Posts filed under ‘Charleston Village’

Lorain – Common Core? values and math? PT 4.

Part Onehttps://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-1/
Part Two-https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-2/
Part Three- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-3/

Community Development – not for CVSI- the math doesn’t add up!

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey


Oh! back in the days of ” we can do this – we can make a difference” the Charleston Village members knew we had a tough job if we were to turn this neighborhood around. We knew we weren’t popular with the Community Development Dept. at the time.


” They (CVSI) are nothing but a middle class clique”

according to Chuck Urindriski(sp)

I won’t go into telling you the obstacles that were put in our way by Community Development Dept. at the time. Why? when they were bending over backwards to get South Lorain group recognized as a CDC

“A community development corporation (CDC) is a not-for-profit organization incorporated to provide programs, offer services and engage in other activities that promote and support community development. CDCs usually serve a geographic location such as a neighborhood or a town. They often focus on serving lower-income residents or struggling neighborhoods. They can be involved in a variety of activities including economic development, education, community organizing and real estate development. These organizations are often associated with the development of affordable housing.”

lorainPhotos
South Lorain CDC- description :
http://www.loraincounty.com/slcdc/

“The South Lorain Community Development Corporation assists homebuyers by providing new and rehabilitated housing opportunities for low-mod income, market rate and first-time, income qualified families and individuals. The SLCDC promotes and encourages private sector commercial investment in the South Lorain Neighborhood.”

1850 Washington

And then there was Community Development bending over backwards for Direct Action for Central Lorain http://www.loraincounty.com/directory/display_5235.html

Direct Action, a non-profit, builds and rehabs commercial and residential properties to generate revenue to provide home ownership counseling, educational and safety programming, youth recreational programs, and other activities to revitalize the Central Lorain neighborhood.”

cityhall castle
You would have thought with the interest Community Development had in apparently recognizing the historic worth of “downtown Lorain” and putting in the tools back in 1987- their interest in South Lorain ( a struggling neighborhood and business community) and Central Lorain- also a struggling neighborhood and business community- the mere fact a whole group of people were banding together in a grass-roots effort to promote, stabilize , research the history and therefore historic tax credits etc. and use our own money to rehab the homes would have been met with delight! Far from it!
prudoffres
Once again, we were naïve, we didn’t understand the unwritten rules- no place for this grass-roots group- we had no paid Director ( through government funding) , we were a democratic volunteer organization – the will of the majority- and therefore it seemed the proverbial loose cannon and maybe just maybe this “middle class clique would not fit the “plan”- lack of “control” and we asked too many questions – did not accept the status quo ( in my opinion that is having dealt with Community Development as it was for decades.)

It was the mere fact Lorain Community Development Dept. (at the time) put so many obstacles in our way and were very unhelpful when we went to them for advice etc. we exist today. We basically said, fine we will do it ourselves. You see we had people in the “village” who had expertise in various areas of government, research and who knew the protocol.
Homes tour
We raised money through opening our homes, put in our own money and did the paperwork for our own 501c3. It wasn’t easy, we as a neighborhood were unique, according to the IRS because we had not gone through the regular route of “local government” such as South Lorain CDC and Direct Action. But we managed independently of Sandy Prudoff, Chuck Urindriski(sp) and company of the City of Lorain Community Development Dept. and in 1993 we received , after a great deal of paperwork, our 501c3 and incorporation.

We were never listed on the City of Lorain website as one of their sponsored , non -profits, CDC’s or organizations such as South Lorain CDC, Direct Action CDC and Lorain Growth Corp. CVSI – never received or applied any monies from Community Development – contrary to some of that opinion! But whenever a grass-roots organization was needed for a study or grant funding- we were the first to be contacted.

We have however, through the years sent them a copy of our Annual Report and our Tax Filing status. In fact we have had in recent years after the Foltin administration( which was adversarial in nature) a partnership with the City of Lorain. A partnership which continues today ( hopefully) .

I believe our independent nature ruffled more than a few feathers. We have never received any of the numerous grants as did South Lorain CDC- For example The Stocker Foundation write in their report of 2007 they had given $15,000 to South Lorain CDC using the new houses built in their Annual report
stockeres
Curious I went to the Lorain County Auditors site to see what had happened to those properties knowing the South Lorain CDC IS NO LONGER A CDC , NON- PROFIT OR ORGANIZATION.

It seems the city had transferred these properties over to the South Lorain CDC in 2006– they were transferred back to the city in 2011 and then the city transferred them to Direct Action of Central Lorain.

Direct Action of Central Lorain has also received numerous grants throughout the years as an example another of Stocker Foundations annual reports 2008
stoc da2008re
Memory came back into play concerning issues with the City of Lorain and Direct Action-
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2013/08/14/action-slow-for-lorain-houses-demolition/

“Mason said earlier this month that he was frustrated by the delay and that Direct Action was slow to provide paperwork regarding the use of HUD money without producing new houses.

