Posts filed under ‘history’
The Hat has learned the group/ organization of Charleston Village started with neighbors sitting on a front porch 25 years ago having a glass or two of wine. Twenty one years ago that same little group had grown and volunteers worked for and received a 501C3 status. They quietly tried to improve the neighborhood, Lorain’s oldest neighborhood, worked with city government and sister societies.
2005 found the society front and center on more than one front. Our Annual Report ( with a hat tip to Queen Elizabeth the 2nd ) called Annus Horribilis ( Horrible Year)
Can it only have been a year ago, it seems so much longer for those of us that have been at the “front”? The winter of 2004-2005 was drawing to a close; it had been a long, long, snowy and cold winter. This organization was looking forward to spring.
Renee , our Portside Chairperson the head of the Lorain Litter Council was gearing up her volunteers for the “Adopt a Spot program”. Rich was involved in the fundraiser for the Lorain Arts Council, Tracy heading up the block watch program.
Diane was busy getting the cemetery on 6th street cleaned and archived and hopefully the start of a fundraiser to at last put in the entranceway and hardscaping for the resting place of Charleston Village’s Founding Fathers.
OUTCOME = Project accomplished archways and fencing installed headstones being refurbished a flag pole installed – history uncovered and the recipient in 2009 of Lorain County Beautiful Award and also Lorain County Historic Landmark Status. Project still ongoing
We were all looking forward to pursuing our particular interests when on a cold February night the first round of body blows- “The Shawnee Shame of Lorain”,
Pd article on the beginning of that fiasco can be found here
Cashing In Easter Shawnee article
or the giving away of our lakefront to sovereignty for slots. Months of research and becoming educated in all things to do with gaming followed. http://www.aproundtable.org/news.cfm?NEWS_ID=755&issuecode=casino
OUTCOME= We fought long and hard knowing this was not a well thought out “Plan” but one that would get the Mayor as he stated “to the table with the big boys” .
Tribal casinos are tearing apart the profitability of the existing CASINO business because tribes have no obligation to share profits with local communities or the state. Any agreements made today can be easily broken by
the tribes in the future.The only people who would profit from such an enterprise are a handful of Eastern Shawnee Indians in Oklahoma, the wealthy developers backing them and a Republican consultant named Terry Casey
It also came to naught- one because of “sovereign Land and another reason being National Capital One were “guilty of Securities Fraud “
and the ‘option on the Port Land had to be renewed – thankfully Lorain City Council now aware of what “sovereign land” and all the facts denied this option.
If that wasn’t enough April when we should have been looking past the showers to the flowers found us dealing with the question of “Blight” “Eminent Domain” and all that entails with the “development “ of our neighborhood. Could we lose our homes on Portside, our history? Meetings with planners, blight study officials, attorneys, other neighborhoods, even a trip to Washington.
THE OUTCOME- THE FIGHT FOR THIS (a bit of a politicians fiasco not only thanks to the Kelo Case can you blight a neighborhood for “private development” but the URDA could not exist with a CRA area which this area had been since 1979. Also even though Foltin had them review the area twice ( at what cost) it didn’t meet the percentage of blight) But it was a struggle found here in the posts Bill of Blights
Part One and Two
Bill of Blights 1&2
Bill of Blights Part Three
Bill of Blights Part three
May 2005. The assault of two young girls on their way to the Middle school on 6th street, found us knee-deep in crime statistics, RSO and meetings on how to make our community safer. Young people breaking into homes I broad daylight. The abandoned homes and vehicles making it “safe” for the perpetrators of such acts to do their worst. More months of research, meetings and discussions. Murders and shootings. All the while the Shawnee are planning to lead the parade!
OUTCOME: It too, like the original Charleston Village died aborning , although we had initial success well….. read for yourself in the following link and below the quotes from that link .
We partnered with various groups ( 40 individuals in a Community Safety Forum ) to focus on a target area in order to turn the tide such as the Pilot Program for Community Safety, eventually centered in South Lorain under Father Thaden .
