League of Women Voters in Cleveland is 100 years old on May 29, 2020

(Above Image: Belle Sherwin on the cover of Cleveland Women magazine, 1918. WRHS Library)

Guest Written by Susan Murnane, League of Women Voters | Greater Cleveland Chapter

The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland (formerly known as the Cleveland LWV) turns 100 years old on May 29, but we didn’t know that until very recently.  For many years, the Cleveland LWV claimed that it was formed in April 1920, and we had no reason to question the timeline.  Nationally and locally, the League of Women Voters was created out of woman suffrage organizations, and in 1949, Virginia Clark Abbott wrote the history of woman suffrage in Cuyahoga County and of the Cleveland LWV up to 1945 relying on the memories of surviving women who participated in the suffrage fight and became leaders in the early League. Abbott wrote that the Woman Suffrage Party of Cleveland disbanded and launched the Cleveland LWV at a meeting at Cleveland’s Hollenden Hotel in April 1920. Abbott had the founding story mostly right, but the date was wrong.

What a celebration it was. On May 28,1920, at least 2,000 Cleveland women attended the Fifth Annual Convention of the Cleveland Woman’s Suffrage Party at the Duchess Theater on Euclid Avenue near E. 55th St. to celebrate their history with a pageant.  On May 29th the convention resumed at the Hollenden Hotel to formally disband the Cleveland Suffrage Party and reincorporate as the Cleveland League of Women Voters. The Cleveland LWV announced its purpose as: “… to foster the education of women in citizenship, to give them unbiased information upon the vital issues of the day, to support improved legislation and to secure law enforcement. The league as an organization shall support no political party, but shall urge women to enroll as voters.” Today, the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland empowers voters and defends democracy throughout Cuyahoga County, with more than 550 members, men and women, in eleven chapters. For more information go to www.lwvgreatercleveland.org .

The LWV of Greater Cleveland is partnering with the Western Reserve Historical Society to celebrate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage and the founding of the Cleveland LWV with the upcoming exhibit: Women and Politics. The exhibit was scheduled to open on May 22 but has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.  Ironically, the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic also disrupted suffragists’ organizing activities as they worked to pass the woman suffrage constitutional amendment.  The amendment was passed by both houses of Congress in June 1919 and sent to the states.  It was ratified and became law on August 26, 1920.

In April 2020, WRHS staff contacted LWVGC asking the exact date that the Cleveland League formed in order to post a commemorating article.  We checked our sources and realized we had no records that showed an exact date. We had donated our earlier files to WRHS in the 1970s, and there were very few records from the first decades of the Cleveland LWV. Apparently, the early LWV activists were too busy changing the world to keep good records. The WRHS staff member checked the Plain Dealer and found the original report of the League’s formation celebration on May 29 1920.

“Women to Usher in Voters’ League,” Plain Dealer May 28 1920

There is a moral to this story for all history lovers.  Too often, a fact gets recorded in a respected source and is repeatedly cited as authoritative. No one ever goes back to check the original documents, but the generally accepted “fact” is not true. In this case, after 70 years of perpetuating a mistake, the record has been corrected.

The virtual Women and Politics exhibit is coming soon, sign up for our emailing list to stay updated: Sign Up Here.

Model Citizen

In springtime, most kids are champing at the bit to rush outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, interact with friends, and burn off some seriously pent-up energy. When the weather decides not to cooperate however, alternatives need to be explored.
From the early Twentieth Century to the present, the hobby of model building has been a tonic for the housebound, sometimes actually paving the way for a future in the subject being modeled. Naval architects, automobile designers, and aircraft engineers can often trace the origins of their careers to childhood model building.
The popularity of model aircraft virtually parallels the development of aviation in the early part of the last century, and one of the most successful and long-lived kit manufacturers was the Cleveland Model and Supply Company, founded in 1919. Eleven years later, the business was incorporated, and at its height, employed over one hundred people. The kits were thorough and high quality, consequently developing a world-wide reputation among builders of all skill levels.
Unlike the plastic kits of today, the Cleveland models were constructed primarily of balsa wood, tissue, and metal. Even with elaborate instructions and patterns printed on the balsa sheets, a considerable amount of skill and time was required to produce a decently finished piece. Sharp cutting instruments, noxious glues, and fabric dopes were needed to assemble the Cleveland models; a process that would be quickly outlawed in today’s safety-conscious society. But during construction, the model maker would learn exactly how an aircraft was built, from the individual wing spars, to the fuselage structure, fabric covering, and the eventual finished paintwork. These were not pieces that could be built in a day.
Whole books can (and have) been written on the history of Cleveland models and the remarkable variety of aviation subjects they depicted. Prior to the mass-produced plastic kits currently available, they were the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of model airplanes. Today, there is an enthusiastic collector market for genuine unbuilt Cleveland kits.
When the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum re-opens its doors to the public, be sure to locate the display case near the air racing section on the first floor, where around a dozen Cleveland models are on view, each representing a significant aircraft from the 1930’s. They are built to the highest standard of the model-maker’s art, and personify what is possible when one spends enough time out of the rain.