“Something doesn’t smell right,” Mason said of Direct Action, which owns 13 properties in Lorain besides the Lakeview property, according to the Lorain County auditor’s website”

That Woman decided to check the auditors site this morning and to her chagrin found Direct Action of Central Lorain owned 15 properties
DAres
I say to my chagrin because Direct Action of Central Lorain owes over $77,000 in back taxes on those properties and has seemingly done for many years:

1015 West 14th- $4,033.48 annual tax bill $489.22
1140 West 18th -$7,589.57 annual tax bill $622.54
1722 Washington -$4,466.16 annual tax bill $877.40
Washington lots – $2,469.21 annual tax bill $157.72
Direct Action headquarters 1850 Washington – $47,828.35 annual tax bill $819.60

1849 Washington -$5,222.13 annual tax bill $509.46
1037 W 22ns – $5,437.60 annual tax bill $751.10

question-mark
THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT – DIRECT ACTION IS A NOT FOR PROFIT AND THEREFORE DOESN’T HAVE TO PAY PROPERTY TAXES.
I contacted the City of Lorain – I was told the City of Lorain cancelled their contract with Direct Action ( CDC) in August of 2013.
So I contacted the Lorain County Auditors office. There wasn’t any paperwork filed for tax exempt status on any of these properties – OH! OH! been there and done that before .
2_Black_River_Historical_Society_and_Moore_House_Museum

Howard Goldberg of Lorain Community Development Dept.
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20121210/updated-goldberg-resigns-lorain-city-post-under-cloud
had neglected to file exempt status on over a dozen properties- a fact brought to light when Black River Historical Society ( now Lorain Historical Society) was caught up in the mess see pages 4 and 5 in the following PDF

http://www.loraincounty.com/lorain/agendas/2008/December_4_2008_packet.pdf

Looks like somebody didn’t do due diligence and the paperwork to file exemptions on these properties belonging to Direct Action of Central Lorain.
No exemptions – no taxes …. Oh Lorain all that money and what do we have to show for it?

Ironically, Patrick Metzger who used to be the Director of South Lorain CDC , now in charge of

“The county’s Land Reutilization Corp. — most refer to it as the land bank — was incorporated in May 2012 as a way to deal with structures in need of demolition, identify tax-delinquent properties and redevelop those properties to restore them to their “tax-paying, useful life,” says Patrick Metzger, assistant director of the land bank and director of the Lorain County Port Authority, which is its administrative agent.

will be taking down his old headquarters as 2835 Pearl Ave,( which also owed back taxes. The old South Lorain CDC offices is now owned by LORAIN COUNTY LAND REUTILIZATION CORPORATION and owed
Unpaid Taxes: $39,355.90
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $43,396.95
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00 (once again according to the Auditors website.)

Guess South Lorain CDC didn’t file for an exemption either with the Lorain County Auditor and now it has been taken for TAXES???? among other issues I am sure!

My head is beginning to ache BUT good news is Charleston Village Society gets a PASS– We succeeded in our paperwork and managing to stay “profitable ” for the past 22 years we have been a non-profit without a paid Director, without grants and without relying on the previous Community Development Dept.

We have been transparent in all our dealings and reports – we didn’t fudge numbers and we didn’t and haven’t budgeted on “projected income” and when we spent money , every dollar went toward the designated project. We may not have much but we still have it and our records with the IRS are up to date.
PassFail-Small

June 30, 2015 at 6:23 pm 4 comments

Lorain – Common Core? values and math? PT 3.

Part One- https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-1/

Part Two – https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-2/

source: WEWS News net 5.

source: WEWS News net 5.

“ON BROADWAY!!!!”

Still stuck in 1991 –
said1991
I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry when I read what I had said in 1991 . I loved living in an “urban setting” where the homes in the neighborhood were not the typical slab homes or the new cookie cutter neighborhoods of the USA.

Maybe because I had lived in a London suburb where I would daily walk to the tube station , shop on the local high street, attend functions within the community- all without that car. I was used to that way of living . How bloody naïve was I to think I was going to find that continuing in Lorain on Broadway.

BUT we, the Charleston Village idiots ( as we had been called on more that one occasion) thought we could help bring back that feeling of Broadway that had been lost .

I was told Broadway in Lorain was at one time reminiscent of the “High Streets” from whence I came.


In 1991 I could do quite a few of those errands- I can no longer do most of them – can’t go to the drug store, shopping????? Luckily I can still go to the Palace- although I have to say the last time I went, Saturday the 20th, upon exiting, we were met by a drunk slumped in a doorway- such a friendly welcoming ambiance.

By 1990 we were “INVOLVED WITH BROADWAY” The City Of Lorain recognized a healthy safe neighborhood brought foot traffic downtown- They held yet another meeting , to which the Village Idiots were invited
leteres
We went and the upshot of those meetings as featured in our May 1990 Newsletter
“Community should have a clear vision of what it wants to become”

I am not sure our “current downtown buildings” fit the vision we had.
But we tried, we got on the bandwagon – after all a bad downtown reflects negatively on the neighborhood and vice versa.

Charleston Village teamed up with the Downtown Lorain Growth Association
Dmares


“We’re also excited over the Charleston Village’s grass roots organization which is banding homeowners together to improve the community-

Yes, even the Morning Journal got involved and would feature a home in Charleston Village every week in its real-estate section:

Homere


OPres

Oh we tried – Charleston Village reached out and we opened our homes for a the Ohio Preservation Statewide Preservation Conference ( a progressive dinner in each home). They came they saw and they were impressed.
I doubt they would have the same thoughts now a quarter of a century later. That lovely Renaissance Inn mentioned in their articles – look at it now

source Morning Journal

source Morning Journal


I could go on.