However, that particular pilot program failed after an initial success . The approach was one that needed a five pronged approach for success , Lorain Police Dept, Lorain Building Dept ( City of Lorain) Clergy and Social Service Agencies Lorain City Schools , Community ( neighborhood) surrounding the target area at the center of which was Lincoln School.
Sub police station – Lorain City Police
Pre School – Lorain City School
Information and Referral – El Centro
Employment – El Centro
Financial Literacy/ Housing program – El Centro
Senior program – El Centro
Youth Leadership program – El Centro
OUTCOME = Once again the effort failed due to the lip service of the then City of Lorain Administration- Mayor Craig Foltin and the withdrawal of the Lorain City Schools bricks and mortar.
Then came the floods, people dying being trapped because of rising water that had nowhere to go. Basements filled with raw sewage. More research, meetings and discussions. Although it has to be said Charleston Village did not suffer the brunt of the floods, but will suffer the brunt of the “cure” should the latest plan be implemented. !
Project “Dry Basement” –
OUTCOME= ONCE AGAIN HARD QUESTIONS WERE ASKED AND ANSWERS WERE FOUND WANTING – this gave rise to the Wom Blog -THE PROJECT DIED A QUIET DEATH- NEW SEWERS AND SYSTEMS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED
Our little historic park at risk of being bulldozed for private development started a whole new round of meetings, discussions, research, bad feelings and insults. CVSI wasn’t even aware (along with Lorain City Council) that these “plans” were being implemented. The shock and awe of “plans for progress”.
OUTCOME: We saved the Park and the process of who is who and who takes responsibility is still ongoing
The latest of course is the laying waste to our trees, 19 of them for a start on 2nd street, because First Energy is in our opinion technology challenged. A tree falls in Parma and the whole of the eastern seaboard etc is blacked out. The solution gets rid of the trees! More discussions, meetings and diatribe will be taking place on this.
OUTCOME = SETTLERS’ WATCH 2009
TO BE CONTINUED …………………
The Hat curious as to what all the fuss was about with this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood and now very attached to Frank checked out the information on the brochures desk. He found the “Guided Tour Book” and realized “he ” would be available ( if he stuck with Frank) to give guided tours :
The Hat (tip) to Frank Sipkovsky and the Outreach and Promotions Committee of Charleston Village Society- should you wish a guided tour and a walk through a “history of settlement ” please call 440-960-2301.
To be continued ……….
1st stop was the CVSI – Out reach and Promotions Committee
On Saturday, October 19th The Lorain County Preservation hosted Preservation Exhibition at the Black River Landing, 421 Black River Lane, Lorain, OH This is an opportunity to showcasing and learning about preservation activities that are occurring around the County.
The Hat was glued to Frank at this event in the mix of meet and greet :
2nd stop October 24th -2013
The Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College and “Lorain County Reads” with 14 other Historical Societies and guest speaker Neil Zurcher promoting his new book Tales from the Road
Frank was still hiding out in November once again at Black River Landing and this time the International trees display for Light Up Lorain under the auspices of the Lorain Tourism Council ( Lorain Growth Corp) The Hat tries many heads
The Hat soon learned a lot about what had been happening in this neighborhood over the quarter of century Charleston Village Society has been trying to preserve the history and quality of life of this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood
To Be Continued
BUT before he went he met up with The Captain -The Chair was a little worse for wear at this time – he had traversed the world of politics , been involved in erroneous media reporting and no one comes out unscathed even “The Chair”.
The Captain was just starting his journey primed and ready to take his place- only the place was not ready.
So ,instead of a few weeks, it was nearly a year. The Captain sat bleaching on the hot concrete in full sun and “exposed” to all of the elements , until finally his home on the shores of Lake Erie – Settlers’ Watch was ready
One last look at the Lighthouse and a Lake Erie Sunset – memories of what once was and The Chair is hopefully at peace………
But The Captain’s troubles were just beginning .
To Be Continued……….
