Posts tagged ‘Fleet Admiral King’

Memorial Day- Charleston Village – Heroes Tributes

Artwork Chris Ritchey

Artwork Chris Ritchey

It was a beautiful cool and sunny morning today as we walked our neighborhood placing flags and ribbons to honor those who have given so much in so many conflicts. We placed the “RED WHITE and BLUE ribbons and I thought not only of the history of the colors but of those that have walked these streets in the decades before in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood . I thought of those that had given all they could give in the name of freedom.

The history of the red white and blue:

pride-day-heroes-walk-soldier (photo Lisa Miller)

The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.

The official meaning of those chosen colors may have been lost in time but they are the colors of freedom and many lives have been cut short so the colors of freedom can fly proudly in our neighborhoods.

Eric Barnes Heroes Walk

Marine Lance Corporal David Hall


Marine Lance Corporal Joseph “Ryan” Giese

Army Sgt. Louis Torres

Sgt. Bruce Horner

Fleet Admiral Ernest J King

Airman 1st Class Eric Barnes

L-R Veterans Park Civil War - Christian Temple  disciples of Christ(5th Street) Veterans Park  Lorain Fire Dept

L-R Veterans Park Civil War – Christian Temple disciples of Christ(5th Street) Veterans Park Lorain Fire Dept

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep…….,

May 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm 1 comment

Spring and Pride Returns to Lorain -MAY 18TH


All you need to do is drive past 2nd and Oberlin , or along 1st to Hamilton and you will see the colors of hope and rebirth happening.

The hundreds of bulbs planted last fall are now taking their spring time bow in their new “staging”.
Tiny little Speedwells left over from a garden from long ago, the owner long since gone and forgotten from this world. Even the house in whose garden they were lovingly planted has gone but still their fragile blooms recall a life of another era. They are here, still a reminder of what this place had become until 2007 – THE BEAUTY HIDDEN AMONGST THE TRASH AND WEEDS and now once again another May in another decade they bloom and beckon back the “pride”


IT WAS THE “PRIDE” IN THIS COMMUNITY THAT BROUGHT BACK THE BEAUTY! and allowed the blossoms to thrive once again.

befo eagle


SW before



Today the pride is in place , it is the beginning of rebirth for this old neighborhood

Soon the power lines will also be but a memory ! We have no time to relax May 18th starting at 9:00 we will need to focus on Pride once more . Please join us in keeping our Pride for Settlers” Watch, The Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and the Admiral King Tribute Site.

If you can help with mulching and weeding, planting and or donations please contact me , Loraine 440-246-6046

If you would like to “take Pride” in another area of Lorain please do the following – YOU, can put the I in Pride !!!!!
Pride Day

April 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm 2 comments

…AND LORAIN SAID- “NO” !!!!!…… Admiral King – Lorain Ohio


As readers interested in Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King will recall I have covered some of the highlights of his career. Charleston Village and Black River Historical Society and the City of Lorain paid him homage in 2011.

I must admit, I had to wonder when researching this man of importance, why it had taken so very long for his birthplace to recognize him as they were even doing away with the high school named after him? I suppose, coming from a country and culture which holds history and heroes of ” cherished importance”, it was a bit of a culture shock arriving in Lorain and seeing the throwaway society of history at its finest.

Even the new builds are only built with a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Thank heavens that wasn’t the case when they built my old house.

We are only all too aware of government not listening to citizens – until it is too late- but government not listening to their own experts such as Admiral King and the warning of Pearl Harbor – well what can one say?
But Admiral Ernest J King did not forget his birthplace and sent the signal mast of the USS Arizona home to Lorain.

The battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) was sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The superstructure above the waterline was removed soon after the attack. Admiral Earnest H. King, Chief of Naval operations, sent the signal mast to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio. Commander Edwin C. Keyes, a close friend of Adm. King commanded that naval armory in Lorain. He had the mast modified and erected at the armory to be used for training purposes. The Navy added the yards (cross pieces). Allen Permach of Lorain Steel Fabricators, made the other modifications including the 36 ft. length added to the bottom of the Arizona’s original 26 ft. mast. The vertical shaft represents the 1177 crewmen who gave their lives on the “Day of Infamy.” The yard stands for all those who served aboard.

So what happened ? Where is the mast ? Was it used as part of the Admiral King Tribute space- this piece of United States history? This remaining part of what is probably the world’s most iconic war memorial the USS Arizona?

