Archive for April, 2008
by Loraine Ritchey email@example.com
I attended a Lorain Growth breakfast meeting Friday at the Rose Cafe – Lakeview Park. The park is looking superb, every week another vista for the eye to feast upon and the soul to renew. I mentioned to Brian Goldthorpe, the park manager, how wonderful the park looked it certainly is a place of “perpetuation”.
As I looked out over Spring in Lorain through the gentle rain that was giving life to all things green and growing I thought of Ms. Gilmore and her ancestors who carved out this special place on Lake Erie and how I would like to bring the last direct descendant of the Gilmore line to speak with him about the family who first settled the “Gilmore farm”. Therefore I think it is time to revisit here on this blog the history behind this beautiful space.
What a different perspective those first vistitors to the land on lake – the deep, dark forests obscured the shoreline , the land untouched by the hand of man.
Edmund Gilmore, the first owner of the property, at the age of 48 left Massachusetts on foot to walk the 600 miles to what is now Lorain with his son Aretus. Edmund Gilmore in 1811 purchased 1,000 acres of property in the new settlement.
Edmund Gilmore built a log cabin on his land upon arrival, and after a home was ready,
left his son Aretus in charge, returned to Chester, Mass for the rest of his family, returning with them by ox team in June 1812. They lived on this farm for the rest of their lives. Edmund built the first frame barn in Lorain County, Ohio Genealogy of the Lorain, Lorain County-Ohio, Branch of the Gilmour-Gilmore Family , New Hampshire Line. Compiled by Charles Hamel ( Revised 1954)
Imagine, as you enjoy the beautiful new Bath House, wander down to the lake to feast your eyes on a Lake Erie sunset, the probable first home of Edmund Gilmore to which he brought his wife Elizabeth in 1812
When the rough journey from the east was completed, the next thought was for providing a shelter. The log house, for so many years the only structure seen or attempted in pioneer settlements, has often been described.
In one recorded instance, the family dwelling contained one room eighteen feet square, with greased paper for windows, a door of split boards with strips across, and wooden hinges—not a nail in the whole building; a puncheon, or split-lot floor covered about one-half the ground included in the four walls, no upper floor, and no chimney, except a stone wall built up five feet to keep the fir from the logs.
The protection against intrusion from the outside world in one cabin is thus graphically pictured by the pen of one of its inmates: :
We hung up a quilt, and that, with a big bull-dog, constituted the door.
When the four walls of the home were up, the settler proceeded to “chink” the openings between the logs, using pieces of wood on the inside, and plastering them with mortar on the outside.
During the leisure of the evenings, the inner sides of the logs would be hewed smooth, and the bark removed from the joists above. Sometimes there was an upper loft, and even stairs leading to it, but usually a ladder was the means of communication. In rare cases a sleeping-room would be partitioned off on the ground floor, but generally the bed stood at one end of the sole room, concealed behind chintz curtains, which would often disappear as the question of clothing became more and more pressing. The bedstead was made of smooth, round poles, while elm bark served as cords. Seats, tables and shelves were made as time would allow, and according to the skill of the occupants; occasionally some of these articles had been saved from the breaking up of the old home in the east.
The domestic economy within this family temple was of the most primitive character. A Dutch oven, a couple of kettles and a spider were considered essentials, although many an outfit fell far short even of this idyl of completeness.
Judge Robert F. Paine, of Cleveland, once used these words in describing the home accommodations of his boyhood in Portage County: “We possessed few dishes of any kind. There was a man in Trumbull County who made them of wood, and his advent into the neighborhood would cause more excitement than the establishment of another national bank in Cleveland to-day.
We ate on what we called trenchers, a wooden affair in shape something like a plate. Our neighbors were in the same condition as we, using wooden plates, wooden bowls, wooden everything, and it was years before we could secure dishes harder than wood, and when we did they were made of yellow clay.”
Theodore Wolcott and Gad Hart spent the winter of 1806 in Farmington township. Desiring straw with which to fill their beds, they marched to Mesopotamia, five miles away, and as the woods were so dense that their bundles could not be carried through, they were compelled to travel out of their way a long distance, going along the Warren path to Grand River, and then coming back on the open highway afforded by the ice. The first bed on which Heman Ely, the founder of Elyria, slept, on his arrival in this section, was made of the cloth covering of the wagon in which he came, and filled with straw brought, with the greatest difficulty, from a barn located miles away. Cleveland Memory
to be continued
Muley is talking – a legend – The Legend of No. 3 http://muley.wordpress.com/2008/04/29/the-legend-of-number-3/
The world is but a canvas to the imagination. (Henry David Thoreau)
Last month, I was fortunate enough to be invited to talk to the gifted program for 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Irving Elementary School. I talked to them about writing as a way to kickstart their participation in the Young Authors program, wherein each of them would write and illustrate an original fiction or nonfiction book.
Then, last Monday, I visited again to help students who still needed to talk through their stories; the due date for the books was this past Friday.
I was impressed with the creativity that each of these students displayed, plus their willingness to go with the flow when a suggested revision could make their plot or characters or conflict stronger. As the best writing is generally created through rewriting, I have high hopes for these books – and for their authors.
I was also intrigued by the sense of humor shown in their stories. Humor isn’t easy to write, yet there were some lines in their books that made me laugh out loud.
Then, there are the high schools. I had the opportunity to talk to a group of Lorain Admiral King seniors last month and a similar sized group of Southview High School students this month. In these instances, I talked about what to do in high school – and post high school – if wanting to write as a career.
The high school programs were sponsored by the Lorain Rotary Club as part of their STRIVE initiative. STRIVE stands for “Students Taking Renewed Interest in the Value of Education.” I got some great questions from these students. I hope to someday see their bylines!
May, by the way, is the Creative Beginnings month. How are you going to celebrate?