Nine and a half decades- what a great deal of life – my mother- truly a living history. Her 90th was to be celebrated by us all but life, the stem cell transplants and the resulting loss of Chris negated that celebration of life lived well.
And now 5 years later another milestone.
The loss of her only grandson
was as she said the worst part of her life even losing just about every family member – brothers, sisters, mother, father, nieces and nephew could not compare. But through all these years my mum has kept her optimism, she forgives easily harms done to her and is a kind and gentle soul, never wishes ill of anyone.Her sense of family is to be envied!
What a remarkable story she has lived, the hundreds and hundreds of people all over the world that have been touched by knowing her , eaten her special cakes, pies and shared her home when they had none.
She says it is lonely getting to this age as all your peers ( bar one Uncle John who is 102)
are no longer around to share the memories of youth, of weddings, births, war and peace. My mum still makes me smile, holds my hand when I am crippled with my own grief, makes a brilliant cup of tea and knows when a smile and a touch of compassion is needed.
She wrote memories of her life for her granddaughter when she was just a wee bairn and more when Christopher was born-
What indeed is the truth about any of us? A question most difficult to answer. The world will never know our innermost life and thoughts even if someone were to write and read one hundred biographies. The main facts of our lives are known and are likely only to be known to ourselves alone. Not only are there facts we do not tell but some that we ourselves do not know.
At best some small facet of the truth will catch the light and that I suppose, is what we must seize for there is much virtue in truth. Truth has almost a mystical power, like radium, it seems to give off its own energy and light that goes on forever
The memories of life, people and times of her years of “living history” there for the generations to come:
So where is the Beginning of it all? Upon reflection and trying to summon up the very first picture, there is a faint imprint there in my mind. Can a child of three really retain, retell the event so many years on? Could I really see six or seven human forms lying on a mattress of black and white ticking strung between wooden frames? The box like shapes, the harsh sound of human retching the pungent smell of oil and vomit that unpleasant fragrance still is in my nostrils.
Some photo of that time with its sights and smells must have embedded itself forever in my mind. I can feel still the roll and the steady beat of a noise below. I was huddled, warmed and comforted by another little body next to mine. I can see my mother lying stretched out a short distance away from us; her long dark hair was damp and lying untidily on the pillow. I knew somehow that she was ill too. My father was on his feet; I see his arms with dark shapes and lines on them holding a cup to my mouth. He was telling me “drink this, you will feel better” then oblivion and I remember no more.
Many years afterwards I made the discovery that my first recollection was that I was in a cabin of a troop ship traveling home to England. The ship was bringing soldiers and their families, who had been serving in southern Ireland where the troubles had broken out after the close of the Great War.
We used to walk or skip our way from Devonshire Road, it was quite a distance, and no bus passes in those days. If for any reason we were fortunate enough to ride on the little red single-decker bus Renee and I used to try to sit behind the Nuns from St. Vincent’s. St Vincent’s was a Catholic school further down the road. We were fascinated with their dark somber garments, topped with this huge white-starched headgear, domed in the middle with great wide bat like wings framing their faces. Bus tickets, bits of string, chewed up pieces of rubber, paper clips, anything that could be found in a child’s pockets found their way into the folds of these hats. I have a suspicion that these paragons of virtue from the convent used to know exactly what we were up to. They never ever chastised us or even by the slightest flicker of their eyes acquainted us with the knowledge that they knew what we were doing.
Love and War -
On that dreadful Sunday Sept 3rd, 1939 when war was declared and we heard at 11:00 a.m. the first air raid siren, the whole road seemed to appear at their doorways quivering with the unreality and fear of the unknown. We had been told at the exchange to report to the nearest exchange in the event of an air raid warning. I recall running all the way up Hendon Lane to Finchley thinking I was going to have to help out the war, only to be told I wasn’t required!
