Speaking of Cleveland Talk & Tour Series


Our Speaking of Cleveland series features the intriguing, curious and oft-forgotten tales from Cleveland’s past. Pulled directly from the nationally-recognized collections of the Western Reserve Historical Society, these stories showcase the innovation, the grit and the pride that characterize Cleveland’s past, present and future.


February 2021


Praying Grounds: African American Faith Communities

February 17, 2021 | 6:00pm

Presenter: Regennia N. Williams, PhD, Distinguished Scholar of African American History & Culture

African American faith communities have long served as influential centers of social and religious activities. In this presentation, historian and author Regennia N. Williams will discuss the evolving role of religion in Black America, based on her ongoing research for the Praying Grounds Oral History Project and her books and other publications, including Cleveland, Ohio and “Race, Religion, and Reconciliation: Academic Initiatives, Leadership Development, and Social Change.”

Black Innovators of Northeast Ohio: A Family Zoom Program

February 24, 2021 | 3:30pm

Presenter: Mary Manning, PhD, K-12 Education Coordinator & Interim Youth Entrepreneurship Education Project Director

How did African-American inventors and entrepreneurs impact the history of Northeast Ohio? In this program, geared toward grades K-5, students will learn about three black Clevelanders — Garrett Morgan, Alonzo Wright, and Amanda Wicker — who improved the city through their commitments to innovation, education, and community. Students will reflect on the contributions of these community leaders in order to identify problems and imagine solutions to issues in their lives.

March 2021


Virtual Tour: Women & Politics

March 10, 2021 | 6:00pm

Presenter: Patty Edmonson, Museum Advisory Council Curator of Costumes & Textiles

Presented by PNC and WRHS in collaboration with the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Women and Politics is a virtual exhibit that traces the story of women’s empowerment, explores the early days of the suffragist movement, examines the successful fight for the 19th Amendment, and celebrates the birth and growth of the League of Women Voters as a force for clean government and the election of northern Ohio women to positions of power.

Battle for the Ballot

March 17, 2021 | 6:00pm

Presenter: Mary Manning, PhD, K-12 Education Coordinator & Interim Youth Entrepreneurship Education Project Director

There is no complete record of the brave, often unnamed women who fought for their right to vote and finally triumphed in 1920. Learn about a band of women who dedicated themselves to the public interest and grew into an organization that won the respect and confidence of the nation. This program will tell the story behind the Cleveland women who advocated for suffrage and went on to help establish the League of Women Voters.

April 2021


Virtual Tour: Hay-McKinney Mansion

April 14, 2021 | 6:00pm

Presenter: Chad Malkamaki, Visitor Services Manager

In 1908 Clara Stone Hay, daughter of Amasa Stone and widow of John Hay, engaged Abram Garfield, youngest son of President Garfield, to design a home for her in the Wade Park Allotment. While the house, with terraced courtyard garden and modern conveniences, was completed in 1911, Mrs. Hay never furnished or occupied the house, preferring to return to New York City after the death of her sister, Flora Stone Mather. Today, the Hay-McKinney Mansion is furnished as a series of period galleries exhibiting furniture, decorative and fine arts, and domestic artifacts from the WRHS collections.

Stories from Millionaires’ Row

April 21, 2021 | 6:00pm

Presenter: Chad Malkamaki, Visitor Services Manager

Declared “the most beautiful street in America,” Euclid Avenue was once home to powerful families who not only shaped Cleveland, but national politics and industry, as well. Hear their stories as you take a walk down Euclid Avenue in the 19th Century and learn about the beautiful art and architecture of their homes.

May 2021


Virtual Tour: Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel

May 12, 2021 | 6:00pm

Presenter: John Frato, Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel Training & Volunteer Coordinator

In 2014, nearly 45 years after the park’s closing, the crown jewel of Euclid Beach Park – the Grand Carousel – made its return to Northeast Ohio. Restored by Carousel Works in Mansfield, Ohio, it opened to the public at the Cleveland History Center in the fall of 2014 and has been delighting riders of all ages ever since. Explore the colorful, hand-carved wooden horses and hand-painted scenes on the carousel’s exterior and take a peek into its inner workings while learning the story of its restoration from Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel Training & Volunteer Coordinator, John Frato.

The Story of Euclid Beach Park

May 19, 2021 | 6:00pm

Presenter: John Frato, Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel Training & Volunteer Coordinator

Food, rides, and attractions. Why is Euclid Beach Park so very memorable? Learn about its beginnings in 1895 and reminisce about its heyday, as well as its final days in 1969. Relive those special memories that Euclid Beach Park holds for Clevelanders.