Belle Sherwin (1868-1955)

Belle Sherwin was one of the most important figures in the LWV’s history. Born in Cleveland to one of the founders of Sherwin-Williams Company, she worked for several years as a teacher before becoming involved in the suffragist movement. Sherwin headed and founded charitable and welfare organizations, including the Cleveland Consumer’s League (1899), and the Women’s City Club (1916). During World War I, she organized women locally, and served as a Women’s Committee Chairman for the Council of National Defense. In 1920, Sherwin chaired the League of Women Voters in Cleveland and became the second president of the national League of Women Voters from 1924-1934, where she launched many of the nonpartisan voter education programs and initiatives that LWV still follows today.

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters (LWV) was conceived more than a year before ratification of the 19th amendment in August 1920. The national organization officially organized on February 14, 1920. In April, 1920, the Woman’s Suffrage Party of Greater Cleveland prepared to transform into Cleveland’s League of Women Voters. On May 29, 1920, the National and State Leagues officially inducted the Cleveland LWV at the Hotel Hollenden with public ceremonies the previous evening.

From its beginning, the LWV worked to educate all voters through nonpartisan voter guides and candidate debates. Clevelander Belle Sherwin introduced voter guides in 1921, which became nationally adopted. Over the decades, these guides have appeared in multiple languages in newspapers, their member publication, and as standalone publications. The LWV provides details about candidates’ positions on issues, interviews, and suggestions on where to find out more. Today, the LWV operates a nationwide online voting guide, www.vote441.org.


The suffragists who created the League also had deep roots in reform movements, and the LWV has always worked on enacting “good government” legislation and social policy reforms through coordinated advocacy campaigns and lobbying.  The LWV chooses its issues, such as public housing, welfare reform, child labor law, public transit, gun violence, and renewable energy, by member consensus after intensive study. One important example of this work is their 1963 formation of the Lake Erie Basin Committee to preserve and restore the health of Lake Erie and its watershed. This committee was the first Great Lakes watershed organization, inspiring numerous others to form. It tackles issues such as fracking, nuclear waste, and clean drinking water. The League’s advocacy work remains true to its grassroots heritage and LWV continues the fight to ensure that “ALL votes are counted and ALL voices are heard.”

Constructing Culture

By John J. Grabowski, Ph.D.

Before AsiaTown, Cleveland, like many other major American cities had its Chinatown.   Situated on and around Rockwell Avenue between East 21st and East 24th it was the second location for a community that had originally located on St. Clair, in the area just behind Old Stone Church.   With Chinese immigration severely restricted by an act passed in 1882, it was a small community.  Only about 800 Chinese were in the city in the 1930s.   For those who visited the restaurants along the south side of Rockwell, the area was “Chinese” – signified not only by cuisine but by the colors, lettering, and symbols that adorned the buildings, most particularly that of the On Leong Tong at 2150 Rockwell.  Today that structural symbolism carries over into AsiaTown.   One sees it at the shopping mall on the northwest corner of Payne and East 30th street and in the signage along Payne Avenue.  Design elements on the Asian Evergreen Apartments at Payne and E. 39th echo the name of the building.


These examples bring up the broader question as to how our city’s architecture reflects the diverse cultures that make up greater Cleveland.    For the most part, our buildings, including our homes, business blocks, and churches, reflect common American or European styles.   That certainly is the case on Rockwell because behind the signs and adornments, the structures reflect the era in which they were built.   But there are exceptions and they can be found largely in religious structures.


Many Christian denominations, most particularly Roman Catholic had churches created by and for particular ethnic groups – Italians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, and many others.   Yet, the architectural style of these buildings usually reflected common European architectural idioms.   What differentiates them are the languages used on their cornerstones and often on the stained glass windows and on the labels of statues within the buildings.   Within the Jewish community, language and symbol were cultural signifiers in structures of a variety of styles.   A prominent one for major congregations was Byzantine – most apparent in the domes on Temple Tifereth Israel (the Maltz Center for the Performing Arts) in University Circle, in the Euclid Avenue Temple (later Liberty Hill Baptist Church) and on the Cleveland Jewish Center – Anshe Emeth (now Cory Methodist Church) in Glenville.