NO! you see LORAIN REFUSED THE OFFER – so it was stored for 10 years

The Arizona’s modified signamast mast was used until the armory was razed in 1980. It was offered to the city of Lorain, but was refused. In order to save the mast from destruction, Cdr. Keyes obtained authorization from the Navy for Brenne H. Donofrio, a naval engineer to take possession of it. Nick A. Donofrio, the father of Brenne H. Donofrio was a close friend of Adm. King and Cdr. Keyes, and had been honored by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Navy for having donated several important inventions to the Navy during World War II. The mast
was moved to Brenne H. Donofrio’s property where it was stored for 10 years

Then what ? Even though there are a plethora of Veterans Groups who cherish the memories and valor of their compatriots with ceremonies and memorials this” icon of a day of infamy ” – how did this special symbol of bravery leave this place called Lorain this symbol of “remembrance and reverence” – It seems others recognized its worth but not Lorain.


Robert Manzetti, a retired railroad engineer from Ohio, learned of the mast while visiting his daughter who lived near Lorain. Mr. Manzetti and Dr. Earl L. Field, a professor at Arizona College of the Bible and both residents of Glendale, Arizona formed the U.S.S. Arizona Signal Mast Committee. The Committee purchased the mast, transported it to Arizona and erected it here in Wesley Bolin Plaza. It was dedicated and donated to the State of Arizona on December 7, 1990. All funds and work on the mast came from private donations.

AHHHHHHHHHH Lorain words fail me – vision does not mean ‘HINDSIGHT”!!!
City  of Lorain
There were two Mayors in the time frame of 1980 –

January, 1972 -January 1980 -Joseph J. Zahorec
January, 1980 -January 1984 -William Parker

and in 1990 when the mast left Lorain

January, 1985-January 1996- Alex M. Olejko

And one has to wonder where was Lorain’s favourite Veteran – Jack LaVriha- what were they thinking?

LaVriha had been president of the Lorain Memorial Association for over 5o years, sponsoring annual Lorain Memorial Day parades, annual Community Memorial Services at the Lorain Palace Civic Center, memorial outdoor services at four area cemeteries and the placing of American flags on the graves of veterans. He was past president of the Lorain Veteran�s Council, serving as its secretary for 22 years. He spearheaded the placing of granite monuments at Veterans Memorial Park and area cemeteries in memory of all Lorain men and women who died in all American wars.

You can find the information of the USS Arizona’s Mast here:

Thanks to Lisa Miller – Lorain 365 for the link and initial information

December 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm 7 comments

Admiral Ernest J King- Pearl Harbor – December 7th- The warning!

Pearl Harbor poster

There will be much written about December 7th as the people of the United States remember ” a day which will live in infamy”.

It was because of the attack on Pearl Harbor Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J. King was recalled to Washington:

admiral king TIME

“On 30 December 1941 he became Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet. On 18 March 1942, he was appointed Chief of Naval Operations, relieving Admiral Stark. He is the only person to hold this combined command”

In 1938 Admiral Ernest J King “warned” the government of the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor

“Among his accomplishments was to corroborate Admiral Harry E. Yarnell’s 1932 war game findings in 1938 by staging his own successful simulated naval air raid on Pearl Harbor, showing that the base was dangerously vulnerable to aerial attack, although he was taken no more seriously than his contemporary until Dec. 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the base by air for real.

One has to wonder how if this son of Lorain had been listened to in 1938 if things would have been different and December 7th would not be in the history books as the “day of infamy”………

Lest we forget

Admiral King Tribute Site- Lorain Ohio-

More On Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King here:

December 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm 1 comment

Lorain – a moving story? A wasted story ? Forlorn and Forgotten

Tracking back into the history of the Wurmser House

and how could an “old/new model???? come to be on the site

turned up a couple of situations where those of previous generations – did not throw away the structures but simply moved them around the city.

I wrote about the traveling 1st parsonage- traveling down the hill to the hollow where it still stands today,

and the odyssey of the little traveling church that went from street to street at least 5 times that ended up as possibly Lorain’s first duplex. I have ranted and raved about these old homes of historical worth- such as Mayor King’s House that went from historical to bad to worse to worthless????

Let us look at another traveling house another which held “another King” and his family- this time it did have the famous Admiral Ernest J. King connection.

This was the Methodists parsonage number 2. pictured here -in 1892 as the community laid the cornerstone for the new church now 6th and Reid.

