Posts filed under ‘Lest we forget’
It was a beautiful cool and sunny morning today as we walked our neighborhood placing flags and ribbons to honor those who have given so much in so many conflicts. We placed the “RED WHITE and BLUE ribbons and I thought not only of the history of the colors but of those that have walked these streets in the decades before in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood . I thought of those that had given all they could give in the name of freedom.
The history of the red white and blue:
The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.
The official meaning of those chosen colors may have been lost in time but they are the colors of freedom and many lives have been cut short so the colors of freedom can fly proudly in our neighborhoods.
Marine Lance Corporal Joseph “Ryan” Giese
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep…….,
ED NOTE_ I wrote this last year as the park now known as Veteran’s Park was celebrating 200 years as a recorded park- I am not sure why I didn’t publish at the time – maybe I was in one of my “dark places in my other world where apathy for this life reigns supreme” – I don’t know but as we are coming up to Pride Day and Memorial Day I would hope there is no apathy from any of us for this little green space -
Two hundred years a deeded city property since 1812 – HAPPY ANNIVERSARY????
iS THIS HOW WE CELEBRATE – LORAIN??????????????
I started, yesterday afternoon, to write the recent history of veterans Park aka settlement meeting space, Lorain Public Square, Washington Park and Veterans Park , Lorain Ohio. – Oh! how easy it would have been to have gone back to January 2006 archives on the WoM Blog and list the links but that has disappeared and with it a record of a fight by a community to hold what was deemed worthy.
In the closing months of 2005 the Foltin Administration along with Community Development Director Sandy Prudoff, Jon Veard and Morning Journal editor – John Cole, in their infinite wisdom, decided the historic park should be condos. Foltin and Co started the wheels in motion to make this little park unworthy of its heritage .
Mayor Foltin quietly stopped work and maintenance on the park so that after a period of months the park and its infrastructure started to rapidly deteriorate. The fountain no longer was turned on, said to have major problems ( which turned out later to be a false statement)- graffiti wasn’t removed – only the grass was cut – the vagrants were allowed to use it as John Cole’s editorial stated as a “piss park”. In truth Craig Miller the Safety Service Director told me the park would be “blighted”. Events happened when Jon Veard let the plans out of the bag prematurely and I, along with others, started fighting to stop this fiasco of finance.
It was a nasty fight pitting Veterans groups and the community- I was the subject of editorials and nasty letters , name calling and ridicule but we fought for that park.
Thankfully city council ( who had also been kept in the dark about Foltin and Co’s plans ) stepped in and saved the park. Foltin tried to say the pumps weren’t working on the fountain and it would cost thousands to repair, walls would have to be taken down this was not the case. He tried to use the veterans as a tool to sway city council . You can find the council minutes here …..
Minutes Vets Park City Council June 5th
I have been down this path once before - No more turning a deaf ear and a blind eye and doing just enough- The maintenance on the park, the safety of this park the heart of this oldest neighborhood, an integral part of the port area and Broadway development should be a showcase. People and organizations have cleaned painted and honored their citizens in this park for centuries . We have to stop the rot NOW!!
Children should play under those trees not have to worry about who is doing what disgusting thing , people should sit on benches without having to move bedding , I should be able to sit a listen to a fountain and smell the perfumed breezes of flowers not of human excrement . ( check comments after the previous post). This little park is in fact not very large , some “upmarket” properties have more land mass. It is manageable!
On the 7th of September 2006 I wrote – Silent Witness
“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
The year is 1807 Azariah Beebe and his wife becomes the first family to settle in Black River Township. Nathan and Horatio Perry erect a house at the mouth of Black River and open a store for trade with the Indians. The area begins to be known as the Black River settlement.
“Of the first settlers, some men walked the entire distance from Connecticut and other places, some rode horseback part way, sharing the horse with others. Some rode in ox carts; some drove oxen; some came part way by land, and the rest by water; some came on sleds in mid winter; some plowed through the mud of spring or endured the heat of summer, some had bleeding feet and some serious illness.
