Tremont, one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods, and the former location of the defunct Cleveland University which has since become the lovely Lincoln Park, is an up and coming neighborhood full of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and historic attractions.
Located west of the Cuyahoga River and south of the Ohio City neighborhood and Downtown, the most popular and walkable Tremont area is centered around the Chelsea Building, one of the oldest high rise buildings in the city.
Tremont is home to a number of noteworthy restaurants including Lolita, a trendy spot from the well-known chef and restaurateur, Michael Symon, and more casual eateries featuring sunny patios like The South Side and Fat Cats. No meal in Tremont is complete without a visit to Lily’s Handmade Chocolates, a treat for both chocolate lovers and craft beer devotees, or a stop at one of the two ice cream shops, Tremont Scoops and Churned.
Aside from food and sweet confections Tremont boasts numerous other attractions. This includes quirky clothing and accessory stores like Evie Lou and Banyan Tree, a seemingly endless number of art galleries like Brandt Gallery, Eikona Gallery, and Inside-Outside Art Gallery, and The Loop which is in a league all its own as a two story coffee shop with an extensive record store hidden away on the second floor.
Movie buffs will especially enjoy A Christmas Story House and Museum, the original home featured in the 1983 film, and adjacent museum that are both open to the public for tours. And Lemko Hall on West 11th Street, a building with a rich history of its own that is now home to retail establishments and condominiums, but is best known for being the location of the wedding reception in the 1978 movie, The Deer Hunter.
If you plan to use public transportation, you will want to check out the Greater Cleveland RTA’s mobile apps. Some of the useful services provided include maps, stop times, and notifications.
For general information about Cleveland-area news, weather, sports, and entertainment, make sure you install the Cleveland.com app. Also available from the Cleveland.com apps list are several apps pertaining to specific Cleveland-area sports teams, such as the Browns and the Cavaliers, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.
Interested in history? (Aren’t all archivists, to some extent?) Then consider installing the Cleveland History app. Developed by the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University, Cleveland Historical lets you explore the people, places, and moments that have shaped the city’s history.
You can also find Cleveland area cultural info in apps from FieldTripper and the Cleveland Museum of Art’s ArtLens.
The bicentennial of one of the nation’s “forgotten” wars, the War of 1812, has recently passed. It is not quite as forgotten in Ohio, however, because this region was the northwest front of the United States of America’s war with Great Britain, its Canadian colony, and their Native American Allies. Ohio was both a defensive front and a staging area for the invasion of British held territory, including Canada. If you have some spare time to study history and enjoy the region, there are several nearby sites to visit.
Lake Erie was a significant battleground in the war against the British, culminating in the Battle of Lake Erie, fought just off South Bass Island (better known as Put-in-Bay) in 1813. Oliver Hazard Perry led the American fleet to a victory that gave the United States control of Lake Erie for the remainder of the war. This allowed the Americans to take back Detroit, at the west end of Lake Erie. The battle and the subsequent years of peace between the United States and Great Britain are commemorated at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial at Put-in-Bay. You can get to the island via passenger ferry from Sandusky or Port Clinton, or by auto ferry from Catawba Island (each a little more than an hour’s drive west from Cleveland). About a hundred miles to the east of Cleveland, in Erie, Pennsylvania, you will find a replica of the brig Niagara, from which Perry let the battle after his flagship, the Lawrence, was destroyed.
A little further to the west are other historical battlegrounds of the War of 1812. Perrysburg, just south of Toledo, is home to Fort Meigs, built in 1813 by order of General William Henry Harrison as a defense post in the Northwest Territory of the United States. Twice in 1813, American troops withstood siege from British and Native American forces. Later in the war, a redesigned Fort Meigs was used as a supply depot for an attack on Canada. Today a replica fort stands on the grounds, offering museum exhibits and public events. On August 22 and 23, the Fort will host re-enactors and craftspeople demonstrating “Life in Early Ohio.”
And if you like to hunt for historical markers, Ohio has plenty of those on the War of 1812, including one at the site of Fort Stephenson in Fremont. “Old Betsy,” a cannon that helped to defend the fort, is in position at the site, but now it “guards” the Birchard Public Library.
