Posts filed under ‘city of lorain’

Kicked to the curb and to the landfill of life

chrisart collagePart One

Part Two

Part Three

In my previous posts I have been talking about Lorain’s history , especially the homes and occupants forgotten and sent to the landfill, it is a subject I will continue next week. However, whilst writing the posts on Peggy and seeing her “home’s possessions” piled up each Monday night for trash pick up Tuesday morning I am reminded this will happen to each and everyone of us sooner or later.
We are only “alive in memory” as long as someone cares to remember . Our precious artifacts of our lives are usually only ( unless they are worth money of course) as important to others who share those memories.

This was brought home to me when I had to clear out and move my mother into this house. My mum thought she would live out her days in the apartment, belonging to my brother-in-law, for the rest of her days. Because he is , in my opinion, an ingrate – that did not happen.

The first day of that “moving out process” I had mum with us to sort through what was important to her . We had to fit 6 rooms into 2. I realized after the first day this was not going to work, the things she had gathered around her in the 27 years she lived there ” were ALL important”, there were the gifts and memories of her life , some of which she had had through three moves across two continents and had kept safe during the blitz . As the morning wore on, I realized this sorting through her life and what to throw away was much too stressful for her then 92 years.

I had to sort out her things alone and make the decisions for her . But even then, although I knew most of the story behind most of the objects, some that were very important to her still ended up on the tree lawn. To this day she will say:

what did you do with such and such- your Aunt Maudie gave me that?

And I thought I KNEW what would be of greatest importance . It breaks my heart that she had to see her life as trash bags on the tree lawn. And I will never forget her pain or forgive the cretin who caused such angst and sorrow.

My daughter has requested we take pictures of all the walls and things in this house we have accumulated and let her know where we want anything to go, or the story behind each possession. But inevitably, we too, will end up on the back of the garbage truck.
the lombardi collagee
My son’s possession were also given away and dumped by the then”in laws” soon after his death .

They are now someone else’s in laws and for that family they have my sincere condolences-
time will tell …….

Much to the amazement of Chris’s family, who did love and cherish him , Lombardis and co dumped him as quickly as they could apparently . After all, he seemingly wasn’t very important in their lives- he was but a nuisance, a bump in the yellow brick road , a bullet of illness to be dodged with a sigh of relief – but they kept the money and took his ashes and any closure from his grieving family!

Ahhh there it is…. money , profit and control. It is that caliber of thinking which is also reflects the historical homes of Lorain- unless there is money, grants and profit “kicked to the curb and on the back of the truck to the landfill”. The stories of “lives ” lost probably to be pondered over in some far off century as archeologists dig in the garbage dump of Lorain and wonder “what is the story behind this object ” ………..

The Restoration of Ancient Inscriptions

Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774), The Citizen of the World, Letter V:
Naples.—”We have lately dug up here a curious Etruscan monument, broken in two in the raising. The characters are scarce visible; but Nugosi, the learned antiquary, supposes it to have been erected in honor of Picus, a Latin king, as one of the lines may be plainly distinguished to begin with a P. It is hoped this discovery will produce something valuable, as the literati of our twelve academies are deeply engaged in the disquisition.”

April 16, 2014 at 8:14 pm 2 comments

Lorain- history- Changes – kicked to the landfill

403 OberlinPart One

Part Two

So what was most precious to Peggy – her family’s history – ( or what is left of it) resides in my dining room for the moment . The papers are fragile and faded , newspaper articles and hand written notes crumbling . How much more ended up in the garbage of house clearing doesn’t bear thinking about. What will happen to her house is in limbo for the moment. Some time in the next few days we will gather and go through what little was left to see what we can catalogue and keep.

It is par for the course as Lorain’s and Lorain County ‘s history makes another trip to the landfill.


100 stopres

Thanks to Col. Matt Nahorn and the New Indian Ridge Museum

not everything goes to the landfill. Little bits of history are carefully preserved -


Col. Nahorn stands in the space that the front door once occupied at the Capt. Aaron Root House.
Photo Source New Indian Ridge Museum

“We were able to salvage an original stair tread from the front main staircase; handmade bricks from a chimney; square nails; a couple of wood pieces from the wood lath; an old metal light fixture; a while porcelain door knob; some slate from the roof; some molding; and two oak thresholds from inner doorways.

Photo Dan Brady

Photo Dan Brady

Many of these items will comprise a new display at the Museum and act to document this local historic structure. We are very excited to report that we will be able to use the stair tread that we salvaged from the main staircase in the Capt. Aaron Root house, in the restoration project for the staircase in the Shupe house. (Of course, the tread will need much work with sanding, staining) So, soon we’ll be walking upon one of the steps that the Roots walked upon!”

