Posts filed under ‘Lorain’s Magical History Tour’
February– who knew there would be a window of weather where those who volunteer for the areas known as “Settlers’ Watch”,
Admiral King Tribute Site
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
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.
The additions , the repurposed the plants and trees donated
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 .
whose truck is that anyway????
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………
To be continued……….
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
What we do know is that by 1910 the footprint had changed again
1910 Sandborn Map
The 1918 Sandborn Fire Map and 1926 through 1940 see minor changes
1912 Tax Map for the city we have Emmett and Barbara Gregg listed as the owners of the property.
Emmett and Barbara had a son George in 1882 he passed in 1947
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
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
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
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
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”
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.
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.
And now the pages come to an end but not the mystery …..
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
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 …………
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
“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.
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.
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 !
The continuing pages from Oklahoma- Since there are just the last three and one quarter pages left in the group of writings found above the beam I have decided to finish up this part of the mystery – as to the pages at least 🙂 in a two part post of today and tomorrow
About a year lat(t)er the city was startled one night when it was learned that young Bob Sandford had been found dead in his automobile just two miles east of town in a lonely road known as Lovers Roost. He had been shot and a revolver was found on the seat of the car. The discovery was made about 11:30 ( ripped )
I heard about it while ( sitting) crossed out at the club. I did not see Bruce until the next morning at the office and I was reading the morning paper when he came in about 9:30. I spoke of the finding of young Sandford and Bruce said ” It is too bad and I feel mighty sorry for Tom and Bob’s mother.
I asked if he had seen the paper and he said he had not. I told him that two local young men had gone to Police Headquarters and told that they had seen a young woman get into Bob’s car about 8:30 (last ) crossed out that night just about three blocks east of the Bartmore Hotel and they drove on out that street. The police were working on that clue and had found that the girl had registered at the hotel I said her name is “Rose Flemming” and on the hotel register gives her address as D….( ripped) Ok. Delmar(?) is about the same size City torn Bartmore and is about 50 miles w(est) torn…….
Bruce said “what did you say was the girl’s name? And I repeated “Rose Flemming”
That evening about 8:30 Bruce and I met at the Club and enjoying a game of Billiards when a member of the Club came in and said ” Well the police have that girl over at the Police Station and I guess they are giving her ( torn)…He said that the Chief had told him ( torn)…. admitted she knew young Sandford, but so far re( fused?) to talk. He said the Chief expected a confession before midnight. Bruce looked at his watch and said ” Judge you will have to excuse me for I just happened to remember I have some business to attend to” I thought nothing of it at the time and latter went home.
The next morning while at the breakfast table a reporter from “the Times’ phoned and asked if it was true that Hartwell and Barton would defend “Rose Flemming” I laughed and told him No. Why we never have taken any criminal cases of that kind. The reporter said well that is the report from Police Headquarters and we tried to get in touch with Mr. Barton but (torn..) not get him. I hung up at once and (torn)…the office and Bruce was waiting for me I could see at once something had (torn)……….
ED NOTE: The only Delmar OK I could find was an amusement park in Oklahoma City https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delmar_Gardens ( and that might play a part later on)
However I did find a Rose Flemming of Oklahoma for that time period and beyond…..
Rose of the Cuimarron
met and became involved romantically with George “Bittercreek” Newcomb around 1893. The gang that Newcomb ran with worshipped her due to her good looks and her calm and kind demeanor, and were fiercely defensive of her, spawning her loyalty to them.
She was completely infatuated with Newcomb and began supporting Newcomb’s outlaw life by venturing into town for supplies, as he was a wanted man and could not. Newcomb by that time was riding with the Wild Bunch gang led by famous outlaw Bill Doolin. Her brothers, however, had left the outlaw life and had become well-known Bounty Hunters, calling themselves the Dunn Brothers.
On September 1, 1893, the gang was cornered in Ingalls by a posse of U.S. Marshals, in what became known as the Battle of Ingalls, resulting in an intense shootout. A western legend has it that Newcomb was badly wounded, and while he lay in the street, Rose Dunn is alleged to have run from the “Pierce Hotel” to his location with two belts of ammunition and a Winchester rifle. She fired the rifle at the Marshals while Newcomb reloaded his revolvers, and Newcomb was able to escape. However, that account has never been verified, and was never mentioned by the US Marshal official report, which indicated that Newcomb at best fired two shots then fled.
