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Historical Society again offering bus tours of city

It was such a success last year, they’re doing it again this year.

The Fairview Park Historical Society sold out tickets for two bus tours it conducted during the 2010 SummerFest. This year, only one tour is being offered during SummerFest, which starts Friday with a parade. For more information on SummerFest, including a complete schedule of events, see pages 1 through 4 in section B of this week’s West life.

A rented yellow school bus will take participants of the Historical Society’s tour past notable landmarks in the city. The bus will leave from the rear of the Westgate Target at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Tickets cost $8 and can be purchased at the organization’s SummerFest booth.

Longtime Fairview Park resident and former president of the Fairview Park Historical Society Leah Trainer, seen here during last year’s bus tour of the city, will narrateSunday’s tour. (West Life file photo by Kevin Kelley)

Longtime Fairview Park resident and former president of the Fairview Park Historical Society Leah Trainer, seen here during last year’s bus tour of the city, will narrateSunday’s tour. (West Life file photo by Kevin Kelley)

The tour will again be narrated by Leah Trainer, who moved to the community as a 10th-grader in 1955. A former president of the historical society and founder of its museum, Trainer is among the most knowledgeable people in the city about its history.

Last year the city celebrated its centennial, and the bus tour was launched as a way of building interest in the city’s history.

During her narration during last year’s tour, Trainer noted that the 1910 vote by area residents to form the village of Fairview was a landslide – 64 to 27 in favor of the move. At the time, the population was around 300, Trainer said. Truck farming was the main industry, with farmers hauling their produce periodically to sell in Cleveland.

Fairview became Fairview Park in 1948 to avoid confusion with another Ohio town called Fairview, located near Zanesville.

“You wouldn’t want to live in Fairview,” said Trainer, who once visited the place. “It’s a one-horse town that is totally deteriorating.”

As the tour’s rented school bus drove down Lorain Road, Trainer recounted how businesses, have turned over at various properties. In the 1940s and 50s, the community had a lot of “sweet shops,” or candy and soda stores frequented by children, she said.

Lorain Road also contained many grocery and produce stores until they converged at Fairview Centre when the strip mall opened in 1947.

Several small cottages still exist along Lorain, remnants of the time in the early 1900s when Cleveland residents would come out to “the country” during the summer to keep cool or go hunting, Trainer said.

Chris Gerrett, Fairview Park Historical Society vice president, will speak about early settlers buried at Fairview Park Cemetery during Sunday’s tour. (West Life file photo by Kevin Kelley)

Chris Gerrett, Fairview Park Historical Society vice president, will speak about early settlers buried at Fairview Park Cemetery during Sunday’s tour. (West Life file photo by Kevin Kelley)

This year’s tour will again include a stop at Fairview Park Cemetery, where Chris Gerrett, the FPHS vice president, will speak about early settlers buried there. Another stop will be at Bain Park Cabin, the community building constructed as part of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration.

Donna Peters, a resident of the city for more than a quarter of a century, told West Life after last year’s tour that she learned a great deal about the community’s early families. She had heard many of the names before, since streets and schools are named after them. But she didn’t always realize they were named after early settlers, she said.

For more information, call Dan Shell, the organization’s president, at 216-970-8260.

2011 Summerfest schedule in PDF format

 

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