We were at war and ahead of us we knew not “what! The first few months were unbelievably quiet. We were waiting with uncertainty and a touch of excitement as well. Everyone was holding his or her breath, I volunteered for a situation, not knowing what it would mean. In a few days I found out. I was to go to the Ministry of Information, which was temporarily housed at Senate House, University of London, near Goodge St. We had triple forms to fill out, swearing us to secrecy, never to divulge or talk about anything we might hear there. We reported to an ordinary looking switchboard. but what a difference when the sirens were sounded . Three of us would be required to man the emergency switchboard, which was housed in the basement of the building; this was called the war room. A big square room, around the walls were telephone boxes which were connect with a direct line to all the important ministries for example, the Admiralty, War Office, Air Ministry, Foreign Office, Ministry of Supply etc. etc. In each telephone box sat a high-ranking official who would be in communication with his respective Ministry. The censors and press officials were they’re sorting and sifting through thousands of reports coming in from all areas of Britain and the world. These people were tremendous and treated the operators extremely well.
Lord Reith had taken on the job of Minister of Information; he had been head of the BBC. Winston Churchill, who was then 1st Lord of the Admiralty, used to come through on his direct line “ Good Morning, give me the Minister please” short polite and always to the point. The town clerks and mayors of today in local council could well take a lesson from those gentlemen of yesteryear. Sir Walter Monkton was there; he was a good friend of the Duke of Windsor who was in France at the time. The Duke would call quite frequently to have a chat with his friend. I enjoyed my work immensely it was extremely busy especially if any kind of action, naval air or army was taking place.
A few years after the war along came me and her troubles ( according to some really started) As our lives unfolded moving to Canada – the friends an relatives grew- back to England and more and more people my mum gathered to her heart. Finally retirement and back across the pond to Lorain, Ohio. These years have seen some of her happiest and saddest.
She has seen the abdication of a King, experienced the Blitz and the rebuild, the death of another King and the crowning of a Queen. Mum watched a wall go up and a wall come down- results of the atomic bomb, gone from only having a battery operated radio to having the first television on the street, private telephones, airplanes and jets, computers and Ipads – governments that come and go, countries whose names have changed, the rise and fall of Russia/ Soviet Union. More than one war
and she has kept true to herself and to her family through it all. My mother has written “birthday poems” for special birthdays for all her family- she doesn’t forget –
HAPPY BIRTHDAY – FROM THE IST , 2ND AND 3RD GENERATION OF THOSE THAT LOVE YOU!!!!! AND JUST SO YOU KNOW – GAVIN AND BRAEDYN DECIDED YOUR PRESENT – WE ARE ALL GOING TO MUSICAL DISNEY!!!!
Dan Brady ‘s Blog
As part of the celebration surrounding this book, my blog this week will focus entirely on Willis Leiter – his life, his work and even his former home on East Erie in Lorain. Plus, more about the book!
Click on images to enlarge:
The cover and back cover of the book depicting Lorain in its heyday
A new book about Lorain will be going on sale Monday January 27th 2014, published by Arcadia Publishing
Lorain: The Real Photo Postcards of Wilis Leiter, $21.99 will be available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www. arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665. I believe locally you will be able to purchase the book through what was Black River Historical Society – now Lorain Historical Society-(440)245-2563 – they will also be holding a book signing in March
This is a collaborative effort by authors Albert Doane, Bill Jackson Paula Shorf, Bruce Waterhouse Jr., and Mathew Weisman-
“Bill Jackson and Paula Shorf are longtime collectors of Leiter real photos postcards. They joined forces with Lorain historians Albert Doane, Mathew Weisman, and Bruce Leiter Waterhouse Jr. – a great-grandson of the photographer” …..
“Between the years of 1908-1915, Willis Leiter carefully composed and skillfully developed images of life in early Lorain. The authors explain ” This is Lorain in its heyday- business booming, citizens marching in parades, streetcars traveling up and down Broadway and Willis Leiter was there capturing it all through his photographs.“
ED NOTE:For those who “remember” and care for Lorain and her history or wish to get to know this old town, her people and places this is a terrific publication – 128 pages of a time gone by and yet still captured in the pages and in the hearts of the authors and hopefully the readers .