Downtown Lorain Growth Association – became Mainstreet Lorain 1995/6 ( not then affiliated with the Main Street Program- that came later). Charleston Village was one of the founding members of that new organization and had a seat on its board. Later Mainstreet Lorain did become a MAIN STEET Organization the first in Northern Ohio ( 2000)
Yours truly, ( when times got tough and we didn’t have enough in the kitty to pay for a Director) was the “volunteer” Director for 7 months of Mainstreet Lorain until we saved enough with memberships and grants to pay for another Director. It was during that time (2002) Mainstreet Lorain did not have its contract renewed with the Main Street program. We eventually changed the name to Lorain Growth Corporation http://www.loraingrowth.com/
which is still part of the downtown today.

Oh we cleaned Broadway with the Lorain Litter Council, started the Lorain Arts Council, promoted its events, decorated windows of terrible eyesores of buildings, actually charged people to join us in searching for the Black Pearl as we searched along Broadway and each merchant’s premises , had car shows on Thursday nights- ending up at Scorchers. We worked with the Port and the usage of the land given ( now known as Black River Landing), yes and so much more !

Yes! we have been around the Broadway block for decades and watched the “vision” go “dark”
wews5
“60 percent of downtown Lorain empty; hopes of rezoning as entertainment district to breathe new life”

‘It looks like a ghost town’
http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-lorain/60-percent-of-downtown-loran-empty-hopes-of-rezoning-as-entertainment-district-to-breath-new-life

I admit not having given completely up on Broadway , as a blogger, I have had my say of late.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/is-this-a-bad-area-mum-the-44052/

and https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/on-broadway-downtown-the-44052/

That particular post brought me into combative mode with a member of the Downtown Review Board – remember the one that was put in place to promote preservation in 1987 OH! yes we were there too.

Yes, Cathy Dye – a whole series on my blog where she was the subject matter – the mother of the owner of 418 Broadway which has its problems
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/dye-abolical-goose-gander-inspection-process-pt-4-lorain/

dye a tribed

ED. NOTE:
It is my opinion( based upon her emails etc. ) that Mrs. Dye tried to use coercion and intimidation of City of Lorain officials in order to get what she wanted re her son’s building via her position of the Design Review Board , took vindictive action using the Design Review Board moniker and the Lorain Building Dept. It is also my opinion her son’s building, which has been well documented as to its problems, IS one of the problem buildings on Broadway.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/the-dye-is-set-a-sign-of-trouble-lorain/

A Morning Journal article recently had some quotes as to what was needed on Broadway :
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20150606/broadway-slow-to-bring-new-residents-to-lorain

ERRRRRRRRR where have I heard this before

Lorain also has a neighborhood of single-family houses immediately west of downtown, so incentives and training could help residents living just a few blocks from Broadway.

• Enforce property and zoning codes.
When run-down properties hurt the values of nearby properties, cities have to force property owners to act, Siegler said.

OH yes! I remember same thing they said in the LAST CENTURY and to add insult to injury Cathy Dye is quoted :

Dye said Lorain should require Broadway building owners to keep the historic and picturesque facades, but give them more freedom to modify the interiors and rear sections of buildings to create usable spaces

SC 2nd floor north
418 Broadway

Be patient.

ED NOTE– sorry but patience has worn thin – a quarter of century of the same rhetoric becomes numbing!!!

Lorain and other cities need a shared vision and a process of gradual action to implement that, Brachman said. She called the approach “strategic incrementalism.”

Revitalization “isn’t going to happen overnight,” she said. “It’s an incremental process.”

OVERNIGHT??????? we have been waiting and working on this for decades! Same old clap trap and so much yada yada yada and regurgitated ideas. And the newspaper decided to go to the “problem people” for the solutions …..now that at least was a was a novel approach………………

So Charleston Village how did we do when it comes down to revitalizing Broadway ?
a resounding FAIL!!!!

Pass-Fail

June 25, 2015 at 11:56 am 1 comment

Lorain – Common Core? values and math? PT 2.

PART ONE: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/lorain-common-core-values-and-math-pt-1/

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey


Twenty eight years- what I could have accomplished in twenty – eight years, time energy money spent elsewhere– I could’ve moved- walked away- from this house I call home.

I could have spent my energy nagging my husband to take those other job offers out of Ohio, even out of the country. I didn’t – I loved this house, although now in hindsight, I am sure I would have found something elsewhere that I would have loved. It didn’t happen because I, and a few others, have clung onto the fact that a neighborhood could be saved – these old houses by Ohio history standards are worthy .

Looking at the early records of this Charleston Village Society – I realized we are failures! We have been flogging that dead horse to no avail. Twenty eight years and the mission statement decided upon so naively as to the doable of just a few blocks . So much talk …………

Our mission , was to preserve the neighborhood, promote the history , to make this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood one of pride, to hold landlords and out of town landlords accountable- to toughen up the accountability with regard to building inspections.

mjscanres

We started with committee meetings, talking to City Council and Administrations , Community Development – and Mayor Olejko:

Ah the way back machine
..
sound familiar
“Residents last night (10/1/91) told a committee , which is formulating a model on how to spend federal and state housing funds….” Morning Journal

and a quarter century later
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20150511/lorain-city-council-seeks-resident-input-on-how-to-spend-115-million
1991– Morning Journal 24 years earlier

But Several Landlords said not all landlords are out of town hustlers looking to hold onto dilapidated housing for profit….