There are so many houses now trucked off to the landfill whose significance and historical worth to this community are now buried with the plastic bags full of a throwaway society- all in the name of progress.

Captain Samuel Flint home

Captain Samuel Flint home



and now Photo Mark Teleha

and now Photo Mark Teleha

what is left displayed at The New Indian Ridge Museum

what is left displayed at The New Indian Ridge Museum


April 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm 1 comment…ch Changes- Herstory- Lorain-History Part 2

Part One

Peggy Gillmore has, like most of us will and those who have gone before, ended up with but a few lines in a local paper

Yet there is so much about Lorain, and the founding of Lorain then Black River, Charleston Village in those few lines

“Ms. Gillmore was a sixth generation member of the Gillmore family who came from Massachusetts to settle in Lorain in 1810. Peggy loved researching the history of her family and Lorain”

Yes, she was the last living descendent in Lorain of one of the founders of Lorain.

It is true she loved her family history , was proud of their accomplishments and fought to preserve it.

Twice she fought City Hall and developers from taking the centuries old green space donated by her family -
Gillmore Donation ( newspaper cutting 1925)

now known as Veteran’s Park” – first a parking lot in the 1970′s and then Condos for Cole and John Veard and Foltin in 2005-6.

I met Peggy when we moved into “my” “this old house” just 6 houses down the block.


We shared a love of history, neighborhood, theatre and art. I spent many hours over the years on her front porch and on the phone chatting about Lorain. Peggy, knew all the stories of these old houses , who was who and spoke of people long ago as if they still walked and lived in the neighborhood she knew so well.
403 Oberlin
Peggy wanted to do more and

“I must get to that trunk of papers in the attic” “I have to get this all down” I need to get this house on the Historical Register

but age and ill-health precluded her from accomplishing that goal . Her house has become just another old house destined for what is unknown- although Peggy wanted it maintained and kept in the family, it is now unclear if that will be the case.

So why should we , in Lorain, care about just another old house.

wilford house
We don’t care about the Wilford- Bartenfeld House,

or any of the other homes that have a history in this old neighborhood.

They , their links to heroism , contribution to country are not embraced by the majority of this community . They too, like the contents of previous owners lives are kicked to the curb.

Those items, precious to those that live with them and their memories, become just trash to be disposed of as quickly as possible. It broke Peggy’s heart to see what was happening to her beloved trees, in fact just few days after her death they came and cut down the ones she was fighting to save. Their stumps mute testament to her loss of the fight.

All was not lost, although I know there was and is probably so much more that has ended in a landfill, what is left is just a few items of Lorain’s history reverently guarded by the last of Gilmore’s of Lorain are taking up a small space in my dining room.


April 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm 4 comments…ch Changes- Herstory- Lorain-History

Changes , some happen quickly and some take years. I have given a lot of thought lately to this old neighborhood- old by US standards but just a baby in the life of other communities. 207 years isn’t very long in the grand scheme of “community history”- But that doesn’t make Lorain’s history any less worthwhile or fascinating than ancient or medieval history.

history (n.) “relation of incidents” (true or false), from Old French estoire, estorie “chronicle, history, story”

Modern French histoire),

from Latin historia “narrative of past events, account, tale, story,”

from Greek historia “a learning or knowing by inquiry; an account of one’s inquiries, history, record, narrative,”

from historein “inquire,” from histor “wise man, judge,” from PIE *wid-tor-, from root *weid- “to know,” literally “to see”

Readers of this blog, know for years I have been trying to get something done about an “old house” on 4th and Hamilton. Ave and 4th

The house, empty and decaying for many decades, was still owned by the same family whose forefather built the structure approximately 130 years ago.

HIS story and those of the family are gone now. It was bitter-sweet as I watched the house from my den window being taken down – an empty shell that had met my gaze these 40 years . I watched, through the seasons, as time and weather took the toll on her. Finally once again, the land where she stood for 130 years is now as it was the day before her foundations were dug into the virgin earth as part of a growing village.

I wondered, as the bulldozers and dumpsters were positioned to receive this old home, why the owner had apparently not respected the home leaving it open to the elements and decay for decades . This dwelling was part of his story and history too apparently wasn’t important enough to preserve or care about. But then- I have also wondered why Lorain and her “story” is only embraced by a few and even then not until the late 70′s and 80′s did Lorain have any formal group gathered to preserve anything from her birthing.