Apparently Reverend Frank J Smith writes in the Green Book (???) :

that this house was on the property he purchased for a church site and it had been moved east , $35.00 raised and a foundation put under it $85.00 also an addition put on $211.00…”we paid for the new ( to us) parsonage and church site and had $187.00 left to apply on the new church”

The house had been the property of Admiral Ernest J King’s father , James King and had its share of sunshine until the church was built so close to it. It lost its glamor, if it had any , and I fear became a sort of stepchild. Probably it kept warm though with so much protection. Therefore less coal for heating and you know how some of the brothers ( monks?) would look at that situation.

The pastors families couldn’t have been too happy in it. No outlook but a cold brick wall on one side and the neighbor’s house too close on the other side. I wonder if the rain on that steep church roof didn’t spatter the parsonage windows . Form 1892 to 1906 seven different pastors and their families resided there. Finally the Official Board decided that we must have something better . There had been much sickness in the old house because of lack of sunshine and the presence of much dampness.

The house was sold and moved off the lot. Mrs. Margaret King Hurst , a cousin of Admiral King’s says the house was moved to “Hoganville” ( the long ago name for that portion of Lorain west of Oberlin Ave. and was placed on the Northeast corner of Brownell and Chestnut ( now 7th ) Street . Sometime later it was enlarged and modernized and is now serving as a two family house. What long ago interesting stories some old houses could tell……………

Well the old parsonage, King House still stands at 1238th 7th Street

Photo Lorain County Auditors site

And as the writer of the history of the Methodist Church in Lorain wrote those many years ago

What long ago interesting stories some old houses could tell……………

Trouble is no one is listening to them – they are non- entities in this city their stories silenced with decay and abandonment – discarded when they can no longer give of themselves……… their stories ….. just so many blog posts on an inconsequential blog from Lorain (e)

June 26, 2012 at 2:37 am 4 comments

A Walk of Heroes- Settlers’ Watch- Admiral King Tribute Site

Last week I was invited by WEOL radio to give an update on Charleston Village and what the organization had been doing of late.

I updated on the Charleston Pioneer Cemetery , Settlers’ Watch and the latest project the Admiral King Tribute site ( we still are looking for a name for the site). I also mentioned our latest project starting NOW.

Graphics by Christopher Ritchey

Charleston Village Society (CVSI), along with our partners the City of Lorain, will link Settlers’ Watch and the Admiral King Tribute site with a natural pathway ( although adhering to American with Disabilities Act requirements).

The “pathway” ( in the planning stages at the moment ) will meander through the trees and join Settlers’ Watch and the Admiral King Tribute site . Along the way we are hoping for berms , mounds, natural plantings and wild flowers etc. edging the pathway to make the walk interesting visually.

The pathway linking Century Link’s tribute for Eric Barnes – a fallen hero of the War in Iraq -2007

to Lorain’s WW11 hero Fleet Admiral Ernest King’s tribute space,
will be named ERIC BARNES’ – HEROES WALK.

Along the path will be another tribute ( still in the planning stages) to another of Lorain’s fallen heroes David Hall 2009 -31-year-old U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. David R. Hall, was killed while serving in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

The Eric Barnes’- Walk of Heroes is literally under construction. Charleston Village is a 501C3 and once again we will be needing donations both in-kind ( such as plants, labor, materials ( to be decided) and of course money is always nice- As readers know every cent 100% of every donation goes toward the project for which the donor designates.

I hope you can see your way to helping us to make this tribute pathway as special as these men of Lorain were and still are in the hearts of those that loved them.

We will also be needing help on Pride Day May 19th to get Settlers” Watch “de- winterized, weeded” and the carvings resealed etc.

CVSI - Street Sign Design - Christopher Ritchey

Information on how to donate.

Please send checks ( CVSI is a 501C3 so your donation is tax-deductible)to

Charleston Village Society Inc.
C/o 1127 West 4th Street,
Lorain Ohio 44052

Mark on the memo portion where you would like your donation to go:

Eric Barnes’ – Heroes Walk
David Hall – Tribute site
Charleston Pioneer Cemetery
Settlers’ Watch
Admiral King Tribute Site

For volunteering or more information please call 440-246-6046

March 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm 8 comments

Trials and Tribulations of a flag unfurled- Admiral King Tribute Site

You know it don’t come easy ….

Nothing worthwhile ever does. However even I , who tries to see the problems that may occur in any project Charleston Village Society takes on, wasn’t prepared for the “flag”.