That statement is certainly correct….some of those landlords held on to those dilapidated properties were Lorainites… and old slum lords never die their properties just fade away OR DO THEY??
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/george-schneider-a-property-legacy-what-now/
Landlords, they pretty much own the housing stock in this Ward 2 of Lorain and yes they are making money what was known as Section 8 housing now known as a much more affable name – Housing Choice ( Vouchers)
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/freedom-of-speech-usa-really-pt-4/

“housing choice vouchers alone pump 1.4 MILLION A MONTH
into Lorain County but The City of Lorain gets 64% of that money EVERY MONTH or approximately $900,000.00 PER MONTH COMES INTO THE CITY OF LORAIN-!!!

How about that BIG Business for you – lucrative one would say and that is just the “private” landlords and LLC’s .

Vouchers Per Zip Code
Amherst 44001 1.1%
Avon 44011 4.0%
Avon Lake 44012 0.6%
Col Station 44028 0.1%
Elyria 44035 23.2%
N Ridgeville 44039 1.1%
Grafton 44044 0.2%
LaGrange 44050 0.3%
Lorain 44052 32.5%
Lorain 44053 10.4%
Lorain 44055 21.3%
Sheffield 44054 1.5%
Oberlin 44074 1.5%
Vermilion 44089 1.3%
Wellington 44090 0.9%
100.0%

but The City of Lorain gets 64% of that money EVERY MONTH or approximately $900,000.00 PER MONTH COMES INTO THE CITY OF LORAIN-!!!

THAT was just 10 months ago!

federal bucks
From meeting in 1991 ( as covered by the Chronicle Telegram) a quote from Cynthia Shaffer ( another “village person” ) who now has her glass of wine out of this city…

“”Right now ( 1991) you’re giving Lorain away a house at a time , a piece at a time and no one seems to care”

well some of us did care – for all the good it seems to have done ! We have failed in our mission for owner occupied homes and landlord accountability .. these were the stats two years ago and they have changed because we know have South Carolina on the list… more about that later
Urban LEA

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-nuisance-and-point-of-sale-ordinance-lorain/
** All data gathered from Lorain County Auditors site, Ohio Secretary of State June 29th 2013 “Clarification” the only LLC shown below are those that are not under known names – such as Spitzer, Veard, religious communities, funeral homes etc.

The number of LLC’s tracked totaled “197” OWNING PROPERTY IN LORAIN.

THEY OWN APPROXIMATELY 2,289 PROPERTIES / PARCELS BETWEEN THEM

” 193” TRACKED BACK TO “OWNER PLACE OF RESIDENCE”

“146” OUTSIDE LORAIN LLC. ETC OR “75.64 %” percent of ownership is outside Lorain

47 LORAIN OWNED LLC ETC. or 24.35 %

******Breakdown is as follows (OUTSIDE OWNERSHIP) PROPERTIES CAN RANGE FROM 1 PARCEL TO over 100 AT THE TOP END)

AMHERST = 30 REG. LLC = 15.5 %
ELYRIA = 12 REG. LLC = 6.2 5%
WESTLAKE = 11 REG. LLC = 5.7%
AVON = 10 REG. LLC = 5.2 %
AVON LAKE =7 REG.LLC= 3.6 %
NORTH RIDGEVILLE = 7 REG.LLC=3.6 %
SHEFFILED LAKE/VILLAGE= 6 REG.LLC= 3.1%
CLEVELAND = 5 REG.LLC= 2.5%
VERMILION = 5 REG.LLC =2.5%
COLUMBUS = 3 REG.LLC = 1.55%
CALIFORNIA= 3 REG.LLC= 1.55% NOTE AT LEAST ONE CALIFORNIA OWNER HAS 58 PROPERTIES
PENNSYLVANIA= 3 REG.LLC = 1.55%
HURON- 2 REG.LLC = 1.03 %
WELLINGTON= 2 REG.LLC = 1.03%
LAKEWOOD= 2 REG LLC. = 1.03 %
FLORIDA = 2 REG.LLC= 1.03%
BEECHWOOD= 2 REG LLC= 1.03%
NORTH OLMSTEAD = 2 REG.LLC = 1.03%
MEDINA= 2 REG.LLC = 1.03%
GRAFTON= 2 REG.LLC = 1.035
AURORA= 2 REG.LLC= 1.03%
BAYVILLAGE= 2 REG.LLC= 1.03%
CANADA = 2 REG. LLC =1.03% (NOTE: ONE IS FOR A TRAILER PARK)

BRECKSVILLE, COLORADO, TEXAS, AKRON, ARIZONA , TOLEDO, KENT, UNION TOWN, CHAGRIN FALLS, MARSHALVILLE, ROCKY RIVER, MILAN, NORTH ROYALTON, AKEMAN, CHAGRIN FALLS, NEWARK OH, LICHFIELD , STONGSVILLE, SEVEN HILLS, BRUNSWICK , ST. MARY’S, OBERLIN 1 REG LLC

Pass-Fail
Charleston Village Society report Card : 1987-2015
Owner Occupied – Fail – Landlords accountability – Fail – Building Dept accountability – Fail


To be continued……………..

