Cleveland Memory Newsletter

v.2, no. 10
October, 2005

  • Web Resources at Cleveland Memory
  • News from Special Collections
  • News from Around the Region
  • People on the Move
  • Recent Books
  • This Month in History
  • October Calendar
  • Endnotes

Web Resources at Cleveland Memory

graphical icon for the Ethnic Women of Cleveland website

One goal of the Cleveland Memory Project is to identify local history research projects from earlier eras and give them new currency via the Web. Ethnic Women of Cleveland was an oral history project conducted in the mid-Eighties by Professor Jeannette E. Tuve, on behalf of the Cleveland State University History Department and the CSU Women's Comprehensive Program. Dr. Tuve interviewed 29 women of mostly Eastern European heritage and deposited the audio tapes and typed transcripts in the CSU Library. We are now digitizing these interviews, so you can listen to the interview and read the transcript on-line.

We have been blessed with some terrific practicum students from the Kent State University School of Information and Library Science, some of whom have selected digitization projects like Ethnic Women as part of their preparation to be librarians. We thank the following graduate students (and identify their interview subject in parentheses): Mia Assante (Helen Karpinski), Rebecca Baily (Olga Gaydos), Joanne O'Dell (Grace Kudukis) and Achala Wali (Sonja Unger). For other library school students, we should point out that there are plenty more interviews and other projects waiting to be done.



News from CSU Special Collections

One of the downsides of grant funding is that it eventually stops, closing up shop on whatever was once a dynamic project in the process. We have been generously supported by the North American Railway Foundation for several years, but the grant is ending October 1st and with it goes our colleague Joe Juratovac, who's labored part-time for several years on our Newburgh & South Shore Collection and the various Nickel Plate Road collections we hold in Special Collections. An architect by profession and a funny, smart and friendly soul by inclination, Joe's been a wonderful mixture of easy-going academician and detail-oriented professional whose experience, wit and talent is suddenly not going to be available to us. That's hard to imagine. With luck we may be able to re-fund his work from another source, but until such time as we do, we will miss Joe very much.

In the last issue we asked "Whither this newsletter?" as we wrestled with the challenges of continuing it. While we've obviously decided to put out this October issue, it's still very much in the air. Lynn Bycko's arrival on the Special Collections staff has already resulted in some easing of the burden, as she contributes copy, but no dependable, long-term solution has been found to the main question. Stay tuned!



News from Around the Region

The Cleveland Archival Roundtable (CAR) held its first meeting of the season on September 28th, at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Twenty-one archivists, special collections librarians, students and others interested in the care and feeding of historical records gathered to meet, network and catch up with colleagues. In attendance were representatives from such organizations as the Western Reserve Historical Society, Case, Cleveland State, the Cleveland Clinic, United Church of Christ, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Myer's University, Shaker Hts. Public Library, the City of Cleveland and other local institutions. It was a rousing success and the next such meeting will be held at the Cleveland State University Archives, in the CSU Library's third floor, on October 26th, at 7:00 p.m.

CAR also sponsored an "Archives 101" workshop on Saturday, October 1st, for people who wanted to brush up on basic procedures for handling historic materials. This is the second time that the organization has offered this $30 course, which is conducted by representatives from the Society of Ohio Archivists.


Recent items in the press of local history interest:

  • The death of Robert Little brought to an end a prolific architectural career. (Peery, Richard P., "Robert A. Little, 89, designed hundreds of local buildings," Plain Dealer, Sunday, August 7, 2005, p.)

  • Former Ohio Knitting Mills building, slated someday to become the MidTown Technology Center, still remains empty. (Mezger, Roger, "Knitting Mills project not sewn up yet", Plain Dealer, Tuesday, August 9, 2005, p. C-1)

  • This major feature article relates the effects of Robert Manry's voyage and sudden subsequent fame on his two children. (Heaton, Michael, "The cost of a dream", Plain Dealer Sunday, Sunday, August 14, 2005, p. 7.)