Sometimes it was a bride and groom who started alone; sometimes it was a husband, wife and children; sometimes it was a group of neighbors who made the trip. Children were born on the way and people of all ages died and were buried where they died.
But after they arrived, their experience was almost identical.
A removal into the depths of the Ohio woods, where a man was directly placed face to face with primitive conditions, brought him at once to the practical contemplation of his problem and the solution was in his own hands; food, shelter, raiment. Here was the earth, whose soil was to furnish bread and clothing, but it was covered with a thick growth of great trees to be removed before it could be planted. Their trunks and barks must be converted into houses.
A temporary supply of food was carried by the immigrant with him. In making his way to his purchase he pursued the trail that led nearest to it, and, with his ax, opened the rest of the way. The point gained, the same implement cut down and prepared the tree trunks for the first cabin, which the hands of the whole party, women and children as well, helped to place in the low crude walls of the primitive structure, while the bark of the basswood and elm made the cover. Doorless, floorless, windowless, chimneyless, the pioneer eagerly took possession of his cheerless cabin.
Thousands of them within 70 years were built and occupied in the Lorain woods. Men and women lived in them there; and children – all the elders of the new generation – were born in them. Death came in them there; and there young women became brides and dwelt the happy wives of happy husbands
Of all the dwellings in the woods, scarcely the site of one can now be identified.
Next to the erection of their own cabin, the most important event was the arrival of another family in the woods and the erection of their dwelling received the joyous help of every male within 10 miles of it
No one born of later years can comprehend the strength and warmth of the bands of sympathy and fellowship, which united the first dwellers in the woods in wide neighborhoods.”
A History of Lorain J.B. Nichols 1924
In the next 5 years the little settlement grows all the while they struggle the new nation continues the birthing process.
1807 UK Leopard fires on the US Chesapeake and impresses 4 men
1807 September 1 Burr is acquitted of treason
1807 December Congress passes TJ’s Embargo Act banned all US trade to keep it neutral. Failure. Manufacturing N benefited. S and shipping hurt bad
1808 US bans the slave trade
1809 March 1 Non-Intercourse Act. repealed Embargo, open trade but not with UK&Fr
1810 Macon’s Bill #2;if 1 country accepts US neutrality US would trade
1810 Napoleon falsely repeals the Berlin and Milan decrees
1811 November WH Harrison’s troops ambushed by “the Prophet”
1812 state of US troops: ~12000. Commanders political appointees, weak
1812 June 18 US declares war on UK
1812 July William Hull (US) tries to invade Canada. rooted. Hull sentenced to death for cowardice. Madison pardons
1812 August-December the US Constitution and United States win sea battles, raise morale
1812 December Madison reelected. (every wartime president has been reelected)
1812 December UK blockade of Chesapeake and Delaware Bays
and in the little settlement , now Lorain, Ohio, they also contribute to the founding of a country , of a state of a city
1808 Ferry charges across Black River: hog and sheep (each) – two cents; footman – six cents; man and horse – eighteen cents; loaded wagon and team – sixty cents; and all other carriages – thirty-seven cents. On July 22, 1808 local groups petition Geauga County Commissioners to have Lake Road continued on toward Sandusky. Lake Road is surveyed by Amos Spafford.
1810 John S. Reid arrives to build a house, then returns to Newburgh (near Cleveland) to get his family. Daniel Perry and family settle west of Black River in early March of 1810. The Shupe, Quigley, Lyon, Kelso and Seeley families settle in or near the Black River Settlement. On September 24,
1811 John S. Reid’s family moves to the area. William Martin establishes a farm, three miles west of Black River, on the little stream once called “Martin’s Run” (which runs through what is now Columbus Park). Quartus and Aretus Gilmore join the Black River Settlement.