June 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm 10 comments

Memorial Day- 2015- Respect through the ages

A little over 2 1/2 years ago Lorain Mayor- Chase Ritenauer, Chief of Staff- Derek Feurestein , Ariel Vasquez of the Lorain Utilities Dept. met, along with the parents and family members of three of the young men who had lost their lives for our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, on what was then a derelict waste and dumping ground .
swbef

We trudged , and I mean that literally, through bracken, weeds, over fallen trees and mud as Ariel explained his vision for what would become Eric Barnes Heroes Walk.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ariel explained how each young man would have a tribute garden with a bench , signage and artwork along a path which would meander through what was left of a woods, flower beds and a view of Lorain’s lakefront a priority . The pathway would connect the two areas already in place known as, Settlers’ Watch 2009
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=390
and at the opposite end of the site Admiral King Tribute site 2011.
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=668
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/eric-barnes-heroes-walk-lorain-county-beautiful/

The plan was ambitious. Ariel and his crew, with the support of the volunteers and donations through Charleston Village Society, would have phase one completed by November 11th-2012.
marks photos
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/dedication-ceremony-eric-barnes-heroes-walk-the-coverage/
As I walked the pathway on Pride Day,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/growing-with-pride-day-2015-a-history-of-pride/
I could not credit how far the area had progressed in the months and changing seasons since that walk of vision. The plants grown and tended so beautifully by our volunteer “Constant Gardener- Joe” . Thinking back to that day in 2012 I remembered the look on the faces of the others as we stumbled through the undergrowth – they weren’t so sure themselves this plan would come to fruition!
gavin ryan

Once more this morning, I walked in the sunshine, the blue of the lake sparkling as the waves danced and the wind blew the clouds around an azure sky, with my two grandsons- ages 6 and 3. We were putting out the flags for Memorial Day, a job they hold very dear.
braedynryan

As we went along, making sure each garden and area was recognized, I admonished Gavin telling him to make sure the flags never touched the ground. Being six, the question arose,


WHY?

I didn’t want to confuse them anymore than I usually do with my explanations and this was an important WHY? I said it was

out of respect for the young men and woman who gave their lives for their country, in this case the United States and the flag was very important as it was carried into battle.

But why can’t it touch the ground- NOG?

I knew from my own history- being English- how important the flag was to my father, uncles and grandfathers , they gave their youth and in some cases their limbs and their lives for their own flag. . union Jack

Even from Roman times the “standard” was considered extremely important –

The standard-bearer normally was in close proximity to the unit leader. When the standard ‘fell’, the unit members did not have a visual point to rally around or return and the possibility that the leader had fallen was great. Loss of a standard in battle was considered to be one of the worst things to happen – the Honor of the unit was lost. By the same token, capturing a standard by an opponent was considered to be a tremendous act of courage.

https://legioilynx.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/standard-bearers-of-the-roman-legions/
With England’s long history emblems and flags ( standards) were most important on the field of battle and like the Romans the disappearance of the a standard/ flag on the battle field may well mean the battle was lost.
But I wasn’t absolutely certain about the United States history and the flag not touching the ground– was there another aspect my grandsons should know about?

Once again, the search for a reason – apart from respect as I knew it had to be – sent me to Google. To my surprise, I was brought full circle back to this community of Lorain. As I googled the reasoning, I was directed to a site about the Civil War and my eyes beheld a familiar painting .
gillmore  scan
COPY RIGHT 1890 STORMING OF FORT WAGNER – “CHARGE OF THE 54 MASS(COL) RGT JULY 18TH 1863- (UNION) GENERAL GILLMORE
Yes the Storming of Fort Wagner – the movie Glory – and my dining room companion General Gillmore !!![

Among the troops who assaulted Ft. Wagner was the 54th Massachusetts, a regiment of African-Americans led (as required by regulation) by white commissioned officers. Gillmore had ordered that his forces be integrated and that African-Americans were not to be assigned menial tasks only, such as KP or latrine duty, but instead they were to carry arms into battle. They and their assault on Ft. Wagner were the subject of the 1989 Civil War movie Glory, which starred Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick.

I eagerly read the following from that battle :
william_carney

There, also, Sergeant William Carney, who had earlier taken up the National Colors when the color sergeant had been shot, planted the flag and fought off numerous attempts by the Confederates to capture it. Without support, and faced with superior numbers and firepower, the 54th was forced to pull back. Despite two severe wounds, Sergeant Carney carried the colors to the rear. When praised for his bravery, he modestly replied, “I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground.” Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, the first African-American to receive the award.

There was also a poem and later a song from that proud moment coming out from that battle –flag groundres

The next time I walk the path with my grandsons- I will tell them the story of General Gillmore, whose father owned all the land
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/generally-gillmore-lorain-part-4/
upon which we walk, when we wander through Settlers’ Watch, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk, and Admiral King Tribute Site and how it was the men under his command who “never let the old flag touch the ground”

Who I am by  Christopher D. Ritchey

Who I am by Christopher D. Ritchey

May 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm 2 comments

Growing with Pride – Day 2015- a History of Pride

The Lorain Dudes and Pride in Lorain- Growing year by year

Pride Day 051615 Lorain Dudes Photos Lorain 365- Lisa Miller

SW 071213 from corner 2

Settlers’ Watch dedicated August 2009– follow link for the videos of the ceremony- Mark Teleha
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=385
The story of Settlers’ Watch – Mark Teleha
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=390

photo Lisa Miller

photo Lisa Miller


Admiral King Tribute Site dedication September 18th 2011
follow the links for the dedication Mark Teleha
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=668

Photo  Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller

Eric Barnes Heroes Walk – ( Phase One) November 11 – 2012
follow link for the videos of the ceremony Mark Teleha
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=1435

It takes as lot of work and pride to take this site from this
SW before
to what it is today . A pride that grows and continues – The Lorain Dude
gavgrd
Pride Day 2010 Settlers’ Watch https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/lorain-dude-discovers-pride-and-settlers-watch/
pinkand blue Photo Lisa Miller
Pride Day 2011 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/a-pride-full-day-settlers-watch-2011/
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Pride Day 2012

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/vidi-vici-weeded-lorain-pride-settlers-watch-2012/

Pride Day 2013

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/spring-and-pride-returns-to-lorain-may-18th/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


That year found the Lorain Dude having a family helper – the other Lorain Dude.