It is, however, within the Eastern Orthodox Christian community that the exterior of the building often indicates a difference.   St. Theodosius Orthodox Cathedral (opened in 1912) has become a major symbol of our community’s diversity and one of the “must sees” in the Tremont Neighborhood.  Its multiple domes set it apart.  Yet, it is not alone – when many Orthodox Churches moved from the city the architectural style transferred to the new building they built in the suburbs.


These structures and the neighborhoods in which they were built are the consequences of the large scale European immigration that changed the demographics of the city in the years before the 1920s when immigration was restricted by the Quota Acts of 1921 and 1924.  Some would say that over that time Cleveland transformed from a New England city to an “Ellis Island” city.   But saying that neglects those who came to Cleveland from elsewhere in the United States – African Americans from the South, Appalachian migrants, and those from rural areas and small towns.   Migration and suburbanization would transform the population of old neighborhoods and old structures, both churches and businesses, were adapted to those changes.


That is essentially what AsiaTown has done along Payne Avenue where older structures have taken on new identities.   That transformation was made possible by the Immigration Act of 1965, which replaced the discriminatory laws that preceded it.   It opened up America and Greater Cleveland to cultures from across the globe seeking opportunity and security.   By the late 1970s the bulk of immigrants no longer came from Europe, but from South Asia, Asia, the Middle East and South America.  Their presence in Greater Cleveland can be seen in the languages in shop windows along Detroit Avenue and along West 25th Street, and in new religious structures that make statements about identity, culture, and belief – the Islamic Center of Cleveland and the Shiva Vishnu Temple, both in Parma, are important examples. But they are not alone.  Today there are over a dozen mosques, four Hindu temples, and three Buddhist temples in Greater Cleveland.  Each adds, both on the inside and outside, to the constructed culture of the community.


The multi-cultural evolution of our community has been astounding, but even more astounding, perhaps, is the manner in which old structures are repurposed and new structures and styles become accepted and considered symbols of a community that has a history of demographic change.  It is not, at times, an easy process for some now – and it wasn’t in the past.   The history of our immigration laws tells that tale.    Yet, the popularity of AsiaTown provides, one hopes, a counter narrative.

From Cars to Cans

Today, Clevelanders can celebrate the April 7th National Beer Day holiday with a choice from any number of thriving local craft breweries. On the original ‘New Beer’s Day’ in 1933 the area breweries weren’t ready to release new production yet, so the city celebrated the passing of the Cullen Act, legalizing the production & consumption of beer (with up to 3.2% alcohol content) with beer shipped in from outside the city. Regardless, as President Roosevelt famously quipped after signing the bill, it was a “good time for a beer”, and Clevelanders joined the nation in drinking over 1.5 million barrels of beer on that day. Cleveland brewing would be up and running just a month later when Pilsener became the first of the local breweries back on the scene in early May with its beloved P.O.C beer.
Cleveland breweries experienced a glorious, but brief, Brewing Renaissance after Prohibition’s repeal. The popular demand would also inspire more companies to turn to the profitable business of brewing as Prohibition rattled to its death. James Bohannon, President of Cleveland’s luxury car manufacturer Peerless Motors, believed the car company could not survive the looming Depression, but did see potential in brewing as early as 1931. The company began refitting its 8 acre manufacturing plant on Quincy Ave. into a brewery, and in 1933 officially reorganized as the Brewing Corporation of America.
The brewery and Black Label would see continued success through the 1950s—becoming the 4th largest brewer in the nation (although at that point it was controlled by Canadian Breweries Ltd.) At the same time, due to heavy competition paired with a gradual decrease in beer sales both in the city and across the country, all of the historic Cleveland brewers would slowly close their doors. Original beer production would end in Cleveland in the 1960’s, though Carling carried on until the company decided to close its Cleveland production in 1971. The Peerless building was then purchased by C. Schmidt and Sons, a Philadelphia company, and continued as the sole production brewery in Cleveland until it too closed its doors in 1984.
This adaptation of the Peerless factory is a favorite story with WRHS staff. The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum boasts a sleek 1932 Peerless automobile built as a special project between Peerless and the American Aluminum Company (ALCOA). The chassis and engine were built completely out of aluminum here in Cleveland, while the aluminum body was done by the ALCOA team in Burbank, CA. The prototype was driven out to California with a temporary body in order to finish the build at ALCOA. Completed, it returned to Cleveland to find the company closing and reorganizing as a brewery. The automobile was kept on the floor of the brewery for some time as a type of mascot. It was so beloved that workers even hid it during WWII to keep the aluminum body from being scrapped for the war effort!

