Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King – Remembering YOU
“Oh! he was born somewhere over there”- this man of history , this man of “war” , this man of Lorain , Ernest J King- was the usual reply when asking where his birthplace was located in this old neighborhood.
Through the years there have been many articles written about his birthplace, his home on Hamilton St. ( Ave) , but like most of Lorain’s history for decades, the homes, people, places and buildings were left forgotten, tucked away in memories of some, word of mouth and archived ( thankfully) by the Black River Historical Society , Lorain Public Library and recently through bloggers like Dan Brady.
Dan sent me this PDF file
of an article in the Plain Dealer (King died June 25th 1956) and on June 26th 1956 ( 55 years ago)
Mayor John C Jaworski said today “the city should purchase the property [113 Hamilton Ave] and set up a memorial to Admiral King. The plan was discussed some years ago but nothing ever came of it.
A Plan Worthy of Admiral King
“WHO WAS ADMIRAL KING?”
That was the question of one listener during a group discussion of a recent suggestion that the house in which Admiral King was born in Lorain should be moved to Elyria and there enshrined. That idea was broached by Mayor Leonard Reichlin of Elyria.
Councilman Alex Olejko of Lorain added to the frivolity by stating that Lorain would be happy to turn that old house, and others, over to Elyria, including the Lorain City Hall building, which is itself an ancient residence.
It’s all in the spirit of good clean fun. But there is a serious note which is brought to the surface when a citizen innocently asks: “Who was Admiral King?”
Not enough has been done to preserve and to honor the name of this great naval leader who stood shoulder to shoulder with General Eisenhower in mapping and executing the military design of World War II. A local high school bears his name, it is true. But the recognition should be more widespread.
For the whole article see Dan’s Blog post
Lorain did name a high school after the late Admiral -one that has now had its name changed to Lorain High- as school buildings are chopped, changed and renamed. Lorain City Schools will be naming the new elementary school on the site of the old Lorain High Admiral Ernest J. King Elementary later this year.
The destroyer named after Admiral King in 1958 was decommissioned in 1994 and sold for scrap.
And although in March 2006 there were 15 unnamed ships and a letter writing campaign to “pepper the Navy office to name one of those ships” ( USS King Association)
” We plan to rally and do everything we can to help get another ship named after our Admiral King ” Lorain spokesperson Dear Schnurr said
“our English classes will be writing letters of support … members of our Junior ROTC program will be collecting petitions……..”
It looks like good intentions all around BUT…… it looked like nothing ever came to fruition. However, as humble as the tribute planned by CVSI and BRHS is in the great scheme of memorial , I am pleased to say PHASE ONE OF THE ADMIRAL KING PROJECT IS UP AND MOVING FORWARD
(AK Tribute drawings Gary Fischer Arkinetics)
The over view is landscaped as an anchor. The flag pole has been recycled thanks to Black River Historical Society and Frank Sipkovsky from the old American Ship yard ( where so many WW 2 ships were launched including the USS Lorain) – flags are being sought and a solar lighting kit purchased.
The hook of the landscaped anchor will be a large earthen mound ( landscaped with silver plantings at the center of which will be one of the anchors (on permanent loan ) Lorain City Schools from the previously named Admiral King High School.
Photo Lisa Miller
The bricks that will be surrounding the flag pole are also recycled from the old Lorain High ( now demolished) and from whence Ernest King graduated.
The historical marker, also recycled and courtesy of BRHS will be located next to a recycled bench. The tribute is directly across from the home where the Admiral was born and from the green space a beautiful view of Lorain’s lighthouse and the harbor entrance.
The project planned on my living room floor by phone , emails, one or two meetings and a great deal of co-operation between entities such as the City of Lorain , the utilities dept, the street dept, the Black River Historical Society and Lorain City Schools and those readers of the Morning Journal who have donated not only monies but information and labor in 6 short weeks we are “underway”
Photo Mark Teleha
Lorain’s maritime history is very important on more than one occasion she has been saved by her port. The Admiral King Tribute green space ( to be named later) is diagonally opposite Settlers’ Watch where tributes to Lorain’s maritime history and to another Lorain warrior ( Eric Barnes) stands testament to her sons and her history.
The tribute has apparently taken 70 years – should you wish to donate to the project Please make the check out to ‘Charleston Vllage Society’ 1127, West 4th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052 and mark AK Tribute on the memo portion. Thank you.