950s.  Today its identity survives only in the name of the street Holycroft Lane.
  • The Van Cleve summer estate was torn down in the 1970s.
  • The Overnight Farm on Route 20 was destroyed.  Today Aldi's occupies the former site.
  • Primrose Hill was the state constructed in the 1890s for Horace Andrews.  His estate was destroyed in the 1970s.
Images of America Mentor by Thomas G. Matowitz Jr. is just one of a larger Images of America series by Arcadia Press.  Similar books exist for other Lake County communities such as Fairport Harbor, Willoughby and Madison.  Examine the local history made available to all.  These distinctive stories and others await anyone interested in community history and the archival fabric of our neighborhoods and city.

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