Then and Now: The Rev. Dr. E.T. Caviness and Black Church Leadership in Cleveland

By Regennia N. Williams, PhD

Since the 1960s, the Rev. Dr. Emmitt Theophilus (E.T.) Caviness, pastor of Cleveland’s Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church, has been a leader in the struggle to secure and protect the civil and political rights of American citizens.  His influence extends beyond the sanctuary of his church in the Glenville community, and the stories about his work are recounted in numerous publications, including the many books and news articles related to the legacy of Mayor Carl B. Stokes.

Stokes was elected in 1967, the year after the Hough Riots.  From the outset of his tenure as the mayor of Cleveland, he sought to establish close ties between his office and leaders in various faith communities. Rev. Caviness worked with Mayor Stokes to make that happen.  In a March 30, 1968, Call & Post newspaper article announcing the appointment of the Rev. William Arthur LeMon as Stokes’ administrative assistant, the mayor stated, “If there is any one segment of leadership in the community that I owe to being where I am it is, perhaps, the clergy.”

Within a week of making this statement, Mayor Stokes called on local pastors and others to help keep the peace following the April 4, 1968 assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In describing that moment in Cleveland’s history, Stokes wrote in Promises of Power: A Political Biography:

In the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968, almost every large city in the country with a sizeable black community had violence and looting of some sort. We were able to keep that from happening in Cleveland. In a way it was unfortunate that we succeeded as well as we did, because it only confirmed the establishments wager that in backing me they were buying insurance. Not that I didn’t make a good deal of it myself at the time, taking reporters along with me as I walked the streets, calming people, talking them into cooler emotions. I tried, though, to get across the point that the community had calmed itself. It wasn’t just me out there; we had clergymenathletes, street clubs, militants out patrolling, working to keep the lid on. Obviously, they were out there because I got them together to do it, but they were the ones who really handled it.

A cover story in the Sunday, April 7, 1969 Plain Dealer echoed the mayor’s sentiments: “Last night the mayor resumed his vigil in Hough, Glenville, and Central areas [. . .] In a predawn meeting yesterday, he urged some 75 Black nationalists to help in quieting fears in the Negro neighborhood. He met with a group of clergymen and new executives later in the day, asking for continued close cooperation.

Fifty-two years later, in April 2020, Rev. Caviness recalled that he monitored activities from his office at Greater Abyssinia while Mayor Stokes (who had “protection”) monitored the situation in the streets of Glenville.   Their team succeeded in keeping an uneasy peace that spring, but their efforts did not prevent the Glenville rioting in the summer of 1968.

Pastor Caviness’s leadership duties, however, continued beyond the 1960s.  He served as the administrative assistant to Mayor George Voinovich, as a member of the Cleveland City Council, on a number of local boards, and, for more than 30 years, on the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization that Dr. King established in 1957.

He currently chairs the board of the Cleveland Clergy Coalition and is convinced that the struggle for voting rights must be continual.  As the nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th amendment and the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment–which sought to enfranchise African American men and all women, respectively, Rev. Caviness says, “Everyone has to have that right. We’ve got to remain vigilant, on our guard, and stay alert to what is transpiring in our country.”

“CLERGY BACK NEW AIDE — A group of prominent clergy surround Mayor Stokes and his new Administrative Aide, Rev. W. Arthur LeMon. Seated are (left to right) Rev. John T. Weeden, St. Timothy Baptist Church, and president of Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Cleveland & Vicinity; Mayor Carl B. Stokes; and Rev. LeMon.” Rev. E. T. Caviness, Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church, is standing on the far right. (John W. Mott, photographer. Call & Post file image.)

Wade Oval Wednesday (Extended Museum Hours 5-8pm)

Wade Oval Wednesday (WOW) is back and we’re extending our hours each Wednesday, June 15 until August 31!

Admission is only $5/person after 5pm and anyone who pays regular admission during normal museum hours are welcome to stay throughout the evening.  Carousel rides will be unlimited after 5pm.

Carousel rides only tickets after 5pm, pay $5 for unlimited rides or $3 token/per ride.