I knew going in the “Flag of the United States of America” needed to be treated with honor and respect- the flag is an iconic symbol that means so much to so many people.
When flying the flag- you are flying the hopes, bravery, desires, history of a nation and those that fought for the ideals of that nation.

When it was decided to commemorate Admiral Ernest J King’s birthplace

we knew there had to be a flag pole and Black River Historical Society had just the perfect one. The flag pole had been donated to them and had for many years sat at the entrance to the American Shipyard where many ships had been built and launched during World War Two when Admiral King was the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations (COMINCH-CNO)

Launching of the USS Lorain – American Ship

How wonderful- a link to history, pride and place we thought and how appropriate to commemorate Admiral King.

I was told that you ordered the flag size in a height ratio to the flag pole and so we did. Since there were three “arms to this pole ” it was decided to fly the State of Ohio flag on one arm and the naval signal flags spelling K_I_N_G on the opposite side.

Unfortunately we do not have the volunteers that are able to lower the flag in the evening nor to raise it in the morning every day, but you can leave the flag flying as long as it is lighted. AH! great BUT there is no electricity at the site so it meant a “solar flag pole light” – no problem -research showed they were available and we purchased the most powerful on the market. The city helped us with their bucket truck to install the light and solar panel near the top of the pole. We had light!

What we also had was a problem- after a couple of days phone calls started coming in – there was no light on the flag pole- upon checking the “Stars and Stripes” billowing madly in the off shore winds was catching upon the light and causing the solar panel to point to the ground instead of the sun.

Ok! back with the bucket truck and an adjustment the light would have to go lower and out of the way of the “Stars and Stripes” – this however caused the State of Ohio flag to take over and take on the solar panel. We had to lower the solar light ( which is attached to the panel) once more and put it in a place where those that might wish to take it couldn’t without a hassle and at the same time protect it from the flags.

Days passed and upon checking on the flags and the site I began to notice the “Stars and Stripes ” and the State of Ohio flag were looking a little tattered.

We took them down once more and apparently the flags were getting caught around the cross bar- the “Stars and Stripes” in particular- we adjusted guide wires etc and did a Betsy Ross and mended the fraying edges and put them back- September would find a new set of flags being flown.

Still in another couple of weeks the flags started to look care worn again- we put up the extra (just in case ) flags we had . Once again a few days later and the same thing was happening – I met with Gary Fischer- the architect of the site

to discuss the upcoming ceremony and I mentioned I didn’t know what was happening with the flags. We had followed all the guidelines height – flag ratio – and I know this is a very windy spot but … Gary smiled and said:

well part of the problem is that this ISN”T a flag pole but it looks to be a “ship’s mast” – it looks like it could be off a minesweeper- so those flags are the wrong size for the mast

( American Ship used to build mine sweepers so perfectly logical assumption.)

The flags were simply too big. We took down the flags once more- “The Stars and Stripes” that had been flown over the Capital Building being raised on the day of the dedication would be too big but we decided to have it raised along with the too big State of Ohio flag and after the ceremony correctly fold the “historically Admiral King significant flag” and give it to Black River historical Society to place in the case at Admiral King Elementary. We also purchased a smaller State of Ohio flag and reversed the positions with the signal flags so the prevailing off shore winds helped keep the Ohio Flag out of trouble.

All was well until I had a phone call from Renee yesterday the smaller “Stars and Stripes” (donated by Congresswoman Sutton’s office) was shredded the bottom red stripe flying free- What had happened since the day before all was well????

Sigh our Betsy Ross is at the sewing machine machine fixing the flag once again and once again the flag will unfurl.

I have to purchase at least two more flags- one to fly and one for a back-up -anyone have any idea as so solutions to this problem- the material used to make the flags doesn’t seem to make too much difference- the cloth-like one seemed to hold up a little better.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated- the area is extremely breezy most days. Ideally it would be better of course to lower and raise the flag every day – anyone interested in that job? Let me know

The next installment : The trials and tribulations of “RECYCLING”

November 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm 5 comments

Fleet Admiral King – the round-up coverage- Charleston Village- Lorain

photo Paula Tobias

We are so lucky in this community to have people who care and respect and cover the events in this oldest neighborhood. Maybe it is because those who lived here gave so much in their time – from a young man who gave everything in Iraq Airman 1st Class Eric Barnes to an Admiral of the Fleet – Ernest J. King and all those heroes of the ages in between.

