Archive for March, 2016

A Tall- tree- Tale ends- Lorain ( dudes)

the neighborhood  after tornado

the neighborhood after tornado

The Tornado of Lorain
http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/swio/pages/content/1924_tornado.htm
took down homes, and with it lives as well as beauty . The people living in Lorain in the early 1900’s cared- they cared about quality of life of beautification, they were proud of their homes , we don’t see a lot of that in Lorain’s old neighborhoods nowadays.
Admiral King Home back in the day-

Post Card Admiral King's home

Post Card Admiral King’s home


The Gillmore’s https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/general-gillmore-a-portrait-of-a-man-a-home-at-last/
at the end of my street, their home, now well over 100 years old , planted a tree . That particular tree grew through the decades, spared by the tornado, but age took its toll just as it does with all of us. The tree became a hazard and one day after a particularly bad storm in the early 2000 ‘s the tree fell across Oberlin avenue. Peggy Gillmore, was extremely upset about the loss of that tree planted by members of her family long passed.
403 Oberlinres
403 Oberlin
When the little park at the end of the street, now known as Veterans Park
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/
was cleaned after the tornado. The community planted trees to once again add ambiance and to honor those lives lost in the tornado.

On the right side of my property ( next door) to the west was a huge Maple tree- actually tied with iron rods at some time in its history)You can see it in the photo from the Lorain County Auditors site –
1131

I believe that tree must have been young at the time of the tornado. The circumference of the trunk took up over a third of the small back yard- 33 feet . The property to the east side of my own 33 foot lot stood another very large maple – not as big as the one to the west – but gigantic in its own way.

This tree was probably planted after the tornado or perhaps grew from one of the maple seeds. Nevertheless , I could literally see it up close and personal from my den window, as it stood no more than 8 foot away. There have been times as I have watched “life ” in that tree. It hid a lot of “less than pleasant” sights through the decades as the properties on that lot and the one next to it deteriorated.”

Finally , the very large “pre tornado” tree to the right gave up and split where the crown met the trunk – sent one third of its branches crashing down.

IMG_0105
This one “branch”- bigger than most trees- fell across our property and landing with a bang onto the house next door, which was luckily vacant and abandoned . The huge maple, on the lot to the east , just feet away from my home took the force and redirected the fallen limb away from my home leaving the tree damaged and lopsided.

treeres
That was January 2008falling-tree
11254th
A great deal has happened since then, not of all of it good. We put up with a lot of issues from the lot next door. The little historic house was killed by “pimping landlords” https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/for-rent-one-city-who-dictates-the-health-of-your-neighborhood/ who saw that little house as only a way to make money for the least possible outlay –
grass
and the tree from two doors down finished the job. The house, after a few years, was finally torn down. A sigh of relief , no more vagrants and critters of the 4 and two legged kind hiding out.

Then it began -the parking lot from hell- lack of respect for another’s property- dump trucks, overflow parking and then the shortcut route from the alley to 4th- a cut through for traffic.

red truick

11226061_10205137488018048_8352066394168332905_n

overflow
How many times did I watch the lot become a road way ( even as recently as last week) ? Luckily , the Maple tree, dangerous as it was, as it too suffered over the years, was large enough to stop two-way traffic and large vehicles from making it an even more convenient roadway.

That did mean however the reversing into the alley by the dump trucks etc. We would be woken by the sound of backing up construction vehicles – no bird song here. NOTE: it seems to me if you are running a business from a residence then you should have legal parking for your construction vehicles .This block is R 3.

Fortunately we were , at last , able to purchase the lot. This meant the tree which I had complained about to the powers that be and insurance company as a hazard had to come down.

Down it came yesterday to the delight of my two little boys( Lorain Dudes) – loving every minute of watching the cranes, the “axe men ” in real life and all that taking down that tree involved.
dudesres

two dudeslunch
The view from the window has changed – the Maple tree , by the very size of its trunk blocked a less than perfect view. I will have to do some creative landscaping so I see green once more and appease the birds and squirrels who are definitely NOT happy with the humans here on 4th!

