May 1, 2008 at 10:20 pm 14 comments

Blue  as I  can be
that woman by Loraine Ritchey

It always amazes me how little significance is given to this area’s history by the majority of residents that live here.

-Is it lack of ownership in a community, the fact the majority of us are all “foreigners” to this area- the “olde” families gone or their offspring unaware of their roots ?

-Is the fact that the majority of people are “passing through” or have only one or two generations in their Lorain County family- as we came for work in the steel plant , the shipyards and automotive plants and now our own offspring leaving this “dirty old town”?

-Is that why the culture and history of far away lands is celebrated and held in high esteem and yet the “home history” does not hold the same importance to this community, could it be because they feel closer to the history of eastern Europe, African Continent, Mexico, Ireland, the British Isles and Puerto Rico etc?

Yet the homes, buildings and resting places of the men and woman who carved out this land for our benefit , their history is tossed aside like so much trash after a festival.
Daniel  Baldwin As a “foreigner” to these shores, from a city and country that celebrates all of its history, I do not understand why the majority of Lorain city and county cannot see the romance, the adventures of her past- the debt owed by so many to so few – and why I, who have no historical stake in Lorain- can be charmed and excited by her tales and heroes. Maybe , because I live in the “olde town” look out at the very same homes and streets these pioneers walked and talked and planned for a future,- laid their loved ones to rest Wilford HouseWilford House Captain Wilford Home
Captain Male Home Home of Captain Male ( a founder of Lorain Public Library 6th Street ( see plaque at entrance to the Library ) Artist rendition Frances Cellozzi

– maybe their energy and commitment to this community somehow still lingers . I don’t know what it is -maybe I am just a tree hugging, crank and blowhard (mj editorial) . Well maybe I am!

We have all passed the red brick home on Broadway to get to 90,
Captain Flint home photo Diane Medina

We have driven past the gas stations, the junk cars, the McDonalds, the insurance office- maybe you glanced at the red brick house with the gingerbread trim as you stopped at the light – did you ever wonder why it was there, who built it – looked beneath its worn exterior and thought anything about the people who built this “home”. Did you care? Probably not -and now you will no longer be reminded because it is yesterdays news .

The news of yesteryear, the guts, determination and sheer will- their “bricks and mortar ” forgotten and gone – no longer significant are they- their names, lives and accomplishments – these people who were here BEFORE steel , who opened up the inland seas so a steel mill could exist, and from their hard work a very city and county was carved out of the wilderness.

Why is it their story, their legacy , their homes are so unworthy of our notice, why the lack of respect? Why are they not given their rightful place of recognition and honor in this city/ county built upon a maritime history ?

Personally, I find it incredible that a county and community with a mere couple of hundred years under its historical belt doesn’t embrace and care about what very little history they have. (Black River Bicentennial Logo – Chris Ritchey)

If it wasn’t for the few, The Black River Historical Society , Diane Medina and the citizens of the Lorain Lighthouse (among the front runners ) this town would be historically bankrupt. But now, another piece of this Port of Lorain legacy
Lorain Harbor 1894 – Click on photo to enlarge – Source
early shipbuilding
and a mere 33 years later thanks to ship builders and captains who pulled civilization and industry from the swamp and wilderness
Steel Lorain 1927 Source

has gone the way of the bulldozer.
Captain Samuel Flint Home Circa 1860 – Drawing 1879- History of Lorain County by Williams Brothers
Click on to enlarge

and now he and this home , like so many others in the community are gone and forgotten………
forgotten and gone Where once history stood – photo Henery Hawk
to be continued……..

Entry filed under: Brit take, commentary, history.

Henery is anticipating – anticipation Muley Doesn’t Forget- Kent State

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Reminders of our heritage « Buckeye RINO  |  May 2, 2008 at 12:49 am

    […] her own. She has taken an active interest in the Black River Historical Society for many years now. This article is the first installment of a message Loraine wants to share about what we are losing out on in the […]

  • 2. Diane Wargo Medina  |  May 2, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Very good article Loraine, it still makes me cry when I know the house is gone…Diane

  • 3. renee dore  |  May 2, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Loraine, this is so true! great article and am looking forward to the second part. Love the photos. I just passed by the emptly lot today- it creates an empty feeling because I knew it was a shipcaptain’s home from the 1870’s that was a possible County Landmark from a study in 1977. It’s articles like yours that will help spark interest, hopefully. Renee Dore

  • 4. Carolyn Sipkovsky  |  May 2, 2008 at 3:15 am

    This is a great but sad story. What can be done to convince the public of the importance of these historical buildings? I wish we could get some support from somewhere to start renovating Portside and the Broadway buildings before they face this same fate.