Black River Historical Society Now Lorain Historical Society

I suppose coming from England, where it was part of my growing up, to know and be taught our history and local history – celebrate our “story”, the homes and dwelling places of our heroes and the not so heroic it is part of who I have become . I am part of the heritage of my kind and I have great pride in the story. .
tea into harbor
Lorain has become for me on par with “American Tea”. Sorry, but maybe it was because you dumped the tea in the harbor and so it was considered “traitorous” drink :( Whatever the explanation the majority of Americans fail to make a decent cup of tea…. dunking tea bags and tepid water does not a decent cuppa make.

Lorain’s homes of “story” have become that beverage in my mind…..tepid water and weak – a mere semblance of what should be – preferring the new beverage of “moving forward ” coffee.

As more of Lorain’s “tangible” past disappears or is lost to memory and archives – I am saddened.

Peggy Bic 2007

Recent events within this – Lorain’s oldest neighborhood – and the treasures of one becoming tomorrow’s trash to others both in my personal experience and also the loss of the last living history connection to one of Lorain’s founding fathers has deeply saddened me…..

To be continued …………..

April 7, 2014 at 11:17 am 3 comments


Part One-
Part Two-
Part Three-
Part Four-
Part Five-
Part Six-
Part Seven-

We now come to our annual report of 2010

We continued with our efforts for improving this neighborhood and with it the image of Lorain. We received the Lorain County Beautiful Award for Settler’s Watch.

Photo Lisa Miller

Photo Lisa Miller

2011 Annual Report

AND where once there was a little insignificant (to the onlooker )white frame house is now , thanks to volunteers and contributors, a tribute to one of the most significant commanders of the 20th century.

It took 70 years for Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King’s birthplace to be so recognized. With the co-operation with the City of Lorain and sister organizations, Charleston Village Society managed to do in 10 months what had not happened in decades of talking .

The area has received Lorain County Historical Status as has the Charleston Pioneer Cemetery.

Annual Report 2012-

This year found the start of Eric Barnes Heroes Walk as the project to honor the young men from Lorain who had given their young lives so that freedom continues.

This project honoring the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan , we believe, to be unique in Ohio.

Photo Roger Brownson

Photo Roger Brownson

The walk connects the very history of Lorain’s earliest maritime history to those of the contribution by her native son Admiral King with gardens along the way giving tribute to her sons of valor.

Annual Report 2013

The Power of People

Just a pictorial reminder of what this area looked like just 4 years ago
SW before
befo eagle


Captains hatcoll


There will be no spaghetti dinners, steak fry or brunches, for our “fundraiser”. We will not add to your waistline but will gladly lighten your wallet. 100 percent of every donation goes to the projects as designated, we are a 501c3 .

This year we also have to not only continue with phase two of Eric Barnes Heroes Walk, The Charleston Pioneer Cemetery and the carvings at Settlers” Watch but Veterans Park is a disgrace and needs attention.

These projects all take money and manpower. If you can help with either a cash donation, in kind donation or blood sweat and humor please contact us
Donations made out to Charleston Village Society
C0/ 1127, West 4th Street
Lorain Ohio 44052 – 440-246-6046 ( further information)

March 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm 3 comments

The Hat – Time for Passing- if you agree


Part One-

Part Two-
Part Three-
Part Four-
Part Five-
Part Six-

Part Six of this series broke down our Annus Horribilis of 2005. I wont go into such detail for the ensuing years just our Highlights
The 2006 Charleston Village Annual report can be found here

We raised the funds for the ” Archway Gates “ and had them made and installed for Charleston Pioneer Cemetery.

Stopped the importing of RSO’s for profit and one of the founding members of the Lorain Neighborhood Watch Council and more all with funding from the public , in kind donations and volunteers.

BRB Resolution

The annual report for 2007 found us even busier
researching the saving of Veterans Park in 2006- we found this now, City of Lorain, Charleston Village and Black River Township ( settlement) was actually going to celebrate its 200th anniversary. In order to keep record and history “straight ” we chaired and formed a Black River Bicentennial for August 2007- 140 volunteers and dozens of organizations came together. Proclamations speeches and all sorts of happening took place on that August Day, including the first of the carvings at Settlers’ Watch You can find photos of the events here:

Diane Medina and Charleston Village Society won the Lorain County Beautiful Award for the Charleston Pioneer Cemetery

Community Revitalization Award – Any projects that are community driven and impacts neighborhood revitalization such as: Habitat for Humanity or downtown revitalization Projects:WINNER Charleston Cemetery, Lorain