They also found some familiar faces of the Lorain Rotary who have been volunteering at the Watch from the very first day!
pride-day-settlers-watch-mulch

Pride Day 2014– the Lorain Dudes were kept home by mum due to the terrible weather but that didn’t stop the faithful
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/pride-day-lorain-settlers-watch-cvsi/
ducks back

And now a collage of sorts from Pride Day Settlers’ Watch, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and Admiral King Tribute Site
Screen Shot – Rotary – Dina Ferrer
rotaryscreen
Photos by Lisa Miller
Lorain Dudes back to work
braedyn gavin
Pride Day 051615-8
areiel
Link to Lisa Portfolio of Pride
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.815091948576677.1073741883.476252369127305&type=3
The area , thanks to Charleston Village Volunteers, Lorain Rotary, The City of Lorain looks cared for , beautiful and unique.
We would be remiss if we didn’t thank Mr. and Mrs. Perez of 6th Street and the Girl Scouts for the sign and V space for the Charleston Village sign – Thank you so much !!!
signcvs

And finally another sunset – Settlers Watch- Lisa Miller

sunset-silhouette-erics-eagle-settlers-watch

May 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm 7 comments

Charleston Village Society- clarification and report

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey

One of the hats I wear is as Co- chairman of a non -profit organization called Charleston Village Society (CVSI) The organization came about as a “neighborhood preservation” organization – we are NOT the local “historians” of Lorain that particular job of work falls to the Lorain Historical Society http://www.lorainhistory.org/ . CVSI wanted to preserve the dignity of this – Lorain’s oldest neighborhood, preserve her housing , the quality of life, the stories of her past and the people who walked the same street as we who helped bring about “Lorain” .Personally, along with others, her stories appealed and sent some of us on searches of her history- a difficult task as much of Lorain’s earliest history and therefore, this oldest neighborhood, was unwritten, word of mouth and “buried “. Thanks to the estate of Peggy Gillmore -a direct descendent of one of Lorain’s founding fathers , we have found out a lot more of “yesteryear” from old newspapers etc.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/mayor-george-wickens-the-wrap-up-lorain/
During the past couple of decades we have tried to work on those goals of preserving this old neighborhood and adding to it . You can find back reports here http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/.
Unfortunately, our website does not allow for numerous photos and in segueing from the last post
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/pulse-magazine-treasure-town-a-blog-heartbeat/
I have reprinted our annual report here for 2014.

Charleston Village Annual Report 2014
Frank w hat and artist
The in-kind donations continue to help us thrive and survive with all the projects we have taken on in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. For every dollar in cash we receive three times the donations with in-kind support of materials labor and equipment. We could not attempt these projects or their upkeep without the partnerships and in kind donations. Such as the continuing sponsorship of our website https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/charleston-village/ a thanks to Emerge http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/
As in previous years 100% of all money collected goes toward the project for which it is designated.

We filed our IRS form for our non- profit for 2015 and were, I am pleased to say, accepted
E-File Postmark: Filed January 19th 2015- accepted January 19th-2015
charlsbal
The Charleston Pioneer Cemetery continues to be in the capable of hands of Diane Wargo Medina and she is developing a new blog page: ( still under construction) https://charlestoncemetery.wordpress.com/

Without Diane , her volunteers , tenacity and passion over the past three decades this old cemetery would be non-existent. She has been the driving force once more planting, clean-up and preserving the history of the people buried there still as well as fighting the ongoing battle of keeping the headstones from disintegrating . Although the cemetery is owned by the
city , Diane has been its keeper!
settlers watch
Settlers’ Watch: continues to bloom. We had a courageous band of volunteers who braved the terrible rain the day of Pride day 2014. We did weed and mulch but the rain and mud put paid to most projects that day. Many thanks to Lorain Rotary members and our own CVSI volunteers.
Digital Camera
The carvings from the tree lawn had to be removed and stabilized. The salt and weather etc has taken their toll, even though they were sealed every year.
GE DIGITAL CAMERA
Thanks to Carl Neilsen and the use of an indoor space, Ariel Vasquez, Frank Sipkovsky, Ernest Ritchey and Don Fugitt were able to work on the anchor carving. I am told it was a big job and the stabilization had to take place in stages. Thanks to Falbo Construction and new concrete plinths we moved the anchor to its new home along the Eric Barnes Heroes Walk.

The Lorain Lighthouse carving is due to be removed this spring to the Children’s Garden , the Portside Sign to the west of Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and the Heron will be at the entrance to the Marine’s Monument walk.

All the carvings are having to be stabilized and sealed once more . The Captain is still in need of a lot of work but hopefully, thanks to a donation from the Knights of Columbus we were able to purchase the very expensive chemicals needed.
admiral-king-tribute-space-yellow
The Admiral King Tribute Site
Many, many thanks once again to the Lorain Utilities Dept – under the direction of Ariel Vasquez and his crew. The donation and planting of the marigolds by Ariel Vasquez on Pride day brought a splash of colour in the much and mire of that day.