We look forward to seeing you and please visit the Wade Oval Wednesday website for more event information!

*Note:  The WRHS Research Library and Hanna Mansion will be closed during the extended hours.  Extended hours are unavailable on Wednesday, June 22 for a private event.


Breastfeeding Welcome Here

“We were made aware that, last weekend, a breastfeeding mother was asked to move to a private space by members of our Cleveland History Center staff.  This reflects poor judgment on our part, for which we are truly sorry.  We have formally apologized to the mother, and are immediately implementing additional training for our entire team in order to ensure that an incident like this does not happen in the future. The Western Reserve Historical Society strives to be an inclusive, family-friendly organization that provides a welcoming environment for all our of patrons, including breastfeeding mothers.  We did not live up to that goal in this instance.”

Statement from Kelly Falcone-Hall, President and CEO

WRHS Appoints Kelly Falcone-Hall CEO

IMG_3884Cleveland, OH— Kelly Falcone-Hall has been named Chief Executive Officer of Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS). The announcement was made by Don Dailey, Chair of the Board of Trustees, at the June 25 board meeting. Falcone-Hall had been serving as Interim CEO of WRHS for six months.

“Kelly presents an unusual story in the world today. In her 19 years with WRHS, she has worked at every level, held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility, and continues to interact with staff in every department.  She knows the ‘back room,’ the front of the house, the board room, and the community. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. Both her undergraduate and her Master’s Degree are from Cleveland State University, described as one of ‘America’s Best Colleges’ by US News & World Report,” said Dailey. “She is like many from Northeast Ohio in that her family has roots in other countries; her grandfather, Mario Falcone, was an Italian immigrant, and her mother’s ancestors were farmers descended from Ireland and England. Kelly’s interest in family history was one of the draws that first pulled her into the archives and all the stories that are held at WRHS.”

“Nonprofits are less likely to fill senior positions from within. It is more prevalent in for-profit businesses,” said Glenn Anderson, Jr., a partner at On Search Partners, an executive search firm, and the incoming Chair of the WRHS Board of Trustees. “But when the right candidate is within the organization, it is in the best interest of the institution to promote her, as our Board chose to do through a unanimous vote. WRHS has worked diligently and smartly over the recent past to develop a Strategic Plan, to create a solid financial footing, to make some excellent hires in critical positions, to boldly instill innovation and creativity into its decisions about exhibits, to secure new collection items—such as the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, and to work to change from a traditional museum culture to an organization that is visitor-centric. The institution is now well positioned to take a solid top-tier, top-of-mind rank in Northeast Ohio. The institutional knowledge needed at the helm during this vital next phase helped make Ms. Falcone-Hall the best candidate.”

Falcone-Hall is a resident of Westlake, Ohio. She joined WRHS in 1995 as a reference assistant and manuscript processer. She has served in positions of increasing responsibility at WRHS over the last 19 years, including Director of Interpretation at Hale Farm & Village, Vice President of Hale Farm & Village, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Chief Operating Officer, and Interim Chief Executive Officer, before being promoted to CEO.

At Hale Farm & Village, Falcone-Hall developed popular public programs, including the Holiday Lantern Tours and A Fugitive’s Path: Escape on the Underground Railroad. Her research and leadership deepened the living history museum’s interpretation of the early American crafts and trades, improved restoration of Hale Farm’s buildings and grounds, and guided the location’s mission and strategic initiatives. She developed the concept of InHale as an educational and experiential initiative to reconnect people to the world around them through sharing stories about the Hale family and providing a variety of experiences based on the life of an Ohioan in the 1800s. She is the author of Hale Farm & Village, a booklet about the history of the re-created village and living history museum in Bath Township, Ohio. Falcone-Hall was instrumental in bringing the 2013 national conference of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums to Akron and Bath Township. The event drew international interest to Hale Farm & Village and Western Reserve Historical Society.

“I am humbled by this vote of confidence in my leadership and in the team at Western Reserve Historical Society,” said Kelly Falcone-Hall. “This is a phenomenal institution with a mission that is vital to preserving history. The future is very bright for us. All the pieces are in place to truly jump to the top of mind position for anyone looking to find out about any history in Northeast Ohio. I feel as if I have been preparing for this opportunity all my life.” Ms. Falcone-Hall is the 10th person to hold the most senior position at WRHS.

The Western Reserve Historical Society is the premier center for collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of Northeast Ohio.  As a testament to its financial solidarity, it has received the coveted four-star ranking from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. WRHS received a 70 out of 70 on “Accountability and Transparency” from the evaluation service, acknowledging the highest levels of financial stewardship and professionalism.