The thrivingWest Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest continuously operating municipally owned market. It began in 1840 when land at the corner of Pearl (W. 25th) and Lorain streets was given by Josiah Barber and Richard Lord. Barber and Lord stipulated that it always be kept as a public market site to Ohio City and City of Cleveland ( the Cuyahoga River was the divide for Cleveland and Ohio City). Additional land gifts enabled the marketplace to expand as the population grew, and in 1912 the yellow brick building opened across the street from the first building. The new building contained 100 stalls, an outdoor arcade with 85 stands, and the familiar clock tower. In 1973 it was designated a National Historic Landmark and has become an attractive location for local as well as out-of-town shoppers. What ever you are looking for–fresh fruits and vegetables, exotic meats, all types of baked goods and specialty items, or maybe the sights and sounds of the diverse merchants and patrons–all can be found at the West Side Market. Visit the website for the times and an in-depth look of the market.
The defunctCentral Market was located on the east side of downtown Cleveland. It was built in 1856 on the Ontario, Woodland and Broadway intersection. It contained more than 200 vendors that were frequented by a bevy of customers. Due to neglect it became antiquated and lacked the proper sanitary facilities, but it was still used as a market. It was cited as a traffic, safety, and health hazard in the 1940s, so in 1946 a 1.3 million bond was approved to build a new market. Unfortunately it was destroyed by fire in 1949 and the bond money was used instead to renovate the West Side Market. In 1950 a new Central Market was created but due to financial problems the market was sold in 1986 to the Greater Cleveland Domed Stadium Corporation (then the domed stadium project didn’t materialize). The building was demolished and the land became part of the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex.
Healthcare and medicine is a major component of the economy of Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio region. Cleveland is a center for world-class medical care, medical innovation, research, and medical and nursing education. There is a long history of medicine, this term used in the broadest sense, in Cleveland. There are significant archival repositories and resources in the city that document the establishment, growth, and economic dominance of medicine and the historical growth of the region’s current healthcare industry.
While an “infirmary” or asylum was established in 1837 as a response to the cholera epidemic, it functioned intermittently to provide health care to the poor and mentally ill as well as other groups such as the aged. The U. S. government established a federal Marine Hospital at the corner of East Ninth and Lakeside Avenue, to care exclusively for seamen and the merchant marine on the Great Lakes. (When the hospital closed the building was taken over by Lakeside Hospital). The first hospital, as we understand the concept and organization of a hospital, was St. Vincent Charity Hospital (established in 1865 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine). In 1866 the Wilson Street Hospital (Lakeside Hospital/University Hospitals) was established by parishioners of the Old Stone Church to care for people displaced by the Civil War and the poor. These early charitable hospitals were established to provide health care to the poor and immigrant populations of an emerging industrial Cleveland. As medicine and the profession and capabilities of physicians developed these hospitals became teaching hospitals and provided health care to not only the poor but also people able to pay for their medical care. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth numerous hospitals were established by charitable organizations, professional groups (allopathic, homeopathic, and osteopathic) and religious orders. By the end of the twentieth century individual hospitals began to merge for economic reasons into “health care systems” including more than one hospital. This era of independent hospitals ended merging into health care systems and saw the closure of economically distressed hospitals (e.g. St John Hospital on Detroit Avenue and St. Alexis Hospital/later renamed St. Michael Hospital in Slavic Village). Today healthcare in Cleveland and the region is dominated by the major healthcare systems: Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University Hospitals Health System, the Metrohealth System, and the Sisters of Charity Health System. Some of these health systems have affiliates in Northern Ohio and some in other parts of the United States and at international sites.
Archival resources documenting the history of healthcare in Cleveland are extensive. Some are institution based such as the Cleveland Clinic Archives and the archives of the University Hospitals Health System. Other archival resources include the Dittrick Medical History Center, the Western Reserve Historical Society, and Case Western Reserve University Archives. Cuyahoga Community College has a Crile Archive Center for History Education that has a collection of archival materials related to the Crile General Hospital and World War I. In addition archives of religious orders, such as the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, which founded St. Vincent Charity Hospital as well as St. Ann’s Maternity Hospital, and St. John Hospital, contain resources documenting the history of medicine and nursing in Cleveland. The following blog will highlight some of these healthcare archival resources in Cleveland.
