The third annual Cleveland History Days delivered a fun mix of engaging socially distant in-person and virtual events, self-guided tours and art over ten days that allowed folks the opportunity to discover and experience Cleveland’s rich cultural heritage.
Cleveland History Days opened with a Livestream from the Cozad-Bates House that included stirring performances by Hue People followed by University Circle Inc., President and Canalway Partners Board Chair Chris Ronanye’s conversation with Ronnie Dunn, Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland State University, and Cleveland Public Theatre’s India Nicole Burton. The entire program can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/canalwaypartners/videos/631765707425536/
Chris Ronayne’s conversation with Ronnie Dunn placed the Cozad-Bates House in the context of Ohio and Cleveland’s place in the Underground Railroad. The only pre-civil war house in University Circle, the Cozad-Bates House is a space that’s been saved to honor the journey of freedom seekers and to interpret our past, our present, our future.
Ronayne also gave a deserved nod to Joan Southgate and Restore Cleveland Hope, Inc.’s efforts to celebrate Cleveland’s historic anti-slavery past through the establishment and operation of an Underground Railroad education and resource center in the Cozad-Bates House.
The following day the “Tremont: Epicenter of Immigration” self-guided tour guided people around the perimeter of Lincoln Park, featuring many of the churches and other institutions built by (and for) successive waves of immigrants from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century.
As participants strolled through the neighborhood, they read fascinating facts and learned about the central role Tremont played in Cleveland’s story of immigration. Along the way, five local artists created chalk artworks inspired by Cleveland immigration stories provided by Global Cleveland.
Three of the artists (Brain Cleveland, Dante Rodriguez, Debra Sue Solecki) shared their inspiration from the Cleveland immigration story they interpreted.
Another highlight of Cleveland History Days was the daily “Hope Stones: An Artful Scavenger Hunt”. The Hope Stones, created by renowned Cleveland artist Derek Hess to celebrate the city, give a nod to our past, and symbolize the nature that surrounds us, were placed each day at historic locations around Cleveland. Once a clue on the stone location was revealed on our Facebook, the search was on with finders able to keep the stone.
Viewers of Western Reserve Historical Society’s “Cleveland A to Z” Zoom presentation with author and historian John Grabowski heard him describe how his book is not your standard guide to Cleveland. “What I tried to do is pick those things that are central to people understanding Cleveland’s character.” Grabowski tipped his hand when he opened his presentation with a quote from Antony Bourdain: “I love Cleveland and its eccentrically screwy and strangely American splendor.” The Zoom replay of Grabowski’s presentation can be viewed by clicking this link.
The Baseball Heritage Museum treated Facebook Live viewers to a tour of their displays and current exhibit “Tragedy to Championship”, documenting the Cleveland Indians first World Series Championship at League Park in 1920. Noted baseball historian Scott Longert spun an engaging tale of how the Indians navigated their season and defeated the Brooklyn Robins in a best-of-nine series. The only World Series triple play, the first World Series grand slam, and the first World Series home run by a pitcher all occurred in Game 5 of that Series.
A Facebook Live replay of the tour and Scott Longert’s presentation is available via Canalway Partners’ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=275272923682626
Other events included Music Box’s Authors Night with Allen Dutka, Western Reserve Historical Society’s History on Tap: PRIDE and AsiaTown Tour, Cleveland Public Theatre’s Station Hope 2020, Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation’s Take a Hike® self-guided tours, and Midwest Railway Preservation Society’s Open House & Tour.
While Cleveland History Days is wrapped for 2020, you can still enjoy some ongoing tours and events:
- Take a Hike Self-Guided Audio Tours – website
- Midwest Railway Preservation Society – website
- AsiaTown Self-Guided Tour – download tour packet
- Music Box Cleveland Stories Dinner Parties – website
Many thanks to the individuals, organizations, and volunteers who helped make Cleveland History Days possible:
- Western Reserve Historical Society
- University Circle Inc.
- Hue People Vocal Ensemble
- Restore Cleveland Hope Inc.
- Music Box Supper Club
- Global Cleveland
- Derek Hess
- Gateway District Cleveland & Take a Hike® Walking Tours
- Cleveland Public Theatre
- Midwest Railway Preservation Society
- Baseball Heritage Museum & Scott Longert
- Ohio & Erie Canalway
- Axon Creative