Posts filed under ‘Charleston Village’

Money where your mouth Is – Part 7


Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/june-3rd-your-truth-chris-ritchey
Part Two- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-the-process-part-two/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-3/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-4/
Part Five – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-5/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-six/

It was just over a  year ago when we were working to create a garden from the muck  and mire   lot next door. We could have just  taken down the large dangerous tree and mowed grass.

However, for many years I had had to block views from that lot- when it held one of the “rentals” of Lorain and finally the vacant lot of “long grass and critters – of both two legged and 4 legged kind.
Apart from the fact, I had made promises to the City of Lorain ,   we would make the lot desirable and would enhance the ambiance, stop the 4th street cut though from the alley and parking of marine and construction vehicles and accumulate trash, I needed to be able to find at least a little joy in looking out of my windows. I no longer wanted to shudder at the construction parking lot and marinas we had put up with for many months, the  tenants from hell in the little brown house as it slowly deteriorated. I wanted a little peace and not angst . Part 1 through 6 will tell you of that journey.

We were almost finished with the hardscape and clearing of  lower lot in July of last year (2016)when illness struck and the 2nd phase of the lot behind the fence had to take a step back.
Lower front 2016

and then same time  2017

The illness held up Phase 2 for at least two months. There we were with dump trucks full of in fill dirt needing to be moved and levelled, 9 trees- fruit and evergreen -to be planted and Lilly pond to be dug. What a mess we were in.

Also when we took down that very large tree so close to our house we realized that side of the house needed to be painted ( well Klinar of the Building Dept. didn’t have to tell me that I could see it.) This meant more expense as the whole house need to be painted.

I can’t say I didn’t have two willing helpers whilst their “Poo Bah” was in hospital – they worked that dirt….


They more than made up for the weed letter from the City of Lorain and Building Dept. complained to by the “King of Construstruction” ( which of course turned out to be Swiss Chard, Morning Glories and Mint on my property poking through the fence in the alley .


https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/
One thing leads to another, apart from educating the city inspectors as to what is a weed and what is food we then had to stop  put screening around the chain link fence to contain the garden and plant tall “ornamental grasses “ to stop prying “alley commandos” from their vigilante inspection process”
The offending weeds ( spot the weeds in the fence ??)
and the same view after the screen of prying eyes fame

More expense and time and effort.

October 2016 found things getting better and the garden crew ( Gavin and Braedyn) were busy digging and the fruit trees were planted along with the layout for the “Lilly ponds”. The snows stopped work, but Spring found the need to put in a gravel parking spot and gravel along the alley – yet more money – but the fruit trees started to blossom, the Lilly ponds and dry stream bed feature brought flowers and smiles from behind the fence

Lilly pond and dry stream bed
Spring/Summer was busy this year peach blossoms in the mini orchard turned to peaches, apples, plums and cherries blossomed but another year is needed.

Scarecrows to guard the crops.
and planting to be done , ponds to be filled


Slowly the grass came in enough on the back lot-

then came the weed whacking and tidying

Sunflowers bloomed and sheds for tools put together

 and the corn grew,

Lily pads and still ponds thrived the sunlight

Roses Lilacs and rhubarb…

And a Scotch Broom sweeps clean 😉

So here we are 18 months later $20,000 dollars poorer – this put up a fence and a mini orchard and just mow turned into something much , much more than envisioned.  I am more relaxed and happy as I look out of the windows although the project that nearly killed the gardener…

but we have kept our word to the city administration and to ourselves remained true.

After Phase One we sent an update  of the front lot project to  the City  Of Lorain- we had used 6 local businesses, 10 ( men employed by  contractors) and spent $11,045.50

Phase Two  , we used  5 local businesses , materials, labor  etc came to  another $8,935.00 and still climbing ….

 The collage: Today Oct 2017:

 

Before

 

Soon the snow will fly  and next spring , hopefully all being well, tweeking will be done  and the gardens will continue to “bear fruit”.  Some have mentioned we were stupid to  put that amount of money  into  an empty  lot in “Low rain”  but this is our neighborhood, our home . We certainly  can’t make a difference on other neighboring streets, or  the “downtown” but we could make a difference on this old block, give the school kids and teachers a better view , show a little pride  and  put our money  where my  mouth is ! After all I  can’t criticize unless I am prepared to  do  my  bit to  beautify  this old neighborhood.