For an excellent general overview of the history of medicine in Cleveland see Medicine. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University.
Healthcare in Cleveland – Archival Resources
The Stanley A. Ferguson Archives, University Hospitals Case Medical Center (University Hospitals Health System)
Established in 1968, the Archives of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center is the oldest hospital archives in the city of Cleveland. Its primary function is to document the historical development of University Hospitals of Cleveland and the four hospitals that formed it: Lakeside, Babies and Children’s, MacDonald and Rainbow Hospital for Crippled and Convalescent Children. The archival collection is composed of over 5000+ linear feet of material related to the development and operations of the facilities from 1866 to the present. The photographic collection of over 6000+ images (from 1870s to the present) documents every facet of the hospitals’ history, personnel, and functions, but is especially strong in documenting hospital architecture and maternity and child health from the early twentieth century to the present.
The Archives also houses the personal and professional papers of Claude Beck (cardiovascular surgery), David Marine (endocrinology), Hymer Friedell (radiology/radiation studies), Benjamin Spock (child development), John Kennell (pediatrics and maternal-infant bonding), Leroy Matthews (pediatrics and cystic fibrosis), John Dingle (preventive medicine and medical education), Oscar Ratnoff (hematology) and Olga Benderoff (nursing and World War II). The Archives has extensive collections in medicine and nursing during Word War I (Lakeside Unit/France) and World War II (Fourth General Hospital/Australia and South Pacific).
The Archives maintains extensive collections in hospital administration, nursing and medical education, focusing on the development and implementation of the New Medical Curriculum of Western Reserve University School of Medicine (now Case Western Reserve University) and its affiliated hospitals. The Archives of Case Western Reserve University also has strong and complementary collections related to the New Medical Curriculum.
In 1993 the Archives was named the Stanley A. Ferguson Archives of University Hospitals of Cleveland (now University Hospitals Case Medical Center) in honor of Mr. Ferguson who served as CEO of University Hospitals from 1952 to 1975. It was at his suggestion, and during his administration that the Archives was established. (Description adapted from description by this author in A Guide to Archives in Northeastern Ohio published by the Cleveland Archival Roundtable in 1994.)
If SAA members tour University Circle and have a chance to go the Lakeside Hospital (located behind the Allen Memorial Medical Library) on Adelbert Road, they can find in the first corridor right off the lobby the large bronze plaque commemorating the Lakeside Unit’s service during World War I. Also along the first floor corridor mounted are the first American flag carried on European soil during World War I, the Red Cross flag that flew over the Lakeside Unit in Rouen, France, and the large Fourth General Hospital banner that was used by the unit during World War II in the Pacific. Contact: Diane O’Malia, Archivist, Diane.O’Malia@UHhospitals.org, 216-983-1125.
Archives, The MetroHealth System (Cuyahoga County Hospital)
The main hospital of the MetroHealth System, a publicly funded hospital, traces its origins back to a public infirmary in the 1830s and which functioned as an asylum and work house treating the poor, sick, mentally ill, and aged. The Cleveland City Hospital was formally established in 1888 and funded by public funds. The Archives was established in 1981 and houses records dating back to 1854. It also includes records relating the function and growth of the hospital, medical staff, research and the nursing school (now closed). The Archives has records relating to the treatment of polio in Cleveland. Historical exhibits related to the history of the hospital and its growth and development, nursing, and the role and work of noted medical researcher, Dr. Charles Rammelkamp, are located on the first floor of the hospital. Contact: Carol L. Smith, Archivist, 216-778-3439.
If you are familiar with professional football (and one assumes many SAA members are) you know (should know!) that one of the most famous rivalries in the sport is that between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s a bit like Ohio State and the other university up north (family connections prevent me from using its name!). But the comparison ends there, because unlike college football with its origins in the Ivy League, that of pro football is connected to the steel mills and factories of the industrial Midwest. The Cleveland-Pittsburgh rivalry has at its roots, a blue collar aura and a link to a longer economic rivalry between two great American steel cities. And, that brings us to the story of steel and iron in Cleveland.