Three Deputy Marshals were killed during the shootout. Newcomb and Charley Pierce were wounded but escaped. Gang member “Arkansas Tom” Jones was slightly wounded and captured by Deputy Marshal Jim Masterson. Together with Newcomb and other members of the gang, Rose Dunn hid out for at least two months nursing the remaining gang members back to health.
and that Rose Flemming definitely makes interesting reading although it is doubtful that Rose (Dunn) Flemming was Clara’s mother imho …and so it continues
We left the Oklahoma pages with some answers – yes there was an oil boom in 1904 the probable location of the “town of Bartmore” but very little else and the town of Bartlesville? But we are not any closer. I cannot find Hartwell and Barton- nor Bruce Barton – so back to the pages of Oklahoma
Page 4 Clara- Oklahoma
….. Martha Barton Hospital was built by and fu(lly) (torn) equipped and given to the City of Bartmore and (he) torn gave 50,00 each year for its upkeep.
Bartmore boats of two of the best surgeons in ( the ) stet and they were brought her by Bruce Ba(rton)torn. He established six public playgrounds and ( torn and missing) gave them to Bartmore.
The people wanted to put him into politics. He never would concent(sp) I know that Bruce Barton could have been Govenor of this state if he had wished to be.
The firm Hartwell and Barton had gone on for several years and while I had married and was the Daddy of two fine children, Bruce still remained a Bachelor. He had built a fine home just north of Bartmore about 2 miles from the city limits and had a fine old couple Mr. and Mrs. Sweeney look after his place. Mrs. Sweeney acting as housekeeper and Phil Sweeney overseeing the farm.
ED NOTE: Internet searches have not turned up any of these names so far
Bruce seemed to get a great deal of pleas(ure)torn out of his home. He had a wonderful ….. torn stock and spent thousands of dollars ..keeping(?) his grounds
Page 5 Clara OK
Bartmore boasts of having one of the finest ??????? ED Note- this next word has me stymied- I am literally going crossed eyed trying t decipher these pages. You decide…. I can get Aviations – Carnation -( yes there is such a thing as carnation fields ) Donations – I am thinking “aviation” you decide
fields in the United States and Bruce Barton gave every acre of land and saw that everything was built and arranged to make it one of the best and then gave it to the city.
ED NOTE – again if it was a early aviation field I can’t find anything given to Barton
http://www.airfields-freeman.com/OK/Airfields_OK_E.htm however there is a Bartlesville (city owned air strip) and it made history – no mention of a Bruce Barton though
http://www.examiner-enterprise.com/news/local-news/bartlesville-back-when-flying-history-made-locally photo the Examiner – Enterprise
I just tell you these things to give you an idea of what k(ind) of a man he was.
Tom Sandford ED NOTE could not an oilman Tom Sandford BUT there was a Sanford Oil in Bartlesville Nov 1921 ) was another man who had made lots of money in oil and his son Bob who was just returned home from Law School was one of those young fellows who had always had everything he every wanted and his father wanted Bruce and I to take him in our office for a couple of years. I was in favor of it but Bruce said No and frankly told Tom very plainly just why he objected and he said ” Tom I like Bob and want to see him succeed but just as long as you furnish your son with all the money he wants and buy him high powered cars he never will work and never will amount to a …… ( word unreadable)
Well the result was that Tom Sandford was very much offended and said as much. But Bruce was firm and said “Tom just cut off ( missing) allowance and compel him to dig for him ( self) and in latter years Bob will thank you (…….. missing)
And there we have it more of the story and yet we know so very little that checks out . One thing I have found in trying to tie names to places I have found some very interesting reading about the oil fields and also since this is being written on MLK Day the riots in Tulsa in 1921
Tulsa’s darkest hour came on June 1, 1921, when racial tensions erupted in violence against African-Americans living in an area north of downtown. Thirty-five blocks of black businesses and residences were burned down including Greenwood Ave., known as “The Black Wall Street”. Both blacks and whites were killed, although the numbers are still debated today.
and “on the rarely-mentioned 1921 onslaught, aerial bombing, and incineration of the “Black Wall Street” business district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, by white mobs, including the KKK and government forces.”
To be continued ……….
And now to the continuing mystery of “Who was Clara?” – The word “mystery” by definition problem, enigma, riddle, puzzle means something which baffles or perplexes. coming from the French – *misterie, Old French mistere “secret” fits the tale of the folded papers of a century ago.