Annual Report for 2008

Once again with donations and recycle funds ( the wrought iron fences around the Charleston Pioneer Cemetery were installed and the flag was raised

As always all funds designated for each project received 100% of that designation

2009 report found here –

I was away dealing with my own Annus Horribilis and the loss of my son who designed our logos, street signs and so much more , but the Co – chairs took on board my jobs and commitments as well as their own commitments.
We held the opening ceremony on August 1 2009 for Settler’s Watch

following the design plans once of Gary Fischer who also designed the cemetery gates

and those wonderful volunteers also found time to celebrate Lorain’s 175 birthday party

To Be Continued

March 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

The Hat – The Recent History – Charleston Village Soc.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five


The Hat has learned the group/ organization of Charleston Village started with neighbors sitting on a front porch 25 years ago having a glass or two of wine. Twenty one years ago that same little group had grown and volunteers worked for and received a 501C3 status. They quietly tried to improve the neighborhood, Lorain’s oldest neighborhood, worked with city government and sister societies.

2005 found the society front and center on more than one front. Our Annual Report ( with a hat tip to Queen Elizabeth the 2nd ) called Annus Horribilis ( Horrible Year)

Can it only have been a year ago, it seems so much longer for those of us that have been at the “front”? The winter of 2004-2005 was drawing to a close; it had been a long, long, snowy and cold winter. This organization was looking forward to spring.

Renee , our Portside Chairperson the head of the Lorain Litter Council was gearing up her volunteers for the “Adopt a Spot program”. Rich was involved in the fundraiser for the Lorain Arts Council, Tracy heading up the block watch program.

diane marker
Diane was busy getting the cemetery on 6th street cleaned and archived and hopefully the start of a fundraiser to at last put in the entranceway and hardscaping for the resting place of Charleston Village’s Founding Fathers.

OUTCOME = Project accomplished archways and fencing installed headstones being refurbished a flag pole installed – history uncovered and the recipient in 2009 of Lorain County Beautiful Award and also Lorain County Historic Landmark Status. Project still ongoing

We were all looking forward to pursuing our particular interests when on a cold February night the first round of body blows- “The Shawnee Shame of Lorain”,

  sign for a dealers school dates back to an abandoned plan by a Native American tribe to open a casino.   Cheri Campbell/Flickr

sign for a dealers school dates back to an abandoned plan by a Native American tribe to open a casino.
Cheri Campbell/Flickr

Pd article on the beginning of that fiasco can be found here

Cashing In Easter Shawnee article
or the giving away of our lakefront to sovereignty for slots. Months of research and becoming educated in all things to do with gaming followed.

OUTCOME= We fought long and hard knowing this was not a well thought out “Plan” but one that would get the Mayor as he stated “to the table with the big boys” .—roundtable-calls-for-investigation-of-eastern-shawnee-scam-54122737.html

Tribal casinos are tearing apart the profitability of the existing CASINO business because tribes have no obligation to share profits with local communities or the state. Any agreements made today can be easily broken by
the tribes in the future.The only people who would profit from such an enterprise are a handful of Eastern Shawnee Indians in Oklahoma, the wealthy developers backing them and a Republican consultant named Terry Casey

It also came to naught- one because of “sovereign Land and another reason being National Capital One were “guilty of Securities Fraud “

and the ‘option on the Port Land had to be renewed – thankfully Lorain City Council now aware of what “sovereign land” and all the facts denied this option.

If that wasn’t enough April when we should have been looking past the showers to the flowers found us dealing with the question of “Blight” “Eminent Domain” and all that entails with the “development “ of our neighborhood. Could we lose our homes on Portside, our history? Meetings with planners, blight study officials, attorneys, other neighborhoods, even a trip to Washington.

THE OUTCOME- THE FIGHT FOR THIS (a bit of a politicians fiasco not only thanks to the Kelo Case can you blight a neighborhood for “private development” but the URDA could not exist with a CRA area which this area had been since 1979. Also even though Foltin had them review the area twice ( at what cost) it didn’t meet the percentage of blight) But it was a struggle found here in the posts Bill of Blights
Part One and Two
Bill of Blights 1&2
Bill of Blights Part Three
Bill of Blights Part three

2th and Hamiton

May 2005. The assault of two young girls on their way to the Middle school on 6th street, found us knee-deep in crime statistics, RSO and meetings on how to make our community safer. Young people breaking into homes I broad daylight. The abandoned homes and vehicles making it “safe” for the perpetrators of such acts to do their worst. More months of research, meetings and discussions. Murders and shootings. All the while the Shawnee are planning to lead the parade!