I am extremely happy with the difficult job Tree Pro of Lorain ( 440-288-tree) did in taking down the tree. I would recommend them highly and you know readers coming from me that is not given lightly!
2016-03-29 16.04.14

treres

tree collage

March 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm 2 comments

General Gillmore- a Portrait of a Man- a home at last

General Gillmore portrait

General Gillmore portrait

Readers will remember the tale of my dilemma of the portrait of General Gillmore.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/general-quincy-a-gillmore-the-dining-room-dilemna/

The portrait, in my opinion, was obviously important and significant in the fact it seems to be a family piece of the General in his later years. Bearing in mind he passed away at the age of 63 in 1888 – I would say this photographic portrait was probably of the General in his 50’s. This portrait, in all likelihood is one of a kind or one of very few.

The wavy glass in the portrait is pre 1900 , this portrait could well be 130-140 years old. There is foxing and some condition issues with the photo itself . It had for many decades been in the sun and probably in an area of damp in Peggy Gillmore’s residence, which is over a century old home.

original photo  Gillmore House  403 Oberlin Ave.

original photo Gillmore House 403 Oberlin Ave.


Of course the first thought of the family was to donate such a proud piece of Lorain’s history to the now Lorain Historical Society- ( used to be the historical society known as Black River Historical Society) in Lorain where of course the Gillmores were one of this city’s founding families.
lorainhist http://www.lorainhistory.org/

However, Lorain Historical Society was less than enthusiastic and turned down the donation (sight unseen) . The family gave me the portrait and to the Charleston Village Society . Therefore, I approached and was approached by other historical societies and interested individuals as soon as the series of the General and his portrait hit the internet . A few out-of-state societies were very interested due to General Gillmore’s Civil War and engineering career which was of importance to so many
.

Elyria Historical Home  http://www.lchs.org/

Elyria Historical Home
http://www.lchs.org/

http://www.lchs.org/

I reached out to the Lorain COUNTY Historical Society in Elyria, the Elyria connection being General Gillmore was also of great importance to the County of Lorain, he went to school in Elyria and indeed it was his nephew Attorney Quincy Alanson Gilmore ( of Elyria) who owned the portrait in the first place- maybe through his father Edmund –

Attorney Quincy  Alanson Gillmore of Elyria

Attorney Quincy Alanson Gillmore of Elyria

“He was the son of Civil War General Quincy Adams Gillmore’s brother Edmund (named after his grandfather one of the founders of this settlement ( owning approximately 1,000 acres). This Edmund married Miss Adelaide E Gillmore daughter of Alanson(also a son of the original Edmund of Lakeview) and Evelyn ( Jones) Gillmore.
Edmund and Adelaide’s only child was Quincy “ALANSON” Gillmore , who ended up a prominent attorney in Elyria (Page 728- The History of Lorain County)-

Since Lorain itself was less than enthusiastic as to keeping the portrait and the documentation of events / clippings, the Executive Board of Charleston Village Society
http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/
and interested parties/members were asked to vote on the new home of the General’s portrait- 100% of those voting decided on the Lorain County Historical Society . It was felt they did not want to lose the portrait to an out-of-state historical society or to individuals but to keep the portrait locally .

On January 27th 2016 Charleston Village Society, to whom the portrait was donated by surviving family members, donated the Portrait of General Quincy A Gillmore to Lorain County Historical Society

Gillmoredonres

Also donated is an 1890 print of the Storming of Fort Wagner (note the mention of General Gillmore in the small type underneath the print). This print was also found in the items donated to CVSI. This event was part of the movie “Glory”

fort wagner print
1. We have also donated to your organization various photos from Peggy’s papers such as the “Genealogy of the Gillmore family” – the New Hampshire Line ending in 1954.
2. Various loose photos of the family the Gillmore farm in Massachusetts, the Gillmore home on Oberlin Ave and Washington Avenue and various correspondence
3. Folders of various family cuttings (some are repeats)
4. Commemorative Newspapers regarding the Civil War etc. (delicate condition)
5. Two maps depicting Lorain’s early days (in very poor and delicate condition)
6. A copy of the Lorain Centennial Program 1834-1934.
7. Two CD’s- one containing the posts written by Loraine Ritchey about the Gillmore family, the General and various posts on Peggy Gillmore. Also a CD with information on Geo. Wickens from a newspaper cutting found in the box from 1894. (The paper literally is in pieces) but scans are included in the posts in the CD. NOTE: Quincy Alanson Gillmore was Mayor Wickens attorney in the lawsuit.