I have reached out to historical societies in Oklahoma – and the consensus was ” For the time frame you are looking for is going to be difficult”. They did give me a couple of other resources to try but in the meantime I am hoping we will learn more about the first owners of the property – 212 18th Street, formally Forest. That may give us another clue ….
What we do know is the papers were “hidden” or secreted before 1926, how long before we don’t know . Unfortunately, there was a tornado that hit Lorain in 1924-
Could the home at 212 W 18th predate the tornado ? At a time of great turmoil when neighbors looked after neighbors, Is it possible “Clara” may have been a visitor to the home”- leaving before retrieving her writings?
Was Clara even a real person, could she have been the “character” in a budding writers imagination? Readers will notice at the top of each of the pages thus far documented here are numbers such as 200- 215 -225 counting the words on those pages ( some crossed out) the number of words generally correspond to those numbers. Many writers do this when writing the draft or outline of a story.
Could this be possible? Is this a draft of a book or short story???
Back to the mystery – the next pages( written in the same hand) but NOT on Lorain Lumber letterhead are NOT numbered ( neither was the last page (5) on the letterhead paper). The following pages are paper thin and although found folded with the previous writings they “jump” into a whole different locale to make it worse for the “History Mystery Squad” there is obviously a “segue” page missing which possibly could have explained the Oklahoma connection. Is this the story told to Clara by her mother that would cause so much heart ache and suffering and to tell of her mother’s courage and fighting spirit?
A single woman driving her own “roadster” pre 1926 and having the money to do so ( locally) may have been a bit of a rarity BUT then again we have learned woman in Lorain were often in charge of businesses as the men were elsewhere so maybe not so much of a stretch
Map of the Oklahoma and Indian Territories 1905
My romantic imagination tries to fill in the blanks but I know in my heart of hearts I have to follow the evidence trail.
BUT this continuation of “Clara’s ” writing was before Oklahoma became a state a lot of towns and townships were numbered or absorbed into larger communities- were these actual places and names ?
Surely though the prominent people mentioned should have some record history- BUT then I remember Lorain and the burying of her past and people only to find their stories and connection recently “unearthed” If any readers want to join in the investigation please do so , I would love to find out if this is fact of fiction!
CLARA the Oklahoma pages
“It really seemed that every man, woman and child in Bartmore (???) Oklahoma admired Bruce Barton and as a citizen of Bartmore I believe that I knew him best and in the (latter- crossed through) I was associated with him ( torn) (missing) found out that he never could (???) (torn) (missing) very much about himself. But if I am going to tell you the story of this man why let us start from the first day I met him.
It was in June 1902 when a young man came into my Law office and inquired if I was Judge Hartwell (???). Telling him I was he said ” Barton is my name “Bruce (???) Barton and as I am opening a Law office across the street, I thought I would come in and get acquainted . I remember at the time I remarked “Well Barton, misery loves company and I sure welcome you to Bartmore.”
You see Bartmore at that time was a small Oklahoma town with about 8,000 pop and ( torn) (missing) (possible words- :the future) did not look very bright for a young (torn)(missing) I had been called Judge for ???? (torn missing “
(1) was there ever a Bartmore Oklahoma – a Judge Hartwell- a Bruce Barton ?
(2) Was Bartmore one of the many townships lost to the future along with its citizens?
(3)Did Clara change the names to protect the “guilty or innocent”?-
The beam exposed when the old furnace was removed where the papers were hidden – Photo courtesy of Councilman Dennis Flores
(4)Why hide the writings if she ( and I believe the writings are of a feminine nature) was trying her hand at a story?
(5)Would the content have been frowned upon by those residing in the home in those early days of the 20th century?
To be continued
I am a transplant from a sea faring nation. I always wondered why Lorain did not hold her “inland seas” connection dearer to their historical hearts.
“One of the captains Dore shared information about was Capt. Thomas Wilford. She referred to him as the “steamboat master” and explained how he saved his family from a ship wreck on Lake Superior.
Dore said she learned about Wilford 10 years ago, and is in part how she became interested in the history of the Black River and those who helped establish Lorain, formerly known as Charleston Village.
As I read Rene’s remarks I remembered the night she introduced us to Captain Wilford
and his connection, how this led to a continuing journey through the seas of Lorain’s maritime history and her lights along the shore …
Words: Henry Burton, 1877.
by Loraine Ritchey
He has become “my” captain,from the moment Renee Dore came through my front door with his story, this man of the inland sea captivated my imagination and part of my heart.