The Admiral King Site continues to draw interest on the internet and tourists. This year you could see the neighbors and community having picnics and waiting for the 4th of July Fireworks put on by the Port of Lorain. I am very pleased to say they were most respectful of the site and very little litter was to be found the next morning.

Chronicle Telegram

Chronicle Telegram

Eric Barnes’ Heroes Walk – This year saw another feature added to the walk- The United States Marine monument ( Lofton Henderson Post) has been added. This too is a work in progress. However, the Marines held a dedication and erected a flagpole, with the United States of America Flag and that of the Marine Corps. Ariel Vasquez designed the area and the garden surrounding the place where the monuments will be placed in phase two.

We would be remiss if we did not mention one of our special volunteers . Joe Artim. Joe has been a wonder – you will see him every day working along the Eric Barnes Heroes Walk tending the garden areas of the young men who gave their lives for this community.
Joe has grown, purchased and planted so many wonderful plants. I cannot begin to describe how the area has flourished under his gentle care.
Joe also has been weeding and watering during the most dreadfully hot days and in the fall cleaned cleared and prepared the area of Settlers Watch.

The Crime Watch program continues to quietly look out for the neighborhood especially Veteran’s Park.

Lorain 365

Lorain 365

Outreach and Promotions Committee
Once more the committee decorated for the Trains and Trees at Black river Landing – this year we not only had the Lilac Lorain tree but added another tree.
1939899_10152505208586179_2402613586549576216_n
This tree was all about the ship captains and maritime history of this neighborhood. Donations for the trees came for the most part from the committees own pockets. Many thanks to Renee Dore, Frank and Carolyn Sipkovsky ,Don and Marianne Fugitt and Lisa Miller

Poster Boards and other artifacts were displayed at various “historical gatherings” and talks to various community groups continued .
We also continued the Guided Tours of Charleston Village and once again Frank Sipkovsky was your tour guide.

2th and Hamiton
This year has not been all about successes. We continue to lose more of Lorain early history in her housing stock in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. Even there though there has been a bright spark , we lost the Gow House to demolition due to the fact it had been uncared for and empty for nearly 40 years.
1031res
Lorain County did however take another foreclosed home diagonally opposite ( the Coleman Home) and rehabbed the structure. Unfortunately it too had been bastardized of its original architecture by the “business of rentals” and chopping the home into two and three units.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/history-demoed-another-rehabbed-pt3/

Peggy Gillmore 2007

Peggy Gillmore 2007


We also lost one of staunchest and longest members – Peggy Gillmore- the last Lorain Gillmore descendent of one of the Founding Families of Lorain. I am pleased to say the heirs have rehabbed this over a century home but so much of Lorain’s history has once again been lost. 403 Oberlin

The items from Peggy’s home , papers and photos led us on a journey that continues to this day . I personally wrote a series on Peggy’s family when , what I believe to be an extremely important portrait was seemingly not wanted by those I believe should be in the business of preserving Lorain’s earliest heritage. The series can be found here
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Photo Laura Watilo Blake


The General Gillmore Portrait is still in my living room, we have found those that would appreciate the portrait, the print of “Storming of Fort Wagner”and the genealogy of the Gillmore family etc. that will go with the portrait, However, we have, not as a group, had a vote on this as yet . The General and some of Charleston Village Society’s accomplishments were written about in Lorain County’s Pulse Magazine.
Peggy  map
We were also able to give a framed original of a mid 19th century map of this old neighborhood to the City of Lorain.

The map was also part of Peggy’s memorabilia as well an original Bible which we believe to Alanson Gillmore’s church – Christian Temple Disciples of Christ. We believe this to be one of the pulpit bibles damaged due to the Lorain Tornado. We have returned the Bible to the church and they concur they too, believe it to be one of the pulpit bibles-.
The Chronicle Telegram, once again has also been very supportive when covering events over the past year.
roverfest2014_banner_1200px
CVSI contacted the city with regard to the parking overflow for the July Rover Fest event- there was and has been a lot of controversy of this event . Our main concern was the overflow parking being utilized by Eric Barnes Heroes Walk. I am pleased to say the security for the area was in place and in fact no problems arose from this event.
hattravels
We are hoping to get the “pass the hat’ campaign off the ground this spring because as you see our finances are non-existent for the most part. We use every dollar donated 100 % goes to the project designated – This is 100% a VOLUNTEER organization

Our financials for the year end (2014) as follows. However, once again for every dollar donated 100% of the donation went toward the project for which it was donated. This is an “ALL” Volunteer organization

CHARLESTON VILLAGE SOC. End of year financial report 2014
Main Account:
Starting Balance carry-over 2013 $101.01
Ending Balance $101.01

Cemetery Fund
Starting balance carry-over from 2013=$15.97
Donations 2014 = $275.00
Expenses 2014= $0.
ENDING BALANCE 2014 = $290.95
Raffle Account
Starting balance carry -over from 2013= $43.35
Donations 2012 = 0
Expenses 2012 = 0
ENDING BALANCE 2014= $43.35

Settlers’ Watch
Starting balance carry-over 2013 = $19.76
Donations 2014 (Cash/Checks)= $695.00
Expenses 2014 = $597.74
ENDING BALANCE 2014= $117.02

Admiral King Tribute Site
Starting Balance carry over 2013 -$ 68.46
Donations Cash 2014 = $250.00
Expenses 2014= $96.75
Ending Balance 2014= 221.71