1812 Edmund Gilmore and family move to Black River. Edmund Gilmore builds county’s first barn. John S. Reid is commissioned Postmaster for “The Mouth of the Black River Post Office”, October 23, 1812. John S. Reid builds the Reid House Inn and Tavern. John S. Reid builds a ferry opposite his block house. Judge Nathan Perry, Sr., (from Cleveland, Ohio) passes away while visiting his son, Nathan Perry in Lorain. Azariah Beebe and his family left the Black River Settlement, relocating on the Huron River to the West. John Lyon is born. He is the first White child born in the Black River Territory. On August 15, 1812 the news of Hull’s surrender to the British fans rumors of a British invasion of Ohio. A “War Scare” is started by a false report of the burning and capture of Fort Huron by Indians. A Militia post is established at Black River to ensure citizenry that they could safely return to their homes and cabins.
***1812 recorded Lorain Public Square (According to Lorain County Recorder Judy Nedwick, the park has been a part of the plat of Charleston since 1812. Since that time, the county records show, the park has remained property of the city. Morning Journal Jan19th 2006
1813 Guns of the Battle of Lake Erie can be heard at Black River on September 10,
1813. Legend has it that Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) planted apple trees in this area and informed settlers of the results of the Battle of Lake Erie.
The decades roll by; those who form this community are born and die, are greeted and mourned, are forgotten or are remembered in the pages of dusty history books. They all contributed, those who sat beneath the trees, played in the grass, watched as horse and buggy gave way to automobiles.
All through the wars and trials and tribulations stood a little place of green, sometimes forlorn, sometimes beautiful and cared for and then in the year, 2006 insulted and deemed worthless.
This silent witness who cannot speak for itself and so has to rely upon the sons and daughters of those that now call this “settlement “ home. Those who see the beauty and the living green memorial to those who through the years have founded a Nation- The United States of America- silent yet in it’s own way a testament of all that has gone before.
Lorain will not have any “formal ” celebration this year of the Battle of Lake Erie , as will other lakeshore communities, but the City of Lorain and her citizens can at least make sure the little green space who witnessed America’s struggle in 2013 is worthy of remembrance
All you need to do is drive past 2nd and Oberlin , or along 1st to Hamilton and you will see the colors of hope and rebirth happening.
The hundreds of bulbs planted last fall are now taking their spring time bow in their new “staging”.
Tiny little Speedwells left over from a garden from long ago, the owner long since gone and forgotten from this world. Even the house in whose garden they were lovingly planted has gone but still their fragile blooms recall a life of another era. They are here, still a reminder of what this place had become until 2007 – THE BEAUTY HIDDEN AMONGST THE TRASH AND WEEDS and now once again another May in another decade they bloom and beckon back the “pride”
MAY 18TH 2013 PRIDE DAY !
BEFORE AND A JUST A FEW MONTHS AFTER
Soon the power lines will also be but a memory ! We have no time to relax May 18th starting at 9:00 we will need to focus on Pride once more . Please join us in keeping our Pride for Settlers” Watch, The Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and the Admiral King Tribute Site.
If you can help with mulching and weeding, planting and or donations please contact me , Loraine 440-246-6046
William Holmes Sullivan · The Fairy Ring; The Enchanted Piper · 1880 · Oil on board · 9.00 x 12.50 cm · From the Leicester Galleries
It was such a world of wonder and magic when I was a child. There were definitely fairies in the bottom of our garden. On dewy mornings I would carefully search the grass for the silvery fairy rings, where they left their mark having danced in the moonlight.
Photo source http://fairyroom.com/2013/01/a-treacherous-beauty-the-hazards-of-entering-a-fairy-ring/
Each May the bluebells would appear and I just knew the fairies, imps , pixies and elves made good use of their tiny bells for hats and drinking cups.
Hedgehogs, which are now popular pets here in Ohio, were used by the fairies to ride through the gardens . A saucer of milk would be left out each evening on the door step so they could slake their thirst.
There was a magic in my youth- being the only girl in a mainly all boy street – I was accepted for the most part as one of the “gang”. I admit they always made me the robber, or the Indian to their cops and cowboys but I was included. How was it my parents and other parents of the street let us roam over to the “gasometer” and the ponds and streams where fishing for “newts” was the adventure of the day? I am struggling to remember what we did with them after an afternoon of catching them .