OUTCOME: It too, like the original Charleston Village died aborning , although we had initial success well….. read for yourself in the following link and below the quotes from that link .

We partnered with various groups ( 40 individuals in a Community Safety Forum ) to focus on a target area in order to turn the tide such as the Pilot Program for Community Safety, eventually centered in South Lorain under Father Thaden .

However, that particular pilot program failed after an initial success . The approach was one that needed a five pronged approach for success , Lorain Police Dept, Lorain Building Dept ( City of Lorain) Clergy and Social Service Agencies Lorain City Schools , Community ( neighborhood) surrounding the target area at the center of which was Lincoln School.

Sub police station – Lorain City Police
Pre School – Lorain City School
Information and Referral – El Centro
Employment – El Centro
Financial Literacy/ Housing program – El Centro
Senior program – El Centro
Youth Leadership program – El Centro

OUTCOME = Once again the effort failed due to the lip service of the then City of Lorain Administration- Mayor Craig Foltin and the withdrawal of the Lorain City Schools bricks and mortar.


Then came the floods, people dying being trapped because of rising water that had nowhere to go. Basements filled with raw sewage. More research, meetings and discussions. Although it has to be said Charleston Village did not suffer the brunt of the floods, but will suffer the brunt of the “cure” should the latest plan be implemented. !

Project “Dry Basement” –



Our little historic park at risk of being bulldozed for private development started a whole new round of meetings, discussions, research, bad feelings and insults. CVSI wasn’t even aware (along with Lorain City Council) that these “plans” were being implemented. The shock and awe of “plans for progress”.
OUTCOME: We saved the Park and the process of who is who and who takes responsibility is still ongoingbench collage


The latest of course is the laying waste to our trees, 19 of them for a start on 2nd street, because First Energy is in our opinion technology challenged. A tree falls in Parma and the whole of the eastern seaboard etc is blacked out. The solution gets rid of the trees! More discussions, meetings and diatribe will be taking place on this.


And THAT WAS JUST 2005!!!!!!!
BRL trees Frank 01 WHEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you can find the rest of the report of 2005 here


March 10, 2014 at 11:36 pm 2 comments

The Hat and the Tour Guide- CVSI- Lorain

A ghost of history  remaining

A ghost of history remaining

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

The Hat curious as to what all the fuss was about with this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood and now very attached to Frank checked out the information on the brochures desk. He found the “Guided Tour Book” and realized “he ” would be available ( if he stuck with Frank) to give guided tours :







The Hat (tip) to Frank Sipkovsky and the Outreach and Promotions Committee of Charleston Village Society- should you wish a guided tour and a walk through a “history of settlement ” please call 440-960-2301.

To be continued ……….

March 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm 1 comment

What Happens when you hit Publish instead of Preview

Half way through the previous post on the Hat and I hit Publish instead of Preview icon – so those that follow this blog by email got the draft version- Sorry here is the somewhat NOW hastily completed Part 4 Loraine

February 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Catching up with the Hat- CVSI Lorain

photo Mark Teleha

photo Mark Teleha

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part 4.

Not wanting to be the receptacle for Gull guano the hat followed Frank Sipkovsky from the Settlers’ Watch site -
Captains hatcoll

1st stop was the CVSI – Out reach and Promotions Committee
On Saturday, October 19th The Lorain County Preservation hosted Preservation Exhibition at the Black River Landing, 421 Black River Lane, Lorain, OH This is an opportunity to showcasing and learning about preservation activities that are occurring around the County.

The Hat was glued to Frank at this event in the mix of meet and greet :

Frank w hat and artist

2nd stop October 24th -2013
Neil ZurcherThe Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College and “Lorain County Reads” with 14 other Historical Societies and guest speaker Neil Zurcher promoting his new book Tales from the Road


The Hat still attached to Frank, decided to take a closer look at Neil’s Traveling companion

Although Frank tried to hide the Hat was quicker
Photos Renee Dore

Frank was still hiding out in November once again at Black River Landing and this time the International trees display for Light Up Lorain under the auspices of the Lorain Tourism Council ( Lorain Growth Corp) The Hat tries many heads

International trees
BRL Photos Lisa Miller

but Frank ( no matter where he tried to hide)
BRL trees Frank 02

it seems was the “go to guy” ( as we all know )
BRL trees Frank 01

The Hat soon learned a lot about what had been happening in this neighborhood over the quarter of century Charleston Village Society has been trying to preserve the history and quality of life of this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood
To Be Continued

February 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm 4 comments

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