Archive for October 18, 2010

History Mystery- one man’s tourism anothers flower bed

The original Civil War Soldier and fountain- Veteran’s Park
I find it a bit of a mystery as to the reasoning for neglecting one’s history .
The Tear Down
Granted here in the USA the history is fairly new as opposed to Britain, but if you take Britain for instance their history is fairly new as compared to the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians etc.
The Flower Bed– (which also didn’t last long………..)

Someone in their infinite wisdom decided to preserve, back in the day, the homes, buildings and yes, castles and even the ruins that make up British history.

In fact in Germany they went even further they rebuilt history. On that terrible trip up the Rhine it was disclosed the centuries old castles were actually rehabs of only about 150 years old

So there was not only a patriotic spirit, but also an economic incentive, behind the “reinterpreting” of castles in a romantic style. A few short decades later, Walt Disney made the fairy-tale castle his trademark, and (“authentic” or not) the rest is history.

What travelers see today is a muddle of Middle-Age bunker-mentality and 150-year-old romantic renovation, which also happens to be real.

WHY – money and tourism definitely came into play and thanks to the English heritage sites in Britain well those old “buildings ” are also doing their part for the economy

English heritage sites ‘thriving’

Pumping money into the historic environment of an area, such as public squares or old markets, can generate an extra £1.60 for every £1 invested locally, the report said.
It said investments over five years in 72 historic visitor attractions created 3,600 jobs and safeguarded 6,900 more, with each site generating almost £3m of additional expenditure.

The survey also found more than half of all foreign tourists visit a built heritage site during their trip, and a third say the attractions are the main reason for coming to the UK.

In total, 24.8 million adults visited two sites in England last year – up by more than a million in 2008.

I wonder how many of them are from Ohio? American tourists really love history as evidenced by the bus loads of them everywhere in Europe on any given day.

Photo Mark Teleha- For more of Mark’s photos of Washington DC
click here

Why do people go to Washington DC – certainly NOT to see the politicians me- thinks? No, it is the architecture and the events that formed a nation -its history- Gettysburg, Williamsburg etc- they come to see and touch and hear the stories.

But here in Lorain , there are just a small group of people trying their utmost to keep alive Lorain’s history.

I remember the first week I was here in Lorain, I had to go to city hall for some reason, we were living in a newly built apartment on the lake ( which has now become ……well………. not a place I would now choose to live). ( past its sell-by date)

As I passed the derelict hotel ( Antlers ) I saw this lovely little white cottage clapboard house, it was charming and I instantly fell in love.

Sketch by 11 year old G. Wickens ( Charleston Village) 1891I asked around and found out the land belonged to the city , now being young and romantic I thought

I could live in that house, it just needs work

I called the city and asked about the little house and would they be willing to sell it?


came the reply, this in a time when you could buy a decent house on the lake for much much less than $90,000.

A few weeks later the house was demolished. I have found out since it was one of the original Gilmore homes of the founding fathers of this community. And yes, it turned into a parking lot!

Thanks to “history boneheads” ( as coined by John Cole in an editorial when a group of us were trying to save Lorain 200-year-old public green space( known now as Veterans Park) ) I have found so many interesting places and stories of the history of this old town Lorain.

But they are disappearing faster than their worth is uncovered.

Why do people who will travel to Europe and DC not care their history is just as appealing.

Ironically listening to the discussion re building the new school at site three the “life expectancy of the new building is 75 years. “ The sell -by date already factored into the deal- worthless after 75 years.

I wonder if the builders of the past factored in a sell- by date when they built their schools. buildings were meant to last- to be there for generations- a monument to the skill of the architects, builders, homes meant to last for hundreds of years. Now we have the fast food of bricks and mortar ( mortar the MORT seems built-in doesn’t it?)
A neighborhood school in my old neighborhood ( one of which you may have heard Harrow – 1572) I wonder what date they factored in for its sell- by date? I don’t think it crossed their minds.

I have mentioned on more than one occasion the house of Captain Wilford, his story and that of his wife, Fanny and her relatives is fascinating. Michigan thinks so too, but his lovely home , now for sale and divided into apartments will probably go the way of his wife’s grandparents, that little white cottage clapboard house I so fell in love with.

And what of the house next door – Capt Gilmore’s house also landmarked- will it see its worth preserved?

How many other significantly “his/hers story” places and homes will never be available to future generation here in Lorain? Will Lorain’s history be nothing more than a few photographs on a computer disc stored in a building that has a “sell- by date” built in !

Capt. Flints house _ Gone-

Photo Mark Teleha
Indian Ridge Museum
I would put the adventure, the trials and tribulation, the stories of this area’s pioneers, and worthiness of the citizens of this community up against any , anywhere but why I am just one of the few who thinks so ( including government agencies, from the local to the state to the national level) is a mystery to me.

To those that have stayed the course for Lorain such as the – Black River Historical Society– Moore House Museum , Indian Ridge Museum and all their “volunteers” etc.

Thank you –

October 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm 22 comments



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October 2010