It was such a different time – a time of innocence -even though we played among some of the bombed out buildings of post war London. I don’t remember ( apart from being a girl) references made to our playmates ethnicity or religion , we played and lived in a magical place of childhood innocence .
Of course the magic has been replaced by awareness, even my children in their own neighborhood, as they were growing up, would not have been allowed to wander out of my sight or those of the neighbors. There were no adventures for them with the newts in the gasometer ponds.
No! now the magic is in a kingdom in Florida, California or even Paris. My grandchildren flew away to play in the magic and be sprinkled with a different sort of fairy dust as terror was rearing its dark and ugly head below them at the Boston Marathon .
And whilst they giggled and laughed with pirates and princesses horror once again scarred our world. A horror , whilst new to America and Boston, was so reminiscent of other horrific acts of terror in my own home – London- perpetuated by the IRA.
You can find the shameful very long list of bombings in the UK in the 70′s 80′s 90′s , 2000′s here
You will note that whilst the majority of the dozens and dozens of bombs exploded in the UK were IRA ( Roman Catholic by faith)( although Protestants have also caused terror too )- According to media reports the Catholics and the IRA were helpfully funded by Noraid ( Boston and New York). The latest threat is Islam – a group that Representative Peter King ( a “republican” in more ways than one)
Peter Thomas King (born April 5, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for New York’s 2nd congressional district, serving since 1993. He is a member of the Republican Party and represents the central Long Island district that includes parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.
King formerly served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he drew attention in early 2011 for holding hearings on the extent of radicalization of Muslim Americans. He also sits on the Financial Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He stepped down after his seventh year as Homeland Security Chair because of self-imposed Republican term limits. He remains a member of the committee.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_T._King
However, ironically this same man, according to the New York Times in 1986, was characterized as an open endorser of the IRA and their cause.
Peter King is (or was – is he toning it down for this, his first statewide race?) the only elected officeholder in this state who is an open endorser of the terrorist Irish Republican Army and supporter of its Noraid fund-raising arm in this country. I am sure Mr. King will welcome the opportunity that the articles didn’t provide, to clarify his relationship, past and present, with the Noraid gun-runners, and to specify whether he continues to support the I.R.A.’s ”armed struggle” against Ulster’s right to political self-determination In Ireland, the civil war among the Catholic nationalists – never mind the struggle for Ulster’s Anschluss, which has significant minority support – ended in the 1920′s. Apparently it lives on in the Irish Catholic chauvinist ghettos of Nassau.
You can read more of Peter King’s walk the walk talk the talk with the terrorist organizations and in bed with the Boston-based NORAID funding group here
“And yet thousands of Americans, including people who live in Boston, gave millions of dollars to NORAID which was used to buy guns and Semtex and support the Provisional IRA terrorist infrastructure.”
Jonathon Ball and Tim Parry victims of the Warrington bombing
Children and innocents maimed and killed then too, mothers losing sons, all for a “cause” an ideology that does not accept another’s beliefs or ways, a dictatorship of beliefs.
The daffodils are blooming , magnolia blossom waving to a blue sky now tainted by man. The grass was wet with dew this morning but I didn’t see any fairy rings just the toadstools( fungus) circling , indicating rottenness beneath the ground – no dancing fairies.
What is left of the magic world of innocence ? Just the pain of those that bully using faith and religious beliefs to cause more suffering. The world needs more magic and less organized religions and their fanatics! Every single person who has ever contributed to the causes of terror as they celebrated their own cause de jour no matter your beliefs is as guilty, in my opinion, of the murder of children, magic and innocence.
Source The Economist The New Wars of Religion
Illustration by Jon Berkley
As readers interested in Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King will recall I have covered some of the highlights of his career. Charleston Village and Black River Historical Society and the City of Lorain paid him homage in 2011.
I must admit, I had to wonder when researching this man of importance, why it had taken so very long for his birthplace to recognize him as they were even doing away with the high school named after him? I suppose, coming from a country and culture which holds history and heroes of ” cherished importance”, it was a bit of a culture shock arriving in Lorain and seeing the throwaway society of history at its finest.