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October 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm 2 comments

Many faces of The Captain- Settlers’ Watch- Lorain 2017

Photo Mark Teleha

As I started to write this post with regard to the tree carvings at Settlers’ Watch and their journey
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/settlers-watch-an-overview/
( yes you will see they have travelled over time) I realized we were coming up on the 10th anniversary of the first carvings. Time, bugs, road salt and weather have taken their toll.

But it is “The Captain” who has changed and was on life support for a year or more. We spent hundreds in chemicals and treatments and this is his story.

Born 2007 The Captain had a rough birth- CVSI had raised money to carve some of trees taken down by Ohio Edison – 19 of them along 2nd street making the street uglier and without any softness or much worth .

We had just started the carving – first up Lorain Portside Sign to coincide with the Lorain Bicentennial August 2007
https://www.flickr.com/photos/12219598@N06/

when a change in the plan for the new sewers blindsided us. Originally these were going to bypass the area BUT as with all things plans change and trees marked for carving were taken down ( without warning) and piles of materials were stored on the site. We had already taken donations and the carvings were contracted.

This meant since they chopped down his tree and the one destined to be Eric Barnes Eagle we had to purchase other pieces of wood to be carved into the Captain and Eric Barnes Eagle off site.
The eagle when finished was safely stored at inside at the City of Lorain but the Captain went to Black River Landing.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/the-captain-arrives-and-the-eagle-landed/

He was supposed to be sealed and not stored on concrete due to the heat coming up from the concrete and in direct sunlight- this didn’t happen . Unfortunately, in the ensuing months of not being maintained , the toll taken by summer and winter the Captain started with issues.

2007-2008

Photo Mark Teleha


When we finally brought him back to the site 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 but he and the other carvings finally had a home

Photo Mark Teleha

There he stood spring , summer , fall and winter for the next 4 years

Lorain365

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 .In 4 years he went from this to this

And his issues continued:

It was one day (during Pride Day 3 years ago) as we went to give him a coat of sealer we noticed what looked like a bullet hole in his back. No! not a bullet hole BUT wood wasps had made their homes in him, and the Heron and Lighthouse.

The Heron and Lighthouse were a quick fix but the Captain had a attracted seagulls who delighted in sitting on his hat . Their guano had eaten through the sealer and the wood on the top of his head leaving a huge hole in his head – just brilliant for collecting water. .

Research was started as how to preserve him and his crumbling insides- Many hundreds of dollars later we tried with preservatives , bug deterrents – drilling holes in him filling him with the wood chemicals, stabilizing wood pieces and plugging him up. We reached out to professionals all over the country. We added a hat over his carved head until we could deal with the damage and the seagulls. We had to leave his head open to access his insides.

Photo Lorain 365

Try as we might, his rotted insides didn’t react well and the chemicals actually reacted with the sealer and the Captain turned a dark mahogany.

He was literally flaking to death – his ship’s wheel would find the stanchions falling to the ground, his arms where the wasps and insects had done the most damage were hollow and flaking off, shedding with every week. It looked like curtains for the Captain. Obviously none of the “professional fixes ” were working we had to stabilize him whilst we experimented – otherwise the Captain was sunk.

His hat was retied onto his head ,back to front to protect his face , his cracks and holes filled with a special wood compound but

would it harden- would it stay- could we carve it -like the can said?

We worked on the top of his arms and shoulders , replaced the wheel stanchions . covered his top half with a black bag to keep out the water and painted his lower half with a white preservative- and there he sat for most of last summer, fall and winter.

Photo Lorain 365

The unveiling was done with much trepidation this June

The test areas seemed to be holding so the next step filling the insides- no more bugs but cavities were still a huge problem, experiments with special insulation foam and various fill products seemed to work- he was less hollow and stable. Where the foam etc leaked out we could carve it and it held the wood product alright and so we left him without his black bag and the water was shedding off him .

So there we were – what next? Obviously we couldn’t leave him looking like he was and we could no longer seal it with the varnish- The men in the know-( his surgeons) decided house paint.. but that would look awful I thought but something has to be done to cover and seal the patches etc. House paint it was – Tudor Brown ( can you guess where that came from)- well it looks good on my house) – the problem was he looked flat and semi glossed… a bit softening and highlighting, the Captains face changed again –

He is a little grayer ( more like driftwood than mahogany this time around) – but then who wouldn’t be grayer after all he has been through- I know I am! Fingers crossed and if you would like to donate to the Captain’s Hat
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/passing-the-captains-hat-2015-update/

If you can see your way to helping to fill the Captains Hat – 100% percent of your donation goes to the project. We are a 501C3
Make checks payable to Charleston Village Society- ( Captain’s Hat in the memo line)
1127 West 4th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052

There is still work to do at the very base and if this fix holds then hopefully he will remain at his helm for a few more years …Oh and his hat was put back on just incase a seagull alights!!!

