Monday, November 28, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! ... A Reprise

Holiday Fast Facts
  1. Four cents - the cost of the first Christmas postage stamp released in 1962.  A simple wreath and two candles were featured.  The initial supply released was 350 million.  One billion were eventually distributed due to its unexpected popularity.
  2. Wassailing is a custom of ancient origins and comes from the Ango-Saxon phrase 'waes hael' which means good health.
  3. Jingle Bells was originally written for Thanksgiving.  It is also one of the oldest holiday songs of American origin.
  4. Electric holiday lights appeared as early as 1882 thanks to Thomas Edison.  1895 saw President Grover Cleveland request an electric light bulb tree.  1903 saw G.E. issue the first kits to the public.
  5. Mistletoe in doorways dates back to the Ancient Druids who used the plant to ward off evil spirits.
Spend the holidays at home in Lake County and make it truly memorable with some of these special holiday events.  Whether it is your first time or an annual family tradition, it is the most wonderful time of the year!  Here are some of my favorite places to visit before the end of the year.

December 3 -  Harbor Holidays and the Grinch Visit to the Lighthouse  10am-6pm
Fairport Harbor remains a best kept secret as this annual event clamors for more visitors.  Local churches, small businesses and the local museums offer up ethnic foods, holiday crafts and unique stocking stuffers for all tastes. Dr. Suess's infamous Grinch may be seen roaming the village, local library and local shops in search of presents.  The annual reading of the classic tale from atop the local lighthouse tower is sure to inspire good spirits.  

December 3 - Letters to Santa with Mrs. Claus  10am -11am
The Old Stone Schoolhouse on Ravenna Road in Concord Township is the site for this children's program.  Mrs. Claus and her elves help craft letters to Santa.  Visit to register

November 27 thru early 2017 - Historic Kirtland's Nativity Display
This free event offers visitors a look at more than 500 nativity sets from around the world.  This display has garnered recognition from publications and travel agencies throughout the U.S.

Other December events include
Country Lights at Lake Metroparks Farmpark - Sold Out is the word till 12/23 but visit the park after Christmas Day and build a toy at the noted Toyshop and see the holiday displays on tractor or horse pulled wagons.  You'll be back every year!
Lake County History Center -  A Victorian Christmas display and more await you here in a most unique setting.
Pine Lodge Ski Center at Chapin Forest - Let it Snow beginning 12/15 thru March 2017.
Holiday Open Houses at Wildwood in Mentor.  Tour the manor house on select December dates - visit

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lake County mini-profile - " The World's Greatest Light Car"

The 1913 Automobile Journal hailed the Vulcan as "The World's Greatest Light Car."  The two passenger Speedster or the 5 passenger Touring model were the only two vehicles manufactured by the Vulcan Mfg. Company, Lock Box PJ 477, Painesville, Ohio.  Production lasted for only two years 1913 and 1914.  A Vulcan Power Wagon Truck was produced in 1915 under license by Driggs-Seabury.  A June 13, 2015 Cleveland All-Star Car Show held at Ursuline College featured the only known surviving Vulcan.

Surviving vehicle literature provide these specs.  The two passenger Speedster, Model 27 sold for $750. The Speedster had a maximum horsepower of 27.  The five passenger Touring Model cost $850 in 1913.  It featured a 4 cylinder L-head motor that generated 33 horsepower.  It featured three foward speeds and reverse.  A 120 inch wheelbase allowed for a 15 foot turning radius.  In 1914 with accessories the cars cost increased to $925 and $975 respectively.  Accessories included an ignition, lights and generator.  The Lake County company called Painesville home for most things Vulcan although some sources claim all cars were built in Sharon, Pennsylvania.

Two county  car history enthusiasts have donated items to the Lake County History Center located on Riverside Drive in Painesville.  A Vulcan radiator is on site from the restored car collection of Painesville's Tony Torre.  Also an impressive 3 ring binder of photos, articles and more was provided by Ken Gladyszewski.  Once again Ohio's smallest county has stepped to the forefront with the most history - this time automotive based.

As more sources become available, this article will be updated.
source: & (collection /artifacts on site)