Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Every Artifact Tells A Story - Concord Twp Site recalls Walter Wellman & Connie Luhta et.al

History surrounds us.  Whether it is past, present or in the making one can experience history daily.  Lake County may be Ohio’s smallest county but it has the most history.  Concord Township is not exception to this claim.  One need look no farther than the Old Stone Schoolhouse to witness and share your community history.  Visitation and tours are available on posted dates, by appointment or during upcoming special events in 2016.

The schoolhouse serves as the township museum of history.  The names Leuty, Wellman, Luhta, Adams and Pomeroy  are shared here.  A school bell from the Judd Corner schoolhouse may be found on the premises.  The story of Concord’s early industry, notable farms and Little Mountain Hotels are shared there.  Artifacts from the schoolhouse years of 1841-1923 are on display.  The museum has much to share and is always looking for township documents, photos, family heirlooms and permanent artifacts to add to the still growing story that is Concord Township.

Walter Wellman – Born in 1858, his life as a noted journalist, explorer and aeronaut is examined in detail at the history museum.  As a journalist he was the founder of the Cincinnati Evening Post.  As an explorer, his efforts may have identified the exact arrival spot of Christopher Columbus.  However it is his aeronaut efforts that best define him.  A staunch pioneer in the airship / dirigible industry, he set to be the first explorer to arrive at the North Pole.  His crew left Paris in 1905 on an airship for the North Pole.  Failure resulted and a second attempt in 1907 was again non-successful.  Additional airship endeavours in 1910 (America) and in 1911 (Akron) met with tragic results.  Remnants from these historic attempts were stored in 1912 at Goodyear Tire & Rubber.  In the 2000s Wellman’s spirit was recognized and his airship artifacts sent to the Smithsonian for all to see.  A portion of his story is on display in Concord Twp.

Connie Luhta – Seven terms as a local official and 48 years as a resident are only the tip of the iceberg of this lady’s story.  This aviatrix is featured on aviation coins and banners with notable women pilots Besse Coleman and Amelia Earhart.  Connie earned degrees from OWU and LEC and enjoyed a career as a research chemist for Standard Oil for much of her life.  However it was the opening of Concord airpark in 1952 with her husband that began her rise in aviation history.  Twelve international air races, ten coast-to-coast races and 17 proficiency races sealed her spot in aviation annals.  A member of the Silver Wings, VP of the Experimental Aircraft Association and one of 55 female pilots to be enshrined in the Burke Airport / International Aerospace Museum are a few kudos on her resume.

You are invited to visit the History Society at the Old Schoolhouse.  You are welcome to volunteer.  More importantly you are encouraged to share your artifact and story with our community here!!!  This is the first installment in a series of continuing posts about local county artifacts -watch for new stories in late 2016 and early 2017.

For more information visit – www.concordtwp.com

Monday, July 18, 2016

A One-Day Trifecta includes Lake County as its Epicenter

Do you know this self-mad man?
  • Born in a log cabin in Orange Township
  • Attended the Geauga Academy as a youth 
  • aspired to be a sailor
  • Was educated at the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute ( Hiram College) in the 1850s
  • Was a faculty member (Greek & Latin) as well as president (age 26) at same college in the 1850s
  • Married a student from the college - Lucretia Randolph in 1858, had 7 children
  • Was an ordained minister / lay preacher
  • Served in the Civil War and achieved notable war time successes
  • Began a 17 year Congressional Career in 1863
  • A front porch campaign became his signature moment
  • An assassin's bullet took his life early in his Presidency
  • Funeral wreath from Queen Victoria may still be viewed at his Mentor home (former Dickey Farm) 
With the start of the RNC this week, I can think of no other local resident to share with you than our 20th President.  The RNC that year was a brokered convention with three candidates and two factions.  Unity proved elusive and consensus seemed hopeless.  On the 36th ballot a dark horse from Ohio became the party candidate and soon-to-be U.S. President.  An assassin's bullet took his life four months after election and his legacy faded in the annals of history.  However this week conventioneers, history buffs and county residents may want to visit the place and learn about the self-made man who is at the heart of the Republican Party.  His name James A. Garfield.

Your Trifecta Challenge -
  1. Visit Garfield's birthplace in Orange Township.  Garfield was the last president to be born in a log cabin.  The cabin is located at 4350 S.O.M. Center Road in Moreland Hills.
  2. Visit the 160 acre site that was his last home.  Today the 8 acre site that remains in Mentor, Ohio is fondly remembered as Lawnfield.  This NHS includes the first ever presidential library, a restored Victorian interior, a windmill and many other artifacts from the Garfield family collection.
  3. Visit the James A. Garfield Memorial in Cleveland. Garfield's elaborate castle-like monument is located on a hill in Lake View Cemetery in the heart of downtown.  Mosiacs, stained glass windows and a full casket display give way to a balcony view that shares a 40 miile view of Lake Erie.