July 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

Tale of two – The cost – Part one




Part One– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/a-tale-of-two-city-houses-downing-of-quality/
Part Two– https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/a-tale-of-two-continued-lorains-cast-offs/
Part Three – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/a-tale-of-two-a-tale-of-woe-lorain/
Part Four- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/a-tale-of-two-the-who-the-how-why/
Part Five- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/the-tale-of-two-the-how-supporting-cast/
Part Six- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/a-tale-of-two-the-why-land-of-iz-not-woz/
Part Seven- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/a-tale-of-two-do-nowt-get-nowt-lorain/

If nothing else the previous 7 posts in the series has confirmed there has been an ongoing problem for 12 years ( or more) the houses and their ONGOING problems may have gone through 3 administrations heaven knows how many different councils and council members but with ONE Building Dept and the way of non accountability. The only people cited who follow through seem to be the already law abiding property owners, the rest seem to “play the property / enforcement game – IN MY OPINION- based on the research over the years.

There is a cost to all this diseased, decrepit, dilapidated housing and in 2005 – 3 years before the sub-prime mortgage debacle The National Vacant Properties Campaign with the support of the Environmental Protection Agency came up with a 24 page report – 12 years ago just about the time our city was starting to go belly up…
https://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/true-costs.pdf
the above report is really worth the read and government with Community Development and Building and Planning surely should have accessed the report


If you ask any Lorainite in the year 2017 they will say this photo from the 2005 report is a familiar site , especially in the 44052 44055 where our poster child houses are located

2005

Cities must address the increasing number of vacant properties, not only because of the negative impact they have on the surrounding community, but because of the numerous costs they impose. They strain the resources of local police, fire, building, and health departments, depreciate property values, reduce property tax revenue, attract crime, and degrade the quality of life of remaining residents. In summary, vacant and abandoned properties “act as a significant fiscal drain on already strapped municipalities, requiring disproportionate municipal resources, while providing little or no tax revenue to municipal coffers.”

As the years passed and we continued our downward slide and lack of enforcement there were other reports written.
http://www.cleveland.com/cleveland-heights/index.ssf/2015/08/abandoned_homes_affect_communi.html
http://www.cleveland.com/rocky-river/index.ssf/2015/08/rocky_river_westlake_hide_vaca.html
Then we get to the 2017 White paper on Blight another must read

For a single home, one can attempt to calculate these costs.
Using the following conservative assumptions the foreclosure of a home will cause a loss of value of at least $130,000 as a result of the following:
1. The home if owner-occupied would be worth $200,000, which is just under the national mediansales price of $235,000. The loss of value to the
home itself is 38 percent, the amount expected by buyers and in the midpoint of the range ofestimates. This is a loss of value of $76,000.

2. Assuming 21 houses within 500 feet. This is
a conservative assumption based on houses that are roughly one-fourth of an acre that have100x100 foot square plots. Thus, there are five
houses on both sides of the affected property as well as another 11 across the street. This number could be substantially higher in urban settings
(condominiums or row houses) and also lower for rural settings or areas where there are not uniform plots or housing on both sides of the street. Each
of these houses experiences a 1 percent decline in home value. For the $200,000 home, that is $2,000. That is a loss of value of $42,000.

3. There are another 12 houses beyond 500 feetbut that are still affected. Recall some studies used the one-eighth of a mile (660 feet) while others showed effects all the way out to 1,000 feet and even further in some to half a mile. For this estimate we are assuming an impact of another 300 feet in all directions, which is conservative given other findings. These impacted houses have a 0.5 percent decline in value, or $1,000. That is a
loss of value of an additional $12,000.