Even the new builds are only built with a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Thank heavens that wasn’t the case when they built my old house.
We are only all too aware of government not listening to citizens – until it is too late- but government not listening to their own experts such as Admiral King and the warning of Pearl Harbor – well what can one say?
But Admiral Ernest J King did not forget his birthplace and sent the signal mast of the USS Arizona home to Lorain.
The battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) was sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The superstructure above the waterline was removed soon after the attack. Admiral Earnest H. King, Chief of Naval operations, sent the signal mast to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio. Commander Edwin C. Keyes, a close friend of Adm. King commanded that naval armory in Lorain. He had the mast modified and erected at the armory to be used for training purposes. The Navy added the yards (cross pieces). Allen Permach of Lorain Steel Fabricators, made the other modifications including the 36 ft. length added to the bottom of the Arizona’s original 26 ft. mast. The vertical shaft represents the 1177 crewmen who gave their lives on the “Day of Infamy.” The yard stands for all those who served aboard.
So what happened ? Where is the mast ? Was it used as part of the Admiral King Tribute space- this piece of United States history? This remaining part of what is probably the world’s most iconic war memorial the USS Arizona?
NO! you see LORAIN REFUSED THE OFFER - so it was stored for 10 years
The Arizona’s modified signamast mast was used until the armory was razed in 1980. It was offered to the city of Lorain, but was refused. In order to save the mast from destruction, Cdr. Keyes obtained authorization from the Navy for Brenne H. Donofrio, a naval engineer to take possession of it. Nick A. Donofrio, the father of Brenne H. Donofrio was a close friend of Adm. King and Cdr. Keyes, and had been honored by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Navy for having donated several important inventions to the Navy during World War II. The mast
was moved to Brenne H. Donofrio’s property where it was stored for 10 years
Then what ? Even though there are a plethora of Veterans Groups who cherish the memories and valor of their compatriots with ceremonies and memorials this” icon of a day of infamy ” – how did this special symbol of bravery leave this place called Lorain this symbol of “remembrance and reverence” – It seems others recognized its worth but not Lorain.
Robert Manzetti, a retired railroad engineer from Ohio, learned of the mast while visiting his daughter who lived near Lorain. Mr. Manzetti and Dr. Earl L. Field, a professor at Arizona College of the Bible and both residents of Glendale, Arizona formed the U.S.S. Arizona Signal Mast Committee. The Committee purchased the mast, transported it to Arizona and erected it here in Wesley Bolin Plaza. It was dedicated and donated to the State of Arizona on December 7, 1990. All funds and work on the mast came from private donations.
AHHHHHHHHHH Lorain words fail me – vision does not mean ‘HINDSIGHT”!!!
There were two Mayors in the time frame of 1980 -
January, 1972 -January 1980 -Joseph J. Zahorec
January, 1980 -January 1984 -William Parker
and in 1990 when the mast left Lorain
January, 1985-January 1996- Alex M. Olejko
And one has to wonder where was Lorain’s favourite Veteran – Jack LaVriha- what were they thinking?
LaVriha had been president of the Lorain Memorial Association for over 5o years, sponsoring annual Lorain Memorial Day parades, annual Community Memorial Services at the Lorain Palace Civic Center, memorial outdoor services at four area cemeteries and the placing of American flags on the graves of veterans. He was past president of the Lorain Veteran�s Council, serving as its secretary for 22 years. He spearheaded the placing of granite monuments at Veterans Memorial Park and area cemeteries in memory of all Lorain men and women who died in all American wars.
You can find the information of the USS Arizona’s Mast here:
Thanks to Lisa Miller - Lorain 365 for the link and initial information
There will be much written about December 7th as the people of the United States remember ” a day which will live in infamy”.