  • Tells the story of Steven Callahan, a Cleveland sailor with Manry aspirations, who drifted on the Atlantic for 76-days and 1,800 miles. (Kavanaugh, Molly, "Cleveland sailor inspired survival at sea, its lessons", Plain Dealer, Sunday, August 14, 2005.)

  • Ohio Canal Corridor chief Tim Donovan discusses funding for the Canalway's Towpath Trail. (Tim Donovan, Letters: "Establish TIF to fund Cleveland Towpath Trail", Plain Dealer, Wednesday, August 17, 2005, p. B-8.)

  • The Lake County press reports on the ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary of native son Robert Manry's voyage in the Tinkerbelle. (Vlach, Kimberly, "A Manry for all seasons", News-Herald.)

  • Michael Heaton does a follow-up to his August 14th Sunday Magazine piece on the Manry children. (Michael Heaton, "Son of great adventurer Manry charts a solo course of his own", Plain Dealer Friday, Friday, August 19, 2005, p. 59.)

  • The County Engineer has been opening the lower level of the Detroit-Superior (Veterans) Bridge every year. (n/a, Happenings: "Walking tour to highlight bridge", Plain Dealer, Saturday, August 20, 2005, p. B-2.)

  • University Circle, Inc., demolished a 100 year old house across from the McDonalds on Euclid, for future retail/residential development. (Galbincea, Barb, "E. 115th St. demolitions upset neighbors", Plain Dealer, Tuesday, August 30, 2005, p. B-3.)

  • South Amherst quarry, on 900 acres in Lorain County, was obtained from American Stone Company to be converted into luxury homes, resort hotel and golf course. (Matzelle, Carl, "Developer signs deal to build houses, resort at old quarters", Plain Dealer, Thursday, September 1, 2005, p. C-3.)

  • Obituary for Donald Grogan, owner of the Hanna Building and Hanna Theater. (Richard M. Perry, "Donald T. Grogan, real estate owner who helped save Playhouse Square", Plain Dealer, p. B-5.)

  • Case's former Warner & Swasey observatory receives one $115,000 bid and is slated to become a couple's home. (O'Malley, Michael, "Family's new focus: Turning historic observatory into home", Plain Dealer, Wednesday, September 7, 2005, p. B-1.)

  • Former Church of Christ Scientist, overlooking University Circle, is remodeled as innovation firm's headquarters. (Guillen, Joe, "Designed for inspiration: Church refitted as Nottingham-Spirk Innovation Center", Plain Dealer, Thursday, September 8, 2005, p. C-1.)

  • The Humphrey Mansion, historic lakefront home of former Euclid Beach owners, is demolished after city neglects to meet legal deadline for review. (Perkins, Olivera, "Humphrey Mansion falls at old Euclid Beach Park", Plain Dealer, Thursday, September 15, 2005, p. B-1.)

  • Despite struggles of local social clubs, developer renovates burned-out Franklin Castle, in Ohio City, as a new "Franklin Castle Club". (Petkovic, John, "Developer transforms Franklin Castle into a private club", Plain Dealer, Friday, September 16, 2005, p. E-1.)

  • The Cleveland Landmarks Commission earns a "Jeer" from the PD for overlooking city regulations and allowing the Humphrey Mansion to be demolished. (n/a, Cheers and Jeers, Plain Dealer, Friday, September 16, 2005, p. B-8.)

  • The Gospel Press Building, in Tremont, will undergo a $15,000,000 renovation. (n/a, Communities: "Press building makeover", Plain Dealer, Saturday, September 17, 2005, p B-3.) (Free Times version, October 1st)

  • The City of South Euclid may use its power of eminent domain to seize the old Cedar-Center Shopping Center, if owners refuse their $12,000,000 offer. (Ott, Thomas, "S. Euclid may use eminent domain", Plain Dealer, Tuesday, September 20, 2005, p. B-3.)

  • New Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage to open October 11th in Beachwood. (Patton, Susan Ruiz, "A tribute to local Jewish heritage", Plain Dealer, Tuesday, September 20, 2005, p. B-3.)