Music and Wine: A Perfect Pairing at Hale Farm & Village

BATH, Ohio – Sip a glass of wine while listening to local folk musicians at Hale Farm & Village’s Music in the Valley Folk Music & Wine Festival, July 12-13, 2014, from 10 am to 5 pm. This is the festival’s 40th year and while the music part of the event will be familiar, the addition of a wine garden is something new.

“We’re excited to introduce the element of wine to this already popular music event at Hale Farm,” says Jason Klein, site manager at Hale Farm. “This is a great opportunity for visitors to experience the high-quality wine produced locally here in Ohio.” Participating wineries include the following:

Hale Farm partners with Folknet each year to present the festival. Folknet is an organization dedicated to the development, expansion, and celebration of folk music and traditional arts. Its musicians will perform on rustic stages made of straw bales, benches and barn floors. While guests tour the beautiful property and experience all that Hale Farm has to offer, the sounds of dulcimers, banjos and fiddles will fill the air.

All regular museum craft and trade demonstrations will be open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring a chair, sample the wines, and make a day of listening to music throughout the scenic grounds.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12, and free for WRHS members and children under age 2. Tickets can be purchased online at www.halefarm.org. For more information, call 330-666-3711.

Congressman Louis Stokes Named Honorary Trustee

Cleveland, OH—Congressman Louis Stokes has been named an Honorary Trustee of the Board of Directors at the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS). Stokes, who served as a board member of the institution for nine years, announced his retirement from his post for the end of his term June 30, 2014. The Board unanimously elected Stokes to the honorary designation to recognize his contributions not only to WRHS, but to Cleveland and the county. The designation of Honorary Trustee has been awarded to only a handful of individuals in the 147 year history of WRHS.

Stokes began his career as a lawyer with a special interest in activism in the arena of civil rights. It was the relationship he built with the Cleveland community through civil rights law that led him to run for office. In 1968, Stokes became the first African-American elected to the United State House of Representatives from the State of Ohio. He served 15 consecutive terms, totaling 30 years of service. Stokes was a strong advocate of education, affirmative action programs, housing and development projects, and healthcare improvement initiatives. The Louis Stokes wing of the Cleveland Public Library, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and Greater Cleveland RTA’s Louis Stokes station at Windermere, are a few of the locations in the Cleveland area that bear his name as a testament to his service and his invaluable contribution to the area and the country.

Hale Farm & Village’s Home & Garden Tour Sure to Inspire

BATH, Ohio— Come explore the historic homes and charming gardens of Hale Farm & Village at the second annual Home & Garden Tour, June 21 – 22, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate preservation in the Western Reserve and learn the architectural history and stories behind the historic buildings on-site: who first lived in them, how they were moved, and how they were restored. Meet the people who tend the gardens of Hale Farm and find inspiration for your own garden.

“The Home & Garden Tour is a great opportunity for people to learn about gardening and historic preservation,” says Jason Klein, site manager of Hale Farm & Village. “Our ultimate hope is that visitors will gather ideas and inspiration for their own homes and gardens at this event.”

The houses in the Village span the time period of Federal through Greek Revival architectural styles. The Herrick house, a stone residence built in 1845, was completely disassembled before it was moved. Each stone was numbered, and then moved in 1981 from Twinsburg, Ohio to Hale Farm, where it was reconstructed.

“Each home has a story to tell not only about how it was moved and restored but also about the people who once inhabited it,” says Klein. “Those who attend June’s Home & Garden Tour will have the chance to hear these stories during their visit.”

A variety of special presentations are also planned for the weekend. Included in the lineup are presentations about beekeeping, fiber arts, and more. See the entire schedule of special presentations, which are new to this year’s event, below:

  • 11:00 am – Dye Plants & Fiber Arts
  • 1:00 pm – Beekeeping
  • 2:30 – Home Composting & Companion Planting

In addition to learning about the structures at Hale Farm, visitors can hear about historic horticulture and hearsay while taking part in hand-on experiences in the gardens. Volunteers and partners that help Hale Farm keep its historic structures and gardens looking fresh will also be on-site during the event: Bath Gamma Garden Club, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Medina Spinning and Weaving Guild, Smaht Farm, the Village Quilters, and more.

Visitors can also learn about Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Pint Size Farm, a 6,000 square foot garden plot the restaurant started in 2008 at Hale Farm. Filled with vegetables, herbs and flowers for the Ohio City restaurant, the plot is fertilized with the spent grain from the brewing process.