Eric Barnes Design Chris Ritchey

We may have some homes that need tender loving care and we aren’t the most upmarket neighborhood BUT we also have the “right stuff”

Coverage of the Admiral King Tribute :
Morning Journal ( with videos)

Chronicle Telegram
( Link Missing to the preview article on September 10th-)

Dan Brady, has a wealth of information on Admiral King on his blog – and was the designer of the commemorative booklet handed out.

Mark Teleha , my unofficial official photographer and chronicler of all things in this neighborhood since the days of WoM has photos and videos

Also photos of the events are still coming in – thanks to all that covered this event, Lorain City Schools ( Channel 20) Lisa Miller , Mary Springowski, Roger Brownson, Paula Tobias, TV Channels 5 and 8 and many more. I hope those that attended enjoyed their “journey to the neighborhood”

September 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm 5 comments

Lorain Dude – Check it out- A Place to be Proud- Lorain

Update: Morning Journal article Sept 17th 2011

September 18th articles
Editorial opinion have convinced Nag Nog- no hats this time – ( I had my first real haircut for this occasion!

Everyone has been busy trucking in dirt and fill and rocks – I like that !

I checked it out yesterday to make sure everything was “ship-shape”

no bees in there- WHEW!!!!!

Just a few more pointers to the crew

AND we are ready for inspection : 1300 hours Sir ! or 1:00 p.m. to the civilians !

Cover Design Dan Brady
and check out

September 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm 4 comments

Fleet Admiral King – Tribute Site- Dedication Ceremony- September 18th

March 2011– I had been researching and writing posts on Fleet Admiral Ernest J King. As I learned more about this man I became intrigued. Charleston Village Portside Chair- Renee Dore came over one evening with more information for me, often we had discussed the little house where the Admiral was born and how this old neighborhood needed to recognize her sons and daughters. That evening the conversation went something like this :


“Well the posts are just about finished now what – it is a shame only our website and my blog will recognize his birthplace and his story (locally) but.”


” I had thought that maybe we could mark the area with at least a flag pole”


” Well we could try – there is that space across from his home if the city would agree and we raised the money, a flag pole shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish

( famous last words)”

Renee and I called Frank and Carolyn Sipkovsky (Black River Historical Society), 2nd Ward councilman Andy Drwal, Mayor Tony Krasienko, Utilities Director Corey Timko, Street Commissioner Chuck Camera and asked to meet with the idea and we did on March 28th-2011

Frank said

” BRHS has been storing a flag pole donated from the old American Ship Yard”

(which would be fitting since that was where many ships during WW2 were built).

And so it began… the flag pole, which in all likelihood is a signals mast from a minesweeper or something similar , was refurbished and was to be put in place . However, the site has grown from the idea of a single flag pole to the tribute space you will now see.

Gary Fischer, Arkinetics once again donated time and talent and drew up a design, which we have followed. Then Lorain City Schools said

“would you like one of the anchors from the old Admiral King High School for the space”

and so it progressed.

I will write more on this particular journey after the dedication of the site- which has now received “Lorain County Historical Landmark Status” in a further posting. We will also be taking suggestions from the community as to “A NAME FOR THE SITE” as we did for Settlers Watch

In the meantime :

— The partnership of Black River Historical Society , Charleston Village Society, City of Lorain and Lorain City Schools wish to invite you to the dedication ceremonies to be held on September 18th, 2011.
At 1:00 pm – corner of 1st and Hamilton, Lorain Ohio – directly across the street from the birth place of Fleet Admiral King (113 Hamilton Ave,) a green space has been designated in his honor. The space consists of the recycled flag pole which for many years marked the entrance to American Shipyards , an anchor donated by Lorain City Schools which was part of Admiral King High School and the recycled historical marker , which stood at the entrance to the City of Lorain. The space has been landscaped in the shape of an anchor and the color scheme/ landscaping is of a patriotic nature and reflects the coloring of the Lorain Lighthouse which can be seen from the space. The site has also received Lorain County Historical Landmark status.

2:00 p.m. Lorain City Schools will be holding the designation and naming ceremony for the new elementary school, built on the site of the old Lorain High School. Admiral King graduated from Lorain High School. A tour of the new school and refreshments are planned. Rear Admiral J. Deloach (USN Ret.) Director of Naval History and Heritage Washington DC will be the key-note speaker. We are also very pleased members of Admiral King’s family will also be attending both events.

We hope you can join us for this historic day in Lorain in her oldest neighborhood.

September 15, 2011 at 11:55 am 2 comments



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