It all started in frustration and anger -this romance. Charleston Village Executive Board were holding a meeting in my home- we were under threat of blight and had been told that the little park that had been a public green space for two centuries was to make way for “condos”. We were meeting to plan a course of action . What could we do , this small band of neighbors, to show the worthiness of Lorain’s history and this oldest neighborhood, from which Lorain eventually grew, to those that only saw limited revenue for the short term?
As we sat there, Renee mentioned that she had received some papers from a contact at Bowling Green University. Renee, who loves this old neighborhood, played as a child on her streets, and has given back to her three fold, including building a “new” home –
hoping to restart a community, had gone in search of a man- a ship’s captain. Her captain may have lived in the house where she lived as a “wee bairn” and in her search through the archives of the Black River Historical Society and the Lorain Public Library, in order to document the stories and the worth of Portside – before it went to the wrecking ball-
click to enlarge
had come across a story of a ship’s captain who had saved his wife, children and crew from a shipwreck.
I remember Renee coming in that evening, full of excitement, even though the meeting was going to be “dour”, as we started reading the old news paper accounts; I came to the overwhelming realization ,that inspite of what we were facing ,I had to chronicle this man’s tale. It is a tale of love, bravery, adventure and humanity, one that my grandfather would’ve described as a “cracking good yarn” .
I persuaded Renee to leave me the documents and started to piece the tale together, my theatrical background switched into overdrive, in my mind I saw the play , the movie that could be made from this…. my creative instincts saw so many possibilities.
I kept studying the old black and white photo copy of the man in question,
I was experiencing deja vu – I know this face, his eyes -why? I am not even from here originally; he was originally from England , but nowhere near where I had lived. Why was this face amongst the old newsprint so familiar? I asked my mother who came over the next day as I was typing “Her Book“
“Mum look at this picture what do you think?”
He certainly reminds me of someone but who? – well lets get on with “my memories” since you have nagged me to do this for decades”
and the Captain stayed on the desk.
The days went by and the Captain’s face haunted me, as I typed my mum’s memories of her childhood and young life. I would take a break and look at the photo on top of the printer
“you know me- you know – you know me “
it seemed to accuse but I just couldn’t make the connection.
I eventually got lost in the problems facing Lorain,
when a phone call took me back to The Captain. It was my very good friend, fellow actor Dave Cotton. Dave and I have gone through the good times and the bad, we laugh and moan together. It was one of those dreary days –
“tell me something good”
Dave, I have just been putting together a story about a sea captain , it would make a great play even a better movie- the visual , the romance , the tragedy, the bravery I just can’t get this guy out of my mind.
Dave hadn’t heard of such a significantly adventurous tale from Lorain’s past and he and his family had lived in the area for generations.
I then went rabbitting on about this Captain Wilford,
my great grandmother’s name was Wilford
THE FACE – of course that face -it was David- the moustache , the hair was a little different but the eyes – it WAS DAVID!!!!!
Dave IT IS YOU!!!
David who has known my penchant for the dramatic, laughed and said
” I have never heard of this guy in our family stories or documents” Dave.this is just too coincidental ! You have to look and see
after a couple of days research it was confirmed the heretofore unknown Captain Thomas Wilford was Dave’s great,great uncle.
Dave had passed his home on his way to meetings at the Black River Historical Society , never knowing that he had a connection.
From there the tale continued to grow, in order to raise funds for the Charleston Village Cemetery, Dave, his theatrical talent blessing us, started telling the tale of the shipwreck, and in order to make sure his facts were correct embarked on a journey of his own discovery .
Not only was a remarkable piece of Lorain’s history found, more was uncovered , his wife-Fanny who had had his arms protectvely wrapped around her as the large Canadian ship came out of the fog to slice into their schooner) her own connection to the Civil War
, her family and Lakeview Park , the worth of a rental,
the people who laid this towns foundations, once again living and breathing as we celebrated the two hundred years .
The fact that the State of Michigan deems the story of the shipwreck and the preservation of the wreck as important to the history of the Inland Seas and the archiver of the Titanic- Ken Marschall has also archived the Osborne but Lorain knew not the worth of her people to the maritime history………
Note to access the photos of the Osborne as she rests at the bottom of Lake Superior – near White Fish Point click here and scroll down
to be continued……….