Ed: Note all information is derived from the publishers Arcadia Publishing and Mary Margaret Schley- Publishing Editor
Oh! loss of industry , poor economic times.
The City of Lilacs – garden clubs and hoopla post World War One. Then the rebirth in the 30′s 40′s and so on and so forth bringing us to the 1980′s
Monies being thrown at Lorain’s oldest park – founding greenspace- that tore out the Lilacs to put in the concrete bunker amphitheater in the 1980′s and three years after spending the equivalent of 1.5 million in today’s money the recipients of that money threw up their arms and walked away.
The park has been left in shambles and decay- far from the beauty and ambiance envisioned by Lorain’s founding fathers as they platted this town from its corner
Well poor economic times etc etc. there are always the excuses and apparently when times are “good” that too was the problem in Lorain . June 10th -1960 an editorial from the Lorain Journal throws a different spin on WHY things have gone beautifully bad in Lorain-
I seems that in 1960, at least, LORAIN’S SUCCESS was the culprit
Whether the spin is lack of success , growth and poor economic times or the fact Lorain was too successful it seems there are always excuses as the why Lorain lacks the beauty so many had envisioned , fought for and “tried to bring” to her streets.
We are left with the fact that it is just not that important, apparently, to the citizens and various administrations throughout the over 200 year history of Lorain in times of bad or in times of good . It seems the lack thereof of beauty and pride has made good copy for editors through the years but that is about all that has come from their words, a rally round the ideas and then PHUTT!!!
Nothing but a place for deadbeats and bums!” “ It has outlived its purpose” There is nothing historical about that park!” The city can’t afford to keep it up” It is a “piss park!!Nobody uses it, it is worthless!
So said John Cole and his editorials
and yet another time another editor
And 54 years after the 1960 editorial? It seems to me the last thoughts of that editor back in 1960 still hold true today
and definitely one that outlasts administrations and editors.
You can see the whole editorial here ( click on jpg to enlarge) and once again thanks has to go to Dan Brady for the research
As I checked the stats on my blog this morning – they were off the charts – all because of the searches for the headless man. He has been revealed . He was part of a post I wrote with regard to Downton Abbey connection and truth being even more interesting than fiction
I exchanged the WW2 for that boring old history of Kings and Queens and the aristocracy. However I can tell you Reality TV has nothing on these folk! But there is the connection with Downton Abbey fans. Oh! if these old walls could talk ;).
How I lost my virginity to the VERY racy real life chatelaine of Downton’s Scottish castle by Micheal Thornton
My post tied in the Downton Abbey, my mother, the abdication of a king and the late Princess Diana and today is receiving more readers than it did when first posted- ah the internet nothing goes away truly does it?
And just WHO WAS the headless man – read it for yourself :
those old photos whether on Facebook , other social media or even polaroid’s can come back to haunt……
Part Five http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/why-lorain-the-lilac-city-the-paper-trail-5/
(Click on jpgs to enlarge)
The 1924 aerial shows the same area as it looked in Sept after the tornado. The photos were made by a local photographer “Somogy” flying out of Lorain Airport
Whilst the above photo does not have a date a similar photo tracked down by Dan Brady had a handwritten notation “prior to 1924″ written on the back
.(ED NOTE: this is up in the air literally- anyone have any information of the shape etc of gardens at Lakeview prior to 1924- the photo from BRHS with the handwritten prior to 1924 may not be correct)
***** After much discussion and enhancing of photos it is the consensus of opinion, Dan, Dennis, Bryan and myself the photo with the hand written “prior to 1924″ has the incorrect information .. it is possibly mid 1930′s It was not the original bathhouse pictured from the Metro Parks website
I have enhanced and cropped the aerial shot from Sept 1924 after the Tornado that is dated correctly- we cannot see any of the “rose garden wheel” in the photo and I believe some of the hardscape should have remained since it was very intricate.