  • Polish Heritage Center Museum launched in Slavic Village with blessings from Bishop Pilla and speech by Zbigniew Brzezinski. (Smith, Robert, "Poles proudly show, share heritage at new museum", Plain Dealer, Thursday, September 22, 2005, p. B-3.)

  • The opening of the Polish Heritage Center Museum earned a "Cheer" from the PD. (n/a, Cheers and Jeers, Plain Dealer, Friday, September 23, 2005, p. B-8.)

  • Publicity for the new exhibit at the Western Reserve Historical Society. (Crump, Sarah, "Road to riches: Museum recalls Millionaires' Row in all its glory," Plain Dealer, Friday, September 23, 2005, p. E-1.)

  • An announcement of the impending relocation of the Steamship William G. Mather Museum. (Breckenridge, Tom, "Ahoy! Mather Museum to move across harbor", Plain Dealer, Friday, September 23, 2005, p. B-3.)

  • Captain Harry Anderson, 96, is at helm as the Steamship William G. Mather Museum is moved from Ninth Street Pier to Dock 32, next to the Great Lakes Science Center. (Koontz, Rena, "Steamship Mather sails with a tug and a push", Plain Dealer, Sunday, September 25, 2005, p. B-1/4.)

  • Frank Brodnik and his Euclid Beach Park Now group want to install the old carousel in the state park at Euclid Beach. (Okoben, Janet, "Old park's fans want to give carousel from Euclid Beach another go-around", Plain Dealer, Monday, September 26, 2005, p. B-5.)

  • Columnist Tom Ferran profiles ex-seaman Mickey "Skippy" Thomas, 94 year old former sailor on the Mather, as they watch the Mather Museum moved across the harbor.(Ferran, Tom, "Mather rebirthing sounds a blast of lake memories", Plain Dealer, Tuesday, September 27, 2005, p. E-1.)

  • The story of how the 1932 execution of relatives in the city's Sugar Wars eventually led Rick Porrello to write The rise and fall of the Cleveland Mafia. (Sweeney, James F., "The murder that wouldn't die: his family's past led Rick Porrello to a life of writing," Plain Dealer, Tuesday, September 27, 2005, p. E-1.)



People on the Move

Rita Knight-Gray is the new project archivist working on the Icabod Flewellyn Collection at the East Cleveland Public Library. Over the summer they also had intern named Adam Houser helping out on local history collection, funded by the Cleveland Foundation. (The library also recently dedicated their new Deborah Ann November Wing)



Recent Books, Current Exhibits, etc.

Millionaires' Row: The Legacy of Euclid Avenue, the Western Reserve Historical Society's new exhibit follows up on their highly successful "Showplace of America" exhibit in the early Nineties, when Jan Cigiano's book was published. It runs from September 24th until May 31st, 2006 and will support an extensive lecture series on aspects of life on The Row.

Ten years ago, Todd Michney was a book page for the Western Reserve Historical Society Library, while attending graduate school at Case. Now he's a newly-minted Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and his 2004 thesis, Changing neighborhoods : race and upward mobility in southeast Cleveland, 1930-1980 has won local applause.

Local environmentalists should remember Brad Flamm, who worked with David Beach at EcoCity Cleveland several years ago. Brad's now a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California at Berkeley and writes to tell us that his article on Cleveland's Garden Valley project has just been published by the Berkeley Planning Journal. He has been studying under Allan Jacobs, who was the early designer of Garden Valley and the core of this paper is Brad's interviews with Dr. Jacobs.

Six weeks ago Craig Bobby launched a new Cleveland blog, titled Preservation Sans Politics of which he says "Simply put, this blog will staunchly promote the preservation of historic architecture of Northeast Ohio ... and will simultaneously attack the high-rollers who always seems to get all the political support they want, regardless of how much of our history gets destroyed." Craig is a well-known local researcher and bottomless pit of information on the region's historic houses, particularly those of the Victorian era, and the vehicle of blogging fits him perfectly. Well worth reading! It is not easy to keep a blog going, as I have found out, but the local history and historic preservation community needs more people writing about matters of mutual interest and benefit, as Craig is doing.