Eric Barnes Heroes-Walk-
Carry over 2013 = 447.99
Donations for 2014= $250.00
Expenses for 2014= $558.28
Ending Balance 2014= $139.71

We had a total of cash donations (including Gift Cards) in 2014 of $1,470.00 and our cash expenses came to $1,254.77 for all projects. A full accounting is available upon request.
As you can see our volunteers and in kind donors are the power that keeps the projects running. Without the donations of plants, rope, wooden pilings, aggregate, recycled benches, trash receptacles, paint, sealer, publicity, photographs and “at cost” and manpower none of these projects could be accomplished and maintained. The in-kind donations from our supporters are, by my estimation, 3 times the monetary value and are priceless. However all cash donations are gratefully accepted and CVSI is a 501c3 – Thank You
Respectfully submitted March 4th 2nd 2014 by Co- Chair CVSI Loraine Ritchey

March 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm 3 comments

PULSE MAGAZINE- Treasure Town- A Blog Heartbeat

pulseres
A few weeks ago, I was interviewed for Lorain County’s PULSE Magazine by Kristen Hampshire. The experience was one of sheer pleasure, the professionalism with which Kristen handled the interview, made very difficult because I tend to ramble and give the “back story” before answering the question. The fact checking by the editorial staff, the photographer- Laura Watilo Blake, who was constrained by my boundaries.

The article Buried History leads off with the General Gillmore Portrait – unwanted , and the story that led to the 12 part series on this blog.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/generally-gillmore-the-last-post-lorain-part-12/

The cover , pronounced, Lorain’s little known identity of Treasure Town. I wonder how many in the county see Lorain and her buried treasure?

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Photo Laura Watilo Blake

Kristen asked: ( paraphrasing)

Why do I embark on the history of Lorain, why is it important to you and yet like the portrait
inconsequential to most in this community?

I had been thinking about that very fact for a few days before the interview. Why do I care along with a handful of others ( even those that should care were unimpressed , didn’t even find the portrait worthy of a 1st look)? Why do a very few people get excited when uncovering Lorain’s stories but the majority of her 64,000 residents really aren’t bothered?

I believe, in my case, my penchant for theatre and years spent acting out the written word, the stories told , the donning of the character , the “fleshing out ” of that character as you read the script- the cold reading tells you the way of portrayal is part of the reason.

Morning Journal article

Morning Journal article

Kristen wrote :

” As Ritchey passes neighbors’ homes, she thinks about the people who have lived there. She sees the original plat of Charleston Village, and when she walks through Lakeview Park
http://www.metroparks.cc/lakeview_park.php
she imagines the 21,000 grape vines once planted there……….”

( General Quartus Gillmore)
NEWS-OH-EL_IN_DE.1867_08_07_0003

The article continues but the gist of the piece will tell you – I imagine the way things were when I look at one of Lorain’s falling down and abuse of historical properties, the mega rental units in what once was a beautiful family home.
housecarwilford

I can see the life before , the characters flesh out in my mind . I can see and hear Captain Wilford , his arm around his wife that night as the huge pleasure craft the The Alberta, came at the John Osborne cutting through the fog that night and into the wooden three-masted steamer .

Fannie Wilford’s terror can only be imagined as she stood with her husband, her children asleep below decks, a cruel ending to such a lovely day as the steel-clad Alberta towering above the little freighter bore down upon the hapless couple ……

The Alberta according to The Cleveland News Leader July 30th 1884 said of the Alberta. ‘This huge steel monster, during the few months she has been afloat has become the terror of the lakes. Proud of her reputation as one of the fastest side-wheel steamers on fresh water, she (Alberta) has been run in an extraordinarily reckless manner. “

Osbourne/Alberta shipwreck photos Bob Epson

Osbourne/Alberta shipwreck photos Bob Epson

“Tom! That boats going right through us!”
Very Quietly Captain Wilford answered
“I KNOW IT”

Behind the Waterfront (Bertram B Lewis)

“ Steam rushed from the freighter’s crushed boilers, the air was filled with shouts of seaman and those screams from those who had been sprayed by scalding water.”(Lewis) ……The steward, Mr. Austin (the same man who just hours before has held Sunday school services) rescued Addie and rushed her through the scalding steam holding his arm across his face and keeping the little girls face close to him. He handed her up to the deck of the Alberta and went back through the steam for the mangled and scalded sailors below”(HFMC)

I read this and like so many other actresses and actors, I flesh them out in my mind – they become more than print on a yellowing page, they become real! I take on their fear, their pain , their story- how would I portray my part. Is that why, as I look at the portrait of General Gillmore , reading his reports during the Civil War, I see the characters, I see the times in which they lived- they become people once more not just faded photos? The letters written by the same Fanny Gillmore – ( Wilford) who stood on a deck with her husband that night- the letters of life….
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/civil-war-letters-fannie-gilmore-lorain/

I see Fannie on her front porch, waiting- for who what – everytime I pass her house porch
And I get angry at the lack of respect. What I do know is their stories are important to Lorain, a town that needs a buried treasure , heroes and romance.

You can access PULSE MAGAZINE on line
http://www.pulselorainmag.com/Main/Home.aspx

( unfortunately this issue- Winter 2014 is not yet uploaded to the site- but you can contact Lorain County Chamber of Commerce . It is free to subscribers.https://www.loraincountychamber.com/

Oh and the portrait of General Gillmore is still staring at me waiting for a decision as to where he will find his home, along with other artifacts from Peggy Gillmore’s home.
vethist

March 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm 4 comments

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