For those who find the methodology of studies that find losses of
2 percent in value of neighboring properties closer and 1 percent
of those farther away more compelling, then the total losses
jump to $184,000. In this scenario the property loss suffered by
neighbors is actually greater than that suffered by the foreclosed
home itself!

http://www.communityblightsolutions.com/files/CBS_White_Paper_2017.pdf
And the latest complaint in Lorain is 330 W 9th Street.
This too was a Fannie Mae dump selling in 2010 for $44,000.00 and dumped by Fannie Mae to a Bayvillage resident just 7 months later for $13,500. and there you have it proof once again the system sucks!!!!

The typical foreclosed home imposes costs of more than $170,000. Approximately $85,000 of this total is directly attributable to a property being vacant and the condition in which that vacant house is kept.
 Over half the total cost of a foreclosure’s impact on neighboring properties comes from the fact that the property is abandoned.
 Foreclosures that involve vacant properties lead to increases in violent crime.  The impact of vacancy on crime increases as the property stays vacant for longer periods, likely plateauing at between 12 and 18 months.
 Vacant buildings are major fire hazards; vacant residential buildings account for one of every 14 residential building fires in America.

Yes there is a municipal cost, a cost to property worth for the surrounding houses BUT there is also a cost I will explore in the next post to the taxpayer of Lorain for the system that enables this system- salaries, vehicles, law courts………. coming up in part two of the broken system. We can’t say we weren’t warned of course we also paid in our taxes for the costs of the reports, whitepapers and studies………..

To be continued …………….

June 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

Memory Lane – The Ladies who lunched and accomplished


I received a phone call yesterday from Barbara MacGregor and memories of good times in Lorain surfaced. I wrote about some of them in this post

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/ladies-of-lorain/

I was in my very early twenties when I first arrived, a Mrs. Osmundson of the “Lorain Chapter of the Welcome Wagon” knocked on our apartment door and there followed the introduction to the Ladies of Lorain.

These ladies , some of whom have passed away , then introduced me to the “volunteer aspect” that was and is Lorain. The ladies that saved the Palace Theatre, built Lorain Community Hospital, literally ran the entertainment for Lorain International , planned the ” Hospital Follies” and fundraisers, celebrated the “anniversaries” and gently bullied administrations, newspapers and public servants to join in and refused to take No for an answer . They organized their projects and committees with a battle plan and strategy that would have made any General proud.

Ruth Calta, Jean Schaeffer, Marylou Connone, Lori Hoke, Barbara MacGregor, Corky Bruck, Charlotte Zakowski, Jane Baran, Jane Norton, Lou Kepler, Alice Weston, Phyllis Pfaff, Sally Bobel , Lilly Yuzon, Sally DeLuca , Mirium Schneider , Jean Anne King , Lee Mattei, Darlene Brown , Mrs. Robert Bostwick, Mrs. Dave Herzer , Carol Kramer, Frances Cellozzi, Marie Bonaminio,

and so many others whose names have faded with my memory . Some of these ladies are still volunteering and making a difference in Lorain everyday.

Barb had called to tell me of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Palace Theatre and of burning the mortgage
http://lorainpalace.org/theater/

“December 10, 1977 was a landmark date. On the stage of the theater that night following a Christmas musical program, the mortgage was burned ceremoniously, thanks to the generosity of many groups and individuals.”

Oh those were the days before the mortgage could be burned though fundraising took place at 319 Broadway ( the annex)

” Forty civic groups participated in this week long street fair, Stores soon to be torn down were converted as if by magic into an old fashioned ice cream parlor, a “Second-Hand Rose” shop, a casino, a book and plant store, an open air barbecue, international shops, etc. The Saturday night “Great Gatsby Party” at the Palace climaxed the week’s activities.

Civic Center Madness – Oh and it was, the ladies served lunches , painted poppies on pianos, sold artifacts-


I still have a little chair -was left after one auction in a terrible state – it was headed for the dumpster when Ruth Calta decided I should buy it for a dollar – and you didn’t say no! – rehabbed and upholstered is still with us – a memory of can do!

I was just a young newly married transplant when Jean Schaeffer decided I needed to be introduced.

There was so much joy- energy – a pushing ahead through problems- these were the “can do ladies” and they did and they pulled each volunteer along with them in their net of enthusiasm. These ladies who saved a theatre and built a hospital. The Great Gatsby Party – what great fun – The Palace Players and Henry 8th night- not to be forgotten-

Cover Arcade MJ

As Barb and I talked, I remembered a time of energy and of loss of those ladies no longer with us- 40 years of life tends to do that. Still the Palace is there a testament to perseverance and pride- still needed in this old town.