This Month in History

View of the Strongsville interchange, from Walter Leedy's postcard collection

Did you know the Ohio Turnpike celebrates its golden anniversary this year? Thousands of Clevelanders enjoyed their first Sunday drive on the Ohio Turnpike in October 1955, previously known as the "Conneaut-Cincinnati Freeway." Workers broke ground October 27, 1952, and took only 38 months to complete the 241 mile highway. On October 1, 1955, opening day traffic totaled 44,000 vehicles. Back then, turnpike fares started at only 25 cents. Driving from the Indiana line to Rt. 21 (Brecksville) cost drivers $2.15, and Rt. 21 (Brecksville) to the Keystone State cost only 85 cents, for a grand total of $3.00 to traverse the Buckeye State. Today the total fare puts drivers back $8.95.

1796 - Moses Cleaveland leads his surveying party home to Connecticut following their first year of work laying out the Western Reserve and the new townsite which bears his name. (10/18)

1912 - City Club of Cleveland (home) is formed as "Cleveland's Citadel of Free Speech." (10/12)

1915 - 100,000 fans turn out for an amateur baseball game in Brookside Park. (10/10: 90th anniversary) images...

1944 - East Ohio Gas Company explosion kills 130. (10/20)

1950 - Cleveland Browns play Pittsburgh for 1st time, beat Steelers 30-17 (10/8)

1964 - Indians' directors vote to keep franchise in Cleveland, rejecting bids by Seattle, Oakland and Dallas (10/16)

1982 - Cuyahoga and Williamson buildings demolished in big explosion, to make way for today's BP Building, on Public Square. (10/3)

1995 - Contract finalizing Cleveland Browns' move to Baltimore is signed (10/27: 10th anniversary)



October Calendar

October 8th, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society (NOBS)will be launching its new
Chagrin Valley Antiquarian Book Fair on Saturday, October 8th, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Family Life Center, 16349 Chillicothe Road, in Bainbridge. Some eighty dealers will be displaying and selling out-of-print, rare and collectable books, just as the spring NOBS show has been doing every Easter weekend in Akron for years.

October 11th, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Society of Ohio Archivists (SOA) will be hosting its Fall Symposium on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm. This year’s topic is "Sustainability: Business Planning for Cultural Heritage Institutions." Further details and registration information are available on the SOA website. (members $15, non-members $20)

October 11th, 10:00 a.m.
The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is holding its grand opening at 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood. For more information, visit their website

October 26th, 7:00 p.m.
Another general membership/planning meeting of the Cleveland Archival Roundtable is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., October 26th, at the University Archives of the Cleveland State University. The CSU Library has constructed a new home for the Archives, on the third floor of the library, and this CAR meeting will introduce it and long-time CSU Archivist Bill Becker to the group.






Walter Leedy, Richard Swain, Sara Ruth Watson, John Flower

When the Watson Collection
Came to the CSU Library

University Archivist Bill Becker came across this photo recently, showing the donation of the Wilber J. & Sara Ruth Watson Bridge Book Collection to the Cleveland State University Library, where it is now housed in Special Collections. This undated photo was probably shot in 1983, as Professor Sara Ruth Watson turns over her father's valuable collection of landmark civil engineering books. Rounding out the cast here are Professor Walter D. Leedy, Jr., who put Dr. Watson and the library together, Dr. Richard H. Swain, then the Acting Director of the Library and Dr. John A. Flower, then the President of the University. Dr. Leedy has a way of turning up in these types of photos, as he's been instrumental in the acquisition of several major collections for the library over the years, for which we are very grateful.


News from Cleveland Memory is a monthly e-newsletter to announce new on-line products in our Cleveland Memory Project, ( and to share other news about events and people relevant to local history and resources in the Western Reserve region of northeastern Ohio. A largely extracurricular effort, NCM goes out free to a list of approximately 1,000 librarians, historians, educators, media professionals and members of the general public. You may subscribe below for free. As always, we thank the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History for allowing us to link to their articles, where relevant.

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