Reading the article one realizes the “fountain ” was part of the plan and further reading of articles found it was dedicated to the Veterans of World War One – after World War Two it was dedicated to “All Veterans”
Mark Teleha of Lorain County Photographers Blog ( whose daughter, friends now appear in the Metro Parks Lakeview commercial for the park- There Is a Park for That
has award-winning photos of THE Fountain today and yesterday http://www.locophotogblog.com/?cat=31 .
Mark’s blog has the full history of how and when the fountain was built and it can be found here:
On July 15th, 1935, monies were allotted from the War Chest Fund for the construction of a lighted fountain at Lakeview Park. Work began by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on September 16th of that same year, at a cost of $12, 450. The following February, on the 14th, found the War Chest Committee denying funding for the fountain. Superintendent of Parks George Crehore obtained permission to purchase scrap stone from the Quarries in Amherst.
On MAY 31ST 1932 MAYOR CONLEY DEDICATED THE ‘LAKEVIEW MEMORIAL ROSE GARDEN – TO ALL OF LORAIN’S MILITARY ORDERS
We are here that our soldier dead should be honored and it is to this end and in honor of the living that I now preset , in behalf of the city this memorial garden to you “
As we saw in Part 5 the Lilacs made somewhat of a comeback in 1939 – but time , wars and history moved on, things , people places and visions became blurred and Lorain lost her title of the City of Lilacs – but there are remnants left and
In August of 2007 Settlers’ Watch was dedicated
and the garden holds some special Lilacs
Photo Lisa Miller
one of which was planted by Bryan Goldthorpe – the Manager of Lorain County Metro Parks Lakeview Park ( caretaker extraordinaire of the very fountain and gardens ( and Lilacs???) the great-grandson of Mayor Paul Goldthorpe of the Lilac City who along with Bryan’s grandfather met the Lilac Train……….
The End of the Lilacs?????? - up to you – Lorain You can see the Trains and Trees display and the Charleston Village “Lilac” Tree here
And so it started – the next May 1931 -found the City of Lorain proclaimed City of Lilacs, contests were held for artwork, songs, competitions for the best lilacs , Queen of the Lilacs – both floral and in human kind, Lilac courts . In fact the Lorain Journal now ran the fact Lorain was the City of Lilacs across the front page of its paper
It was certainly Lilac Time in Lorain-as Mayor Paul Goldthorpe so proclaimed
That first year Mrs. C.E Kent of 1601 9th Street and her lilacs were proclaimed the finest in Lorain- Unfortunately I can no longer find the address 1601 9th street or for that matter 1310 the winner of the poster gone with the way of the Lilacs one would presume.
You see , what was at first the saving of Lorain by Lilacs, pronounced international and national recognition due to Lilacs, faded like the Lilacs of July.
What started with so much anticipation slowly died a death- by 1935 no longer was the Lorain Journal proclaiming Lorain the Lilac City on its banner, the event came to be “Bi-annual” – In 1939 The Pittsburgh Press announced :
Possiby the winds of war or at least Lilac apathy may have paid a part in the loss of the Lilacs- at least the festival, if held, no longer made the Lorain Journal with the vim and vigour of past festivals . At one time roses substituted for the event. Once again Lorain reinvented herself or tried to. About the same time a town LOMBARD , ILLINOIS also decided upon the Lilacs as a theme
Since 1930, Lombard has hosted an annual Lilac Festival and parade in May. “Lilac Time in Lombard,” is a 16-day festival ending in mid-May. It starts with the Lilac Queen coronation and her court. Many lilac themed events take place, including concerts, a Mothers’ Day Brunch, an arts and crafts fair, and tours of the park. The grand finale is Lombard’s Lilac Festival Parade
Lombard succeeded where Lorain failed and crowned their queen for the 83rd year in 2013 http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130504/news/705049885/
NOTE: I could only find the name of the 1993 Lilac Queen
Jean E. Wilms http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2008/03/30/jean-e-wilms/
NOTE Update:: I received the following jpgs from a reader
returns as the Sesquicentennial Lilac Queen