Enjoy lunch in the Hale Café and take home a “hand-crafted at Hale” souvenir from the museum store. Tickets to the event are $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12, and free for WRHS members and children under age 2. Tickets can be purchased online at www.halefarm.org. For more information, call 330-666-3711.

Media contact: Renee Flynn, rflynn@wrhs.org
(330) 666-3711 ext. 1715

Like History? Love Beer? Join the WRHS Young Professionals’ Historic Pub Crawl

Cleveland, OH— If beer and history are two of your favorite things, consider joining the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Young Professionals at their annual Historic Pub Crawl on June 28 beginning at 2:00 pm. This year, the pub crawl will take guests through the historic west-side neighborhood of Tremont.

With tickets available for just $10, participants will receive a wrist band and drink specials at four unique Tremont watering holes: The South Side, Hotz Café, Lincoln Park Pub, and Edison’s. Each of these locations holds historic value to the area, which has experienced significant growth and change since its development in the late 1800s.

Dr. John Grabowski, Senior Vice President for Research and Publications at WRHS, will be on-hand to tell the historic stories of Tremont during the Pub Crawl. Each location has its own interesting quirks, architectural background, and historic significance.

“All of Cleveland’s neighborhoods have strong historic and cultural backgrounds,” says Grabowski. “Tremont is fascinating in the fact that it has undergone so much change over the last 100 years and has grown to be one of the cultural and culinary hubs of the city while keeping intact much of its historic architecture.

The Young Professionals are an auxiliary group of the Western Reserve Historical Society. The group connects the past to the present through a variety of engaging programs and social events. Members of the group enjoy members-only events of WRHS, free admission at both Hale Farm & Village and the History Center, and more. To join the WRHS Young Professionals, email yp@wrhs.org.

Western Reserve Historical Society – The Wade Project Begins

CLEVELAND, OH – Your family helped support the cultural core of a city. Now, how can their experiences be leveraged to encourage future entrepreneurs and philanthropists?

The Wade Project is a new initiative at the Western Reserve Historical Society designed to tell the story of the Wade family, and to create an online model for studying individual family histories with a focus on institutional collaboration, research, and discovery. In addition to producing print and digital publication of key archival collections, The Wade Project will explore best practices in inter-institutional collaboration to create a model for understanding how Cleveland’s culture and economy was shaped over time by those who gave plentifully to a wide variety of institutions. This uniquely American interpretation of “giving back” to the community determined the role and impact that cultural organizations would have in American cities.

In 1881, Jeptha Homer Wade offered 75 acres of land along Doan Brook to the city of Cleveland for a park. It was one of the first large gifts of open space to the city. Cleveland’s Wade Park and the surrounding area—known today as University Circle—is home to more than a dozen museums and cultural institutions. It is a nationally and internationally respected cultural center. The role of the Wade family in the cultural and corporate growth of Cleveland continues to resonate today.

The driving need of influential families to create cultural legacies characterized a particular aspect of American philanthropy. To a great degree, these nineteenth and twentieth century gifts built the cultural infrastructure of the arts in America. The Wade project will focus on the Wade family’s historic legacy in Cleveland while serving as a resource and hub for collaborative projects with other institutions holding Wade materials. The project is supported by generous gifts from Mrs. Jeptha Homer Wade III, the George Garretson Wade Charitable Trust, and Theodore Sedgwick, US Ambassador to Slovakia.

The goal of the first phase of the project is to create an online and easily accessible repository of the family papers in the collections of Western Reserve Historical Society.  This repository will enable students and scholars to explore the complex—and often conflicting—decisions involved in the creation of America’s urban cultural centers in the late 19th century. The initial scholarly collaboration will center on the annotation of an extraordinary set of family travel journals.

Goals of later phases of The Wade Project are to encourage collaboration among scholars and the diverse institutions in the city holding Wade materials, to encourage and created discussion of best practices in inter-institutional collaboration, and to provide a model that allows access to records of other families who shaped the city’s culture and economy over time.

Dr. Holly Witchey, PhD., recently named Director of the project, brings 30+ years of museum curatorial and interpretive technology experience to the position and currently teaches graduate museum studies at both The Johns Hopkins University and Case Western Reserve University. She recently completed the transcription of the Randall Wade’s Travel Journals (1870-71).