NOTE: You can find the whole series of posts on the Gillmores linked in this post https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/ the family went on to be a very important part of not only Lorain’s history but that of a fledgling nation.

There were individuals who wanted us to remove the photo from the frame so that it could be scanned, however I felt, as did the Executive Board of Charleston Village Society , we could not take the responsibility or risk due to the unknown condition of the photo beneath the glass. That decision will be up to the Lorain County Historical Society

The portrait, has at last found a home as well as many interesting bits and pieces from Peggy Gillmore’s “scrapbook” of Lorain’s early history. The basket and storage bin that arrived to this old house contained a love of Lorain by one of her founding families .
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/history-mystery-lives-of-lorain-gillmore/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/ch-ch-ch-changes-herstory-lorain-history-part-2/

Some items are still being researched by two or three of our members, then they too will find an appropriate home!
basket
Items that have already been donated include :

The damaged Pulpit Bible (Lorain Tornado) was returned to Christian Temple Disciples of Christ. A photo of the 1914 Lorain High Graduating Class was given to the Lorain City Schools. A panoramic view of the building of Terminal Tower was given to Dennis Lamont of Lorain’s Historic Railways (Street Cars). The architectural plans of Mayor Braun’s home 5th and Oberlin were given to Gary Fischer a local architect who is one of Lorain’s “history” people. A pencil drawn map of the early Village of Charleston / Black River was framed and donated to the City of Lorain- Mayor’s Office.

Gilmore mapframed

The General has found his home – no longer the visitor to my home, having said that, I will always thank him for providing me the energy and desire to document his story and that of his family. I hope Peggy would have been pleased.

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

March 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm 2 comments

Windows on Lorain- The Neanderthals- a “tornado” history

before

Readers will remember that last August a cretin of caveman- like behavior decided to take out their anger against me and this blog by sneaking through the shrubbery in the dead of night and hurling a chunk of concrete through the leaded glass front living room windows and ripping down a “don spout”
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ode-to-a-downspout-named-don-lorain/
window
another view
2015-08-23 08.16.03

Such lack of intelligence knows no bounds.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/hurled-through-the-window-retribution-who-done-it-lorain/
Not only did they take out the front window but by venting their anger on the downspout left their calling card – in my opinion-

downspout two

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/outdoor-showrooms-lorain-by-don-the-downspout/
if I ever saw one , as to the sender of the concrete message !

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/the-case-of-the-curious-lorain-neanderthal/ However, no finger prints on the concrete so I am left to my own suppositions and opinions BUT
neanderthakl
This was not the end of the tale. After sweeping up the shattered leaded glass ( thankfully the lead in the windows had held the concrete’s forward force ) the glass shattered 20 feet into the dining room the repair had to be done . It could’ve been more dangerous with the flying glass, someone asleep in the chair – doesn’t bear thinking about – although in all honesty “thinking” wasn’t part of this particular crime .

Fast forward after the police had left ( along with my suppositions) and the installations of many cameras recording the comings and goings around the house, alley and property , it was time for the insurance.

The insurance company had no problem with gutter/downspout repair but did not have anyone listed who could fix 90-year-old windows. Eventually they came up with a list- none of whom were close to Lorain.

I contacted a craftsman in Hinckley Ohio –


Jim Ascherl,Ascherl Studios,1616 Center Rd. Hinckley Oh 44233 330-278-4964 shop 440-223-4111 cell


and the tale of 6 degrees of separation unfolded:
A tale of a tornado hitting Lorain in 1924- the rebuilding of a community and new housing . Yes back in 1926- this old house was brand new – as were her windows.

fronthouse

This was our “lot” the day after the tornado ,

mylotres

The lot was originally 66 ft wide with one house which was destroyed. History has it, a mother and daughter rebuilt two houses on the lot – sub dividing the lot to 33 ft each. The two homes have “all leaded glass windows ”
1131res

The time of rebuilding sent a young man to Lorain to repair the leaded and stained glass windows of the churches damaged by the tornado.
http://ascherlstudios.com/History.aspx

Michael Ascherl 1928

Michael Ascherl 1928

At age 13, Michael Ascherl began working as an apprentice glazier in southern Germany. At age 16, Michael obtained Journeyman status before confiding to his boss that he wanted to learn stained glass. His boss dismissed it stating, “You’re too old to learn a new trade.” A few months later, Michael quit and promptly obtained employment with a small stained glass studio, The J. Gross Company. Michael’s duties included walking from town to town in southern Germany repairing windows. The glass rack and tool box, called a “Kraxze,” that he carried on his back over 100 years ago is proudly displayed in our showroom.