April 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm 3 comments

Lorain Dudes- Maintenance-The Watch- The Walk -The Site

February– who knew there would be a window of weather where those who volunteer for the areas known as “Settlers’ Watch”,

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller


Admiral King Tribute Site
AK 2 without tower
PHOTO Lisa Miller
Photo - Lisa Miller

Photo – Lisa Miller

Eric Barnes Heroes Walk

could get out in the sunshine and do some maintenance.

This is a very large area- Three completely different “honorings” of Lorain’s heroes – military, pioneers and her history. It takes a great deal of work to maintain and if I am honest more than I thought it would take.

It is something the powers that be should remember when the come up with grandiose ideas of – this and that locally- all well and good to have the grand openings etc BUT maintenance is the key to all things – from streetscapes, potted palms, to housing and buildings.

If you haven’t walked the walk ( in more ways than one) you will see over the past few years there have been, so many rose beds, perennial flowers, shrubs, trees, and secret gardens added
allyssas-rose
May and June literally burst forth with fragrance and color. However, it takes a huge amount of love and effort to keep this area in the “oldest neighborhood” ticking over. shed collage
The additions , the repurposed the plants and trees donated
beckers

ALL take maintenance, talk and more talk and meeting just doesn’t cut it. The little lighthouse shed lost some shingles over the winds in January. The flags put out to honor were looking forlorn . Seeing a break in the weather the littlest volunteers ( who take this job very seriously) and old ( er) granddads took on a task .
2ladres

chanflagresThe morning’s work went well , although I did mention to Gavin he didn’t have to say the pledge of allegiance for every flag he took out and replaced. (PHOTOS Lisa Miller)

Braedyn took his “military policing” of trash pick just as seriously
braelit
And after all was done a sit down to reflect the job ahead this spring and summer-

whose truck is that anyway????

btruck
Meanwhile Gavin decided to check the work of the “big boys” – seems it passed muster.

gavroofPHOTO- Lisa Miller
At the end of a couple of hours the policing of the areas, the flags changed out and a seagull back on its perch.

seagullres

There is a great deal to do everyday when the weather gets warm- Will you consider spending a day “honoring” – weeding , raking ? CVSI is always looking to add to our volunteers to walk the walk not just talk the talk………

Call 440-246-6046 or Email cvsilor@yahoo.com http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

To be continued……….

February 26, 2017 at 4:05 pm 1 comment

Lorain -History Mystery- In conclusion – Clara

212-w18thres

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-2/

Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt3/

Part Four https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-part-4/

Part Five https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-5/

Part Six https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-part-6/

Part Seven https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-7/
Part Eight https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-8/
ED NOTE Please click on any of the photos to enlarge
main-beam
The consensus of opinion is the pages found tucked away on top of the beam in the basement of 212 W. 18th Street are in all likelihood the writings pertaining to a “novel” or story. Clara, a character in a writer’s fertile imagination. The research turned up similarities of place names but nothing that could be traced either in Lorain or in Oklahoma. Just the intriguing Lorain Lumber letter head
lorain-lumberres
However, we were able to track the history of the home – and the family that probably built it “The Greggs”. Renee Dore and I were fortunate to have spent a lovely afternoon on Thursday with Mrs. Margaret Gregg. This gracious lady allowed us to look through family photos and documents to see if we could unravel just who may have been the author of the pages.

Frederick S. Lamb's painting of William Penn at the Brooklyn Museum

Frederick S. Lamb’s painting of William Penn at the Brooklyn Museum

The Gregg family has a long history in these United States, one of the documents from the Gregg family was a completed family tree from the 1930’s. The family traced its roots from Ireland and eventually to arriving in the “colonies” along with the group accompanying William Penn. http://www.ushistory.org/penn/bio.htm

A quick search found
Thomas Coulson Gregg born in 1794 and deceased in 1878 in Belleville Ohio –
His son William Alan Gregg born 1823 -1873 also from Belleville
However it was his son Emmett Gregg who was born in 1860 in Belleville but eventually found his way to Lorain where he passed in 1938.

emmettbw

Emmett Gregg married Barbara (Reiff) Gregg 1857-1937from Maytown Pennsylvania
barbres

Photos scanned from the original tintypes
Why Emmett and Barbara ended up in Lorain is anyone’s guess but more than likely came for employment.