Even in this second decade of the twenty-first century, Clevelanders cannot divorce themselves from steel despite the city’s move into a post-industrial economy. Look closely at the city while you are here. The iron ore carrier, William G. Mather is anchored in the lake just beyond the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Take a tour of the Flats, and you’ll see ore freighters winding their way up the Cuyahoga to the ArcelorMittal mill. Now largely automated, it is one of the most efficient steel mills in the nation. If you take the time to go to the observation deck of the Terminal Tower, you’ll see its buildings and smokestacks to the south.
This modernized plant is the descendant of an industry that formed the economic backbone of the city from the period just after the Civil War to the 1960s. While early Cleveland blacksmiths worked iron, it was not until 1857 that the industry really got rolling, so to speak. Two Welsh brothers, David and John Jones, started the Cleveland Rolling Mills southeast of the city in the area now known as Slavic Village. By the 1880s, the making of iron and steel (the rolling mills had the first Bessemer converter west of the Appalachians) had displaced oil and refining as the chief industrial activity in Cleveland. As the mills grew, the process also became de-skilled and thus opened up jobs to thousands of immigrant and migrant workers. It’s not serendipity that placed some of the city’s ethnic neighborhoods near the mills; it was the need of workers to walk to their jobs. And chain migration brought sons, families, and relatives from what are now Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, and other central and eastern European nations to mill neighborhoods like Tremont, Warszawa (now part of Slavic Village), and Praha. By the early twentieth century, the Europeans were joined at the mills by African Americans who saw Cleveland and jobs at the mills as a passage out of Jim Crow and into some degree of prosperity. That expectation was, unfortunately, not truly fulfilled, despite the fact that some migrants already had their roots in the industry in Alabama.
The making of steel then provided the basis for factories that turned it into a number of products — nuts, bolts, automobiles, sewing machines, roller skates, and even jail cells! The transport of iron ore itself provided the city with a host of sub-industries. Shipbuilding was one, with American Ship Building as a prime example. (It’s hard for some Clevelanders to admit this given that George Steinbrenner’s fortune came from the company and helped him bankroll the hated New York Yankees.) Originally ships were unloaded by hand. Up a plank with a wheelbarrow, down into the hold, shovel it full, take it out, dump it, and do it again. That ended with the invention of the Brown Hoist system (invented and built in Cleveland) and then the Hulett, invented by a Clevelander. Both systems eventually found use all around the Great Lakes and their manufacture brought wealth and fame to the city, along with labor strife. A strike at the Brown Hoist factory was, along with strikes at the Rolling Mills, a signifier that laboring conditions and pay in the city during its Gilded Age heyday (and afterwards) were matters of serious concern and contention. All this reminds me of a Depression-era “poem” my father taught me:
“Yesterday I met a man I never met before. He asked me if I wanted a job shoveling iron ore. I asked him what the wages were, ‘A dollar and a half a ton.’ I told him he could shoot himself, I’d rather be a bum.”
I suspect that this little snippet is a reminder that I, like many Clevelanders, have some steel in my family history. And, indeed, as noted earlier, it’s hard to let that history be forgotten. While the mills may not be what they used to be (thank goodness perhaps, because the pollution they created was extensive), it is still possible to see the history of steel in the city. The Brown Hoist Factory still stands on Hamilton Avenue; the site of the Cleveland Rolling Mills (which later became part of United States Steels American Steel and Wire Plant) still bears traces of the factory; and some of the factories that built automobiles such as the Winton still stand. And, if you want to see the real thing at work, get someone to drive you down Independence Road in the Flats — you’ll be going through a major section of the ArcelorMittal mill. Or you can visit the neighborhoods built alongside the mills. Try Tremont – look at the architecture, count the churches, enjoy a meal at some of the best restaurants in Cleveland (and remember when you pay your bill, you’ve probably spent the equivalent of several weeks wages for someone who lived in that “hood” one hundred years ago). Of course, if you come back to the city after the convention you can buy a seat at a Browns-Steelers game. Try to remember that the roots of this contest are blue collar when you look at the tab!
But, if you are less adventurous, simply consult the online edition of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Start with the article on iron and steel, and use the internal links to really get the full story of all the connections the industry has to the history of Cleveland.