It was because of the attack on Pearl Harbor Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J. King was recalled to Washington:
“On 30 December 1941 he became Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet. On 18 March 1942, he was appointed Chief of Naval Operations, relieving Admiral Stark. He is the only person to hold this combined command”
In 1938 Admiral Ernest J King “warned” the government of the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor
“Among his accomplishments was to corroborate Admiral Harry E. Yarnell’s 1932 war game findings in 1938 by staging his own successful simulated naval air raid on Pearl Harbor, showing that the base was dangerously vulnerable to aerial attack, although he was taken no more seriously than his contemporary until Dec. 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the base by air for real.
One has to wonder how if this son of Lorain had been listened to in 1938 if things would have been different and December 7th would not be in the history books as the “day of infamy”………
Admiral King Tribute Site- Lorain Ohio-
More On Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King here:
Click on jpg to enlarge
Charleston Village Society along with their project partners, Black River Historical Society and Lorain Growth Corporation, wish to invite you to the dedication of the Eric Barnes’ Heroes Walk. The walk way connects the Settlers’ Watch green space to the Admiral King Tribute Site. Along the walkway, named after Airman 1st Class Eric Barnes who gave his life in service to his country in Iraq 2007, are tribute spaces to Marine Lance Corporal David Hall- Afghanistan -2009, Marine Lance Corporal Joseph “Ryan” Giese- Afghanistan-2011, Army SSgt Lois Torres- Afghanistan 2012 and Army1st Sgt. Bruce Horner- Iraq- 2007.
The dedication will take place Sunday, November 11th at 10:50 am. , the time has been chosen so that we may have a minute of silence at 11:00 am. The event is planned at the north entranceway of the walkway – Settlers’ Watch, 2nd and Oberlin, there is also parking at 1st and Oberlin Ave.
Please join us in honoring these young men, born in Lorain who have given their lives in the service of their county
NOTE: Many thanks to Dan Brady of http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/ for the design of the commemorative booklet
Eric Barnes’ – Heroes Walk
A lot of dirt has been moved, beds have been prepared, tons of recycled crushed concrete placed and rolled and placed again and concrete pads laid in the past few weeks. Please bear in mind this is a donation and volunteer driven project.
We are very lucky our project coincided with the fact the City of Lorain and Lorain Utilities Dept. had to take the area where the “sludge bags had been stored ” and re-do the parking area and grassy area.
Charleston Village Society, along with our sister organizations Black River Historical Society and Lorain Growth Corporation were able to piggy back onto their project and as they designed and re graded the property to cut a path way through the trees joining Settlers’ Watch and the Admiral King Tribute space.
Please see video and article in the Morning Journal by Jessica James
So. where are we now?
Thanks to the generosity of Lorain City Schools donating the two granite benches , from the soon to be torn down Admiral King High School, we are able to honor the two graduates of Lorain City Schools with a bench each -
Army 1st Sgt Bruce Horner ( Admiral King High School)
and Marine Lance Corporal David Hall ( Southview High School).
Each Tribute garden space will include a piece of hardscape art work- loosley based on a maritime theme
The hardscape pieces will be set in blue glass mulch and white limestone to tie in with the anchor center piece at Admiral King Tribute Space
At each entrance way ( Settlers Watch and Admiral King Tribute Space will be a sign – Eric Barnes’- Heroes Walk - the sign will be cutwork and have a 3 dimensional look- the colours are navy blue, silver and white incorporating the anchor from the Admiral King Tribute Site and the Eric Barnes Eagle from Settlers’ Watch. – smaller versions of the signs will be placed at each tribute garden with the name of the fallen hero and information pertaining to each son of Lorain
There are a great many other aspects to the walk- it will still be a work in progress until next summer. However we would like to invite everyone to the dedication of the walk way on Sunday November 11th and 11 am. 2012. 1st and Oberlin- Lorain Ohio
As always any donations goes 100 percent to the project – Should you wish to donate or help out in any way you can send your check to
Charleston Village Society Inc- 1127 W 4th Street, Lorain Ohio 44052 ( mark Heroes Walk on the memo portion) – should you wish to volunteer time , plants, ideas please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 440-246-6046