The War of 1812 in Northern Ohio

By Ron Davidson, Host Committee member

Perry's Victory, painted by William Henry Powell of Cincinnati in 1865. The painting is currently hanging in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse (photo courtesy of the Ohio History Connection, Perry's Victory Collection, SC 1038 http://server16007.contentdm.oclc.org/u?/p267401coll32,8354)
Perry’s Victory, painted by William Henry Powell of Cincinnati in 1865. The painting is currently hanging in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse (photo courtesy of the Ohio History Connection, Perry’s Victory Collection, SC 1038)

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.

The Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, shortly after construction (photo courtesy of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center)
The Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, shortly after construction (photo courtesy of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center)

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.”

Fort Meigs Blockhouses, photo by John Stanton 10 Sep 2010, under Creative Commons license. via fortwiki.com http://www.fortwiki.com/File:Fort_Meigs_Blockhouses.jpg
Fort Meigs Blockhouses (photo courtesy of John Stanton, via fortwiki.com)

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 grave of George Croghan, leader of American forces, and the cannon “Old Betsy,” used to defend Fort Stephenson, now the site of the Birchard Public Library, Fremont, Ohio (photo courtesy of TouringOhio.com)
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Northeast Ohio: Presidential Sites

By Jillian Carney,  Host Committee member

Nicknamed the “Mother of Presidents,” Ohio is home to eight U.S. presidents, several of whom hailed from Northeast Ohio.  While you are visiting, be sure to fit in a trip to one of the presidential historic sites, birthplaces, or museums listed below!

 

James A. Garfield

James A. Garfield National Historic Site

  • Location: Mentor, Ohio
  • Drive time from Cleveland Convention Center:  27 minutes (22.5 miles)

Garfield Monument (Lakeview Cemetery)

  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Drive time from Cleveland Convention Center:  16 minutes (7.5 miles)

 

Harding Memorial. Courtesy Warren G. Harding Home & Memorial. http://www.hardinghome.org/
Harding Memorial (photo courtesy Warren G. Harding Home & Memorial)

Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding Home

  • Location: Marion, Ohio
  • Drive time from Cleveland Convention Center:  2 hours (117 miles)

 

Spiegel Grove, Hayes Estate (photo courtesy the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center)

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

  • Location: Fremont, Ohio
  • Drive time from Cleveland Convention Center:  1.5 hours (86 miles)

 

William McKinley Monument
William McKinley Monument. (photo courtesy of Alycat via Wikimedia Commons, creative commons license)
William McKinley

McKinley Presidential Library and Museum

  • Location: Canton, Ohio
  • Drive time from Cleveland Convention Center:  1 hour (61 miles)

National McKinley Birthplace and Memorial, Museum and Library

  • Location: Niles, Ohio
  • Drive time from Cleveland Convention Center:   1 hour 15 minutes (71 miles)

 

And we can’t forget the…

First Ladies

National First Ladies’ Library and Historic Site

  • Location: Canton, Ohio
  • Drive time from Cleveland Convention Center:  1 hour (63.5 miles)

Drop Dead Beautiful in CLE!

By Angela Manella, Host Committee member

If you like local history, public spaces, and a bit of peace and quiet, you may want to visit one of Cleveland’s beautiful historic cemeteries!

Erie Street Cemetery. Image Courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Special Collections.
Erie Street Cemetery. Courtesy of Cleveland State University, Michael Schwartz Library, Special Collections.

If you’re looking for a quick jaunt between sessions, there’s the Erie Street Cemetery downtown, one of the original municipal burial grounds. A twenty minute walk from the Convention Center, you’ll find this petite cemetery in Progressive Field’s backyard, off East 9th Street. The first permanent settler of Cleveland, Lorenzo Carter, and the Mesquakie tribal leader, Joc-O-Sot, are among those interred here after the grounds were consecrated in 1827.

Garfield Monument, Lakeview Cemetery. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Garfield Monument, Lakeview Cemetery. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

The nineteenth century saw an explosion of “rural” or garden-style cemeteries throughout the country, and Cleveland was no exception. Woodland Cemetery, on the near East side, and Riverside Cemetery, on the near West, are typical of this lovely, walkable style. But, if you’re looking to spend a half day, you must visit the incomparable Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland Heights.

Jeptha Wade Memorial Chapel - Left Wall Panel, Lakeview Cemetery. Courtesy of Mark Souther, Cleveland Historical.
Jeptha Wade Memorial Chapel – Left Wall Panel, Lakeview Cemetery. Courtesy of Mark Souther, Cleveland Historical.

Have a meal in Coventry and take in the shops, then cross Mayfield Road at Kenilworth to begin your exploration of the Lakeview Cemetery grounds.  Be sure to check out the Jeptha Wade Chapel, featuring art nouveau mosaics and windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany; tour the President James A. Garfield Monument; and visit the John D. Rockefeller Memorial. The Early Settlers of the Western Reserve have put together an excellent self-guided walking tour of Cleveland luminaries interred at Lakeview.

A Bird’s Eye View of Cleveland

By Jill Tatem, Host Committee member

For a slightly different view of Cleveland’s attractions, head up.

Terminal Tower Observation Deck

Located on Public Square, 42 floors above street level, this Cleveland downtown landmark offers breathtaking views of the city. The Observation Deck is open Saturdays from 12 pm – 5 pm and Sundays from 12 pm – 4 pm. Walk-up general admission tickets are $5 at Tower City’s Guest Services Desk, located on level 1 near the Horseshoe Casino Entrance. Advanced tickets are available online prior to the tour date for $5 (plus a handling fee). Free admission is available for children 5 & under.

Rainbow over Cleveland by Dan Hanson Courtesy ClevelandSeniors.com
Rainbow over Cleveland (image courtesy of Dan Hanson Courtesy ClevelandSeniors.com)

 

Garfield Monument in Lake View Cemetery

Located at the eastern edge of Cleveland, just beyond University Circle, on the Cleveland Heights border, Lake View has serenity, lovely landscaping, a chapel designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and views of Lake Erie (and more) from the President James A. Garfield Monument that gave the cemetery its name. Open daily 9 am – 4 pm.

City View from Lake View Cemetery (image courtesy of Lake View Cemetery)
City View from Lake View Cemetery (image courtesy of Lake View Cemetery)

 

Metropolitan at the 9 Azure Sun Lounge

If you prefer your view with snacks and drinks, head to 2017 E. 9th to one of Cleveland’s newest hotels. The rooftop lounge of the Metropolitan at the 9 offers happy hour 150 feet above street level. Open Monday – Thursday 11 am – 12 am; Friday – Saturday 11 am – 2 am; Sunday 12 pm – 2 am

Azure Sun Lounge, Metropolitan at the 9 (image courtesy of Metropolitan Cleveland)
Azure Sun Lounge, Metropolitan at the 9 (image courtesy of Metropolitan Cleveland)

The sky’s the limit!