What is known is that the Sanborn Fire Maps for 1900 show what is now 212 W 18th as being 314 Forest and the dwelling footprint was very different on the 1900 Sanborn Fire Map
314forest1900

but that can be explained, as in amongst the Gregg family photos was a photo ( enhanced) of the Greggs home a small cottage – written on the reverse.
gregg-cottageres

Was this the dwelling shown in 1900 Sandborn Fire Map? When we spoke to Margaret Gregg she remembers the home was added onto ( or possibly rebuilt??) early on .
In June 1905 according the Sanborn maps more changes had been made – it looks like the garage ( outbuilding) had been added.
1905 Sandborn Map
1905-314res
What we do know is that by 1910 the footprint had changed again
1910 Sandborn Map
212-18th1910
The 1918 Sandborn Fire Map and 1926 through 1940 see minor changes
1918-res
1926res
1912 Tax Map for the city we have Emmett and Barbara Gregg listed as the owners of the property.

1912-tax-mapres
Emmett and Barbara had a son George in 1882 he passed in 1947
hsgeorgeres

George married Cora (Dyce) who was from Florida –

Cora followed her husband George back to Lorain and back to 212 18th Street. Cora was exquisite- the head and shoulders shot ( complete with Marcel Wave hairstyle) from the family album shows such. Unfortunately, we were scared to remove the photo from its folder due to the condition of the album fearing we might do damage . We do have a picture of her with her young son Donald ( Margaret’s eventual husband ) in 1932/3
cora-donald-1932

George and Cora ( thanks to the research by Rick Kurish) listed themselves in the 1930 census as to their occupation as Lecturer in a Traveling Show.
Audience photo source River Time Players
1920_audience
http://www.rivertimeplayers.org/tent/tentshow.asp

These shows were extremely successful in the US and elsewhere .George and Cora it seems were quite the artistic couple – a life of audiences and stories . George seen here posing was quite the “dapper” gentleman georgeres

The vocation of George and Clara also is confirmed by family history. George and Cora were heavily involved with the Circus and Traveling shows of the 20’s and thirties . Margaret told us that Cora would love to tell how she had visited all 48 states and the provinces in Canada.

Don’t I wish I could talk to Cora of those days?

However, back to the pages and the mystery as to the author. Margaret, Cora’s daughter -in- law, doesn’t remember anyone ever mentioning anything like the story or writing .

Renee and I sat on the couch and poured over old writings, photos and family papers hoping to find a similarity in the penmanship.
Cora’s hand was very different to the hand that wrote the pages. Just when we felt all was lost we came across another picture of Cora – The Florida girl and the snow circa 1927
cora-snowres

It was with a great deal of excitement we found written on the back of the photo

“It took as great deal of coaxing to get the Florida Girl to sit right down in the snow for this picture but she did”

writingres
And there is was the same handwriting as the pages, comparing the style of the words to those of the delicate pages, the “d’s” the a’s the I”s the B’s the “she” and the girl with the capital G- there was no doubt the writer of the pages was the same person as the writer on the back of the photo.

The conclusion was reached by myself, Mrs. Margaret Gregg and Renee, after comparing writing styles , the writer was not Cora but Barbara Gregg. Cora’s mother – in- law.

clara-let-5col
Barbara Gregg passed away in 1937 – was that the reason we will never know who murdered Bob Sandford? What was the rest of Rose Flemming’s story? Who was Clara and what was her mother’s secret? . Why were the pages tucked away all those years ago? We will never know unless somewhere in that old house there are other pages.

Barbara Gregg’s pages have now been published , the story forever on the internet , her life and times documented and along with her writing has taken us all on a “history tour”

Many thanks to the Gregg family for their permission to continue the story, the photos and a special thank you to Margaret Gregg who was so charming and helpful.
And a thank you to Dennis Flores , who showed up at my door with a file of very, very special writings.

The End???????????????

January 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm 15 comments

Lorain- History Mystery- Her Name was Clara – Pt. 8

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Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-2/

Part Three https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt3/

Part Four https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-part-4/

Part Five https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-5/

Part Six https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-part-6/

Part Seven https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/lorain-history-mystery-her-name-was-clara-pt-7/

And now the pages come to an end but not the mystery …..