  • 5. Don Killinger  |  May 2, 2008 at 4:39 am

    I was in that house on the South Broadway that is now gone or razed. A friend of mine rented that home at one time. It is always a shame when a historical building is torn down in the name of progress. South Lorain lost an elementary school named Lincoln. Most people don’t even know it is gone. In fact you can’t even tell there was a building on that location of E. 31st and Vine Ave. Thank you Loraine, for reminding us that our past is important. There is great value in those landmarks.

  • 6. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 2, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Carolyn: I just don’t know it is about “connection” I don’t think the majority of this city / county are connected to Lorain’s past. ( before the steel mills and manufacturing ….they are more connected to the past of “mother countries” and “fatherlands” it seems. I just don’t know how to get people excited about Lorains hisotry and buildings….. Look what nearly happened to Veterans Park – even the Journal berated us for standing in the way –

    I feel so badly about that house – I drove by it and for the past three years I have thought as I have seen the “signs” ” this is going to be destroyed” and I did nothing ….

    Renee my fellow tree hugger and crank 🙂 if I could only give this community 1/10th of your committment and caring for Lorain’s past and present I wouldn’t have to write the articles

    Diane same goes for you .28 years of caring for the Charleston Pioneer Cemetery all the research and we are still battling TPTB I want to cry too

    Don yes I will have more to say about “progess” in part two.

  • 7. denise caruloff  |  May 2, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Great article Loraine,

    I know there are those who are very concerned about Lorain High being torn down…that would be a shame, as so many of our fathers and mothers went to school there.
    It is a historical Landmark in my opinion.
    My dad went to school there, and was pulled out to go to WWll,
    they promised him a dimploma but he never got it…but he did serve his country.

  • 8. Loraine Ritchey  |  May 2, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Infact Denise we learned through the Black River Bicentennial that the property upon which it stands was originally owned by the first freed slave to come to Lorain he owned quite a bit of property and was Darlene Brown ( who used to write for the Journal) great uncle and the information can be found here

  • 9. renee dore  |  May 4, 2008 at 5:16 am

    The strange thing is this: what stared happening for some of us a few years ago is that the articles seem to “find us”. One story led to another-then another. I didn’t know much of Lorain’s old nautical history-let alone the shipwreck tales until I reread some of them I had read before. I had read some things years ago but this time these stories just clicked -they had everything- adventure, success, romance- all the makings of a great historical past. And it was all right here- and still is—. Renee

  • 10. renee dore  |  May 4, 2008 at 5:17 am

    excuse the typos please. Renee

  • […] Loraine Ritchey has something to say about preservation. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Editorial from the Toledo Blade…please read this.Brother, can you spare a dollar? Posted in State Politics. Tags: State Politics. […]

  • 12. Dave Cotton  |  May 5, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    An actress currently involved at Workshop Players informed me that her parents had made their first home in that old red brick house. Their wedding home…
    Then I learned that the founder of Workshop Players had an aunt who had also lived in that brick house even longer ago…
    I shared these stories with Renee and she remarked that it was like the house was having it’s wake as folks remembered the house fondly. Add Mr Killinger’s story to that wake.
    I too find it so sad to see that empty lot. It’s like a missing tooth.
    Thanks, Loraine, for continually trying to awake our citizens to their history.

  • 13. Col. Matthew Nahorn  |  May 12, 2008 at 1:39 am

    It is good that we have a “file” of information concerning this house being put together on these blogs. Unfortunately, the house is gone, but I am glad that we are at least recognizing it and doing some research to “get the story out.” Thank you to Loraine Ritchey for her dedication to our local history.

  • 14. Indian Ridge Museum « That Woman’s Weblog  |  May 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    […] the Forgotten Now Gone series found here and here I was put in touch with Col. Matt Nahorn of the Indian Ridge Museum. Parts of Captain […]

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May 2008

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