Michael immigrated to New York in the early 1900s where he met his wife before moving to Cleveland Ohio. Michael Ascherl landed employment with a commercial glass company until 1924 when a devastating tornado wiped out the downtown area of nearby Lorain Ohio. Due to extensive damage to downtown churches, Michael’s employer immediately sent him to their Lorain Ohio branch where a stained glass division was hastily set up.

first congregational chuch

For four years Michael spent his days rebuilding all of the damaged windows in the downtown churches.

In 1928, the daunting task of repairing all of the local churches was nearing its end. Michael Ascherl decided that he needed to focus on starting his own studio. Briefly named Sunset Studio, Michael later changed the name to Ascherl Studios.

This young man was Jim’s grandfather( the very artisan I had called – not knowing the connection) for my repair ; the craftsman who also used his talents to make the windows in this old house.

I was fascinated to think 90 years ago Jim’s grandfather standing in the rooms of what is now my home crafting with care these special windows. It was these windows that reminded me of England and home when I first came here, the brick and leaded “dickens windows “, as my mother calls them, drew me to this house.

Jim duly arrived and the consensus was the windows were in all certainty the work of his grandfather!

photo Dan Brady

photo Dan Brady

Also Jim has been working on the stained glass windows damaged etc when the fire totaled First Lutheran Church on 6th Street, so he was familiar with this area . This fire has been ruled arson , another Neanderthal destroying something beautiful and reverent

http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2015/02/first-lutheran-church-directory-1966.html

A Tornado= a craftsman= leaded glass/stained glass windows= a grandson= a neighborhood church=and this old house and sometimes even destruction can bring about a good thing………

Tornado photos courtesy of Ohio Historical Society

http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/swio/pages/albums/1924_LorainTornado/1924_albumPage10.html

March 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm 5 comments

March 3rd – dilemma – Chris Ritchey

chriarms

The last couple of months have found me less than healthy, thanks to two little boys. Doesn’t matter how many times you wash your hands, hugs and kisses from the “carriers of cute” have now given me at least three different viruses.
cuteres

Just when you think you are turning the corner you are laid low by the next ” home from school dreaded lurgy”. It has not been pleasant .

Every racking cough reminds me of you, Chris – those nights in the guest room of your apartment when I could hear your terrible gutting coughs – your lungs trying to expel the cancer that had found its way in, to no avail. Each bout of coughing went through me like hot knives.

I will never forget those nights – you choking on your own body. I would lay there, wanting so badly to help , to get you a drink, anything to ease the torture to take care of my son, as best I could.

But, you had a wife in that room and I waited for the sounds of comfort for you- they never came . You would eventually get up go to the kitchen , or to the bathroom to get the medicine to help you sleep. I used to stay overnight because your appointments were early in the morning at the damned Cleveland Clinic – the place of numbers before names- the cattle call of cancer.

I knew it would only be a matter of time when I could bear it no longer and I would have to reach through those walls and take care of you, causing you even more distress from an interfering mother. It was so bad I couldn’t stay in that room doing nothing to help you . So rather than stay I would get up at 4 am at home and drive the 50 minutes to your apartment to go with you to the tests and appointments . It was easier than the alternative, which was so hard to bear.

It was very, very difficult for me knowing what to do when I was now the “mother- in-law” as well as the mother. In hindsight I would have ignored protocol and taken care of you as I should have done on those nights. You should’ve been my first consideration !
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/i-didnt-know-my-son-chris-ritchey/

I failed you more than once. Every time I have been hit with racking coughs these past weeks- it was you I thought of and your dying time – my heart and mind are still with you as well as my guilt. You are never far from me ………….

chrismeresglow1

March 2, 2016 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment


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