Page 8 Clara Oklahoma
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I said Bruce what is this talk about us defending this “Rose Flemming” Bruce was walking the floor and finally stopped and said “Judge” The Firm Hartwell and Barton are not defending this girl. But I “Bruce Barton is going to defend her” I sat down at my desk and tried to think ( torn missing)…. finally said Bruce I can’t understand why you want to get mixed … in the thing. I then received an answer from Barton I shall never forget . He said “Judge” ninety percent of the people in this world are always trying to figure out some one elses affairs and I have (always – crossed out) known you for twenty years and I have been a partner of yours for about 14 years

ED NOTE- going back to the original narrative in Part 4 the date of meeting Bruce was 1902 so that would put the time frame of 1922 for the “story”

and I find you are trying to figure out my affairs. I can’t tell you why I am defending this girl but the firm Hartwell and Barton ceases right now. ” I finally persuaded him to sit down and listen to me and told him that whatever he did that I was with him but he said that while he never wanted to lose my friendship he insisted that it be known that it was j(ust) Bruce Barton that was taking the case (torn)…… Hartwell and Barton . You see

Page 9 Clara- OK
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When we left the club we went straight to Police Headquarters and talked with the girl and latter on when I saw the Chief he told me when he came from her cell he said “Chief I am defending Miss Flemming and don’t try to grill her anymore …………

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And there we have it . I don’t suppose we will ever know the “rest of the story” because that is what I think this is . It was probably written by a Gregg family member all those decades ago . I am not alone in that thinking and one of the people looking to the mystery Rick Kurish ( also contributes to Dan Brady’s Blog http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/ had this to say yesterday and I agree
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“After reading this far, I’m inclined to believe that the author was writing a novel loosely based on historical events. No doubt some of the events mentioned actually occurred, but the inability to tie any of the names to historical records is a red flag. An example of an event that may be based on the historical record is the Martha Barton Hospital. An internet search for first hospital in Oklahoma, turned up the following:

“In 1894 Dr. F.B. Fisk purchased a small one story cottage on South Main Street in Muskogee. He greatly enlarged the little house by adding a second story and building an addition to the front. The building sat on a busy thoroughfare where many liveries and wagon yards were located. Early Sanborn Insurance maps of Muskogee note that this hospital was first called St. Mary’s Sanitarium.

With his medical partner, Dr. J.L. Blakemore, Fike expanded the sanitarium to become the first hospital in the Twin Territories. It was briefly called the Fike-Blakemore Hospital after the two physicians. The doctors ran this hospital until 1906. After a donation of support from their good friend, Andrew Robb, the hospital was then called Martha Robb Hospital.

Andrew Robb

Andrew Robb

Martha Robb was Andrew Robb’s wife. A.W. Robb was an early day merchant in Muskogee. The Robb family was one of the first to settle in the new railroad town and was always involved in supporting the town and its early institutions.”

Interesting similarities to Clara’s story, with names and a few facts changed.
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Also further research on the Lorain Lumber Co. letterhead, indicates that the story was written after 1930. In the 1920s, through at least 1929, Charles F. Friend, Carrie Moore’s father was listed as vice-president of the company. Also Conrad A. Horn was living in Columbus and working in various financial Depts. of state government from 1922 until 1929. He did not return to Lorain County until 1930.

Rick was also very helpful in tracking down the initial Lorain Lumber Company time lines

I think the key to the time frame the story was written may be contained in the Lumber Co. letterhead the first page of the story was written on. Richard J. Kutza while an employee of the Lumber Co. for many years, was not listed as the president until about 1925/1926. That would mean the story could not have written before that time. Also Mrs. C.C Moore would probably not have been involved in the business prior to the death of her husband Leonard, which I believe occurred circa 1920.

ED NOTE I have been able to talk with the Gregg family and in fact I will be meeting with Mrs. Gregg tomorrow – hopefully I will be able to flesh out some of the house history in the 1920-1930’s.

However I do so wish we could’ve read more of “Clara” – it seems we had a writer with a good story to tell-

Why was Bob Sandford murdered? Why was Bruce Barton defending Rose Flemming ? Was Rose the mother of Clara


My imagination is running away with itself but the truth is we will probably never know.

But I have to THANK whomever wrote these fragile pages so many decades ago, she ( and I believe it to be a she) took me on a journey of not only furthering the history of Lorain but I journeyed through oil fields, the life out west , the rough and tumble west, riots and woman outlaws. I learned a great deal from these forgotten pages and I hope to learn more Thank you whomever you are !
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January 25, 2017 at 5:14 pm 2 comments

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