Media Contact: Alyssa Purvis, apurvis@wrhs.org
(216) 721-5722 ext. 1407

New WRHS Exhibit Highlights Entrepreneurial Spirit of NEO

CLEVELAND, OH – The Western Reserve Historical Society is pleased to announce the unveiling of Entrepreneurship in the Western Reserve, an exhibit featuring individuals and businesses that took risks in creating new businesses and industries in Northeast Ohio. A graphic timeline for entrepreneurship in Cleveland from 1800-2000 will act as the background for the exhibit, which features four Western Reserve enterprises: Taylor Chair Company, Morgan Lithograph Company, Vlchek Tool Company, and Designs by Joan Luntz, Inc.

Taylor Chair was founded in 1816, building chairs for home and office use until 2012. Morgan Litho is still printing large format posters and displays after its beginnings in 1864. In fact, many of the large printed banners on display at the WRHS History Center in University Circle were created by Morgan Litho. Frank Vlcheck, an immigrant to the US from the Czech Republic, founded his tool company from a small shop in Cleveland and would eventually sell products on the national level. Joan Luntz began her design career in 1949 with designs for a breakthrough product for International Molded Plastics: “Brookpark”  dinnerware, the first successful dinnerware made of plastic marketed to the public.

“Supporting entrepreneurship as one of society’s main pillars is of the utmost importance to the Western Reserve Historical Society,” said Kelly Falcone-Hall, interim CEO at WRHS. “We educate schoolchildren on its key role in developing an economy and continue to honor the entrepreneurial figures in our community through the 100 Year Club of the Western Reserve. Our hope is to continue the conversation around the area’s entrepreneurial spirit through this exhibit and its future editions.”

The exhibit will be open to the public beginning Saturday, May 10, 2014. Multiple businesses and individuals will be featured within the exhibit as it develops over the next year. Each business has a feature section of its own within the exhibit, showing how they all have contributed to the overall picture of success in Northeast Ohio.

Media Contact: Alyssa Purvis, apurvis@wrhs.org
(216) 721-5722 ext. 1407

Made in Ohio Art & Craft Festival Planned for Labor Day Weekend

BATH, OH – The richness of artistic abilities and talents from Ohio will be showcased August 31 at the 4th Annual Made in Ohio Art & Craft Festival at Hale Farm & Village, a living history museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Over 100 vendors with Ohio-made, Ohio-grown, and Ohio-produced arts, crafts, and foods will be in tents throughout the grounds.  The annual celebration of the arts and history of Northeast Ohio will be Saturday, August 31st from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hale Farm & Village, located at 2686 Oak Hill Road, Bath. Due to bridge construction, please see the website for driving instructions and a map.

The Made in Ohio Art & Craft Festival is an outdoor event featuring Ohio artists and craftspeople, as well as local restaurants, all nestled in the history and idyllic scenery of Hale Farm & Village and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Attendance has climbed to 1,500 – 2,500 visitors.  Admission to Hale Farm & Village is typically $10/adult. The specially discounted $5 admission fee for this event includes admission to the Festival as well the entire museum.

“The $5 discounted admission is a great value. It allows you to plan on this event as Labor Day weekend tradition. It truly is a family-friendly day that can accommodate as many guests as you want to bring—at a great price. We have 90 acres at Hale Farm & Village. There is plenty of room to visit the artists, take a stroll, enjoy the farm animals and gardens, and relax with refreshments from our vendors,” said Kelly Falcone, Senior Vice President of Interpretation and COO (WRHS).  “Join us for the Made in Ohio Art and Craft Festival and post your favorite photos on our Facebook page. We’d love to see what you enjoyed most about the festival.”

Vendors include jewelry artists, potters, carvers, glass artists, soap and lotions makers, quilters, painters, and a variety of craft artists. Musical entertainment and food vendors will be available.  Beer and wine may be purchased by adults.

Renee Flynn, independent artist, event founder and coordinator, says, “It’s exciting to promote Ohio artists and craftspeople. The talent coming from Ohio is amazing. Hale Farm & Village is a great venue to highlight their creations.”

Hale Farm & Village, a museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society, is Northeast Ohio’s premier outdoor living history museum depicting daily life for mid-19th century residents of the Western Reserve area.  Located in Bath, Ohio, Hale Farm & Village features dozens of historic structures, farm animals, heritage gardens and demonstrations such as glassblowing, candle-making, blacksmithing, and hearth cooking, bringing history to life for visitors of all ages. For more information on the Made in Ohio Festival, please visit the WRHS website or the Made in Ohio website and Facebook page.

Media contact: Renee Flynn, rflynn@wrhs.org