Captain Chronicles- Settlers’ Watch

October 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm 3 comments

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller

Every year we have faithfully maintained the carvings by cleaning, filling with special wood filling any problems and sealed them religiously . We always knew the 4 carvings on the tree lawn would have to be cut from their base after a few years.

Photo Mark Teleha

Photo Mark Teleha

You see they were cut from living trees, but the roots would eventually die and the carvings will have to be moved to a concrete base as well as off the tree lawn as the City of Lorain ordinance prohibits anything over a few inches to be placed on tree lawns.

Photo Mark Teleha

Photo Mark Teleha

We hope to be able to tackle that particular project in the spring of 2014.

The Ship Captain , had to be carved off site due to the fact the sewer project took a different turn back in 2007-8 and they bulldozed down the trees earmarked for the Captain and the Eagle.

We began the first carving to coincide with the Bicentennial celebration of Lorain August 2007 and were stopped dead in our tracks just weeks later. We didn’t get the site back until the spring of 2009

Photo Mark Teleha

Photo Mark Teleha


There in lies another “tale” however I am told I shocked the foreman when I arrived on scene as to my “usage of the English language” upon finding the trees in the process of going and gone.where the tree once was

what used to be a tree

I was definitely none too complimentary and any sailor would have been proud of my salty articulation! I managed to draw quite a crowd 🙂
meeting 1

The powers that be at the time , including the “sewer project people” got together and in the end CT Consultants paid for the wood for the carving of The Captain .The Captain was afloat again.

The Captain was ready for placement however, the site was still a construction zone so the Captain had to be stored off site. ( See delivery etc here )

Photo Mark Teleha

Photo Mark Teleha

Unfortunately , for some reason after delivery to the host site at Black River Landing he did not get his coat of preservatives. The concrete and fierce sun coming off the concrete caused an issue as he dried too quickly. We could not move him back to 2nd street as we were now dealing with the “finished” construction zone:
left collage

Eventually as volunteers and contributors came together the Captain was back where he belonged,

Photo Mark Teleha

Photo Mark Teleha

but he was very dry and whilst the other carvings took a gallon of sealer for all 4 he took 2 gallons by himself, he was soaking it up like a sponge. His other problem is he attracts seagulls – these seagulls have a tendency to sit on his hat and poop – that poop eats away at the sealer opening his wood up to the elements and bugs . He has changed over the 4 years he has been on site
Captain age col

Just as the site itself has changed in those 4 years

blooming SW

Once again this Pride Day 2013 , as the weather was favorable, to sealing and cleaning- we did. We noticed the Captain’s Wheel and hat were having some issues, so we pegged the loose stanchion and gave him extra sealer ( 2 coats this time) Unfortunately, just last week I noticed the stanchion on the ground -the wood had rotted, in fact his whole ship’s wheel, was hanging on by a thread he was sounding decidedly hollow. We checked the other carvings they seem to be fine except the root bases of the ones on the tree lawns which is to be expected.

After searching on the internet we found Paul of Conservepoxy spent a great deal of time with me on how the process works and what we need to do. Also Andy from Sherwin Williams came to the site and is also looking for ways to help us for which I am eternally grateful
Two little boys colla
Today, thanks to the quick delivery from Paul and Conservepoxy, we spent the morning at Settlers’ Watch giving the Captain injections , stabilizing him – with fingers crossed.

It was a busy day at the Watch, Frank Sipkovsky cleared, pruned, weeded, purchased coffee to toast the power towers coming down and helped me check for any problems on the other carvings . The other “boys” Ernie Ritchey, Don Fugitt operated on the Captain, while the Lorain Dudes and Braedyn planted spring bulbs in the “Children”s Garden” – (future home of the tree lawn lighthouse). Nikki ( their mum) helped them to plant the bulbs right side up and I just watched and worried distracted from my thoughts now and then by the towers being cut away…….



Entry filed under: Charleston Village, city of lorain, Lorain Dude, Lorain Port Authority. Tags: , , , , , , , .

(N)on Quixote- Tired of Tilting at Windmills The Legacy – Light Up Lorain- 1996 – ?????

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I have ordered him an extra extra large sou’wester hat to protect his head for the winter .it will hopefully look better than the plastic bag that was suggested – or maybe they were referring to me 🙂

  • 2. Renee Dore  |  October 16, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    What a transition over the years at this property!! I remember how it was in the early 1990’s and to see it now is amazing. I knew just how many people went by that area all year round and to see it from an eyesore to this!! What a bonus to the community and nature. Have a question-are the bulb planters have any spots on their schedule? Looks like they do great work.

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    well I did tell Gavin you deserve a dollar and he said no two:)

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