Remarkable Ohio

Results for: polish-americans
421 Black River Landing
Lorain

, OH

Prior to the Civil War, Ohio was a leading state for enslaved Americans of African decent traveling the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. For these fugitives, their final stop in Ohio was a Lake Erie port community in the north. One such port was at the mouth of the Black River in Lorain that came to be identified as Lorain Station 100, named because it was thought to be one of the last stops or stations before the fugitive slaves reached freedom in Canada. Many arrived here in a wagon driven by Robbins Burrell who owned a farm five miles up the Black River. Concealed by vegetables, grains, or hay, the slaves were smuggled into schooners, some of which belonged to Burrell’s cousin Captain Aaron Root. From Lorain Station 100, the determined travelers were transported across Lake Erie, completing the final leg of their long journey to freedom.

323 Wick Avenue
Youngstown

, OH

St. Augustine Episcopal Chapel was founded by Lenora Evans Berry, an African American woman, in 1907. A lifelong Baptist, her mission was the development of the Episcopal Church for African Americans in Youngstown. Mrs. Berry’s husband, bricklayer Thomas D. Berry, the son of master builder P. Ross Berry, became the church’s first senior warden and treasurer. The congregation met in St. John’s Parish until they were able to obtain property on Parmalee Avenue. In 1912, Reverend John Ogburn was officially called to vicar. In 1920, work began on plans for a new church. The structure was designed by Charles F. Owsley and construction began after more than six hundred individuals from the community attended the laying of the church’s corner stone on September 11, 1921. St. Augustine Chapel is the oldest African American church and congregation in Youngstown still in its original location and structure.

Huron

, OH

Old Homestead-on-the-Lake was established on August 7, 1927, when the Old Homestead Beach Association was granted ownership of Harbor View Beach, Mansell Beach, tennis courts, and two parks from R. A. Breckenridge, trustee for owner Metta Breckenridge. The former lake front farm area, noted for having one of the finest beaches on Lake Erie and once owned by Aaron Wright Meeker, became a site primarily for summer cottages in the spring of 1922 when Greenleaf Realty began selling lots. The original entrance served as Stop 22 1/2 for the Lake Shore Electric and serves today as a reminder when Huron became a vacation destination, which forever changed the village.

415 Xenia Avenue
Yellow Springs

, OH

Virginia Hamilton was an author who was born in Yellow Springs in 1934, living and writing here for much of her life. She referred to her works as “Liberation Literature.” focusing on the struggles and journeys of African Americans. Hamilton published more than forty books in a variety of genres, including realistic novels, science fiction, picture books, folktales and mysteries. Some of her most beloved titles include The House of Dies Drear, M.C. Higgins the Great, Her Stories and The People Could Fly. Her books have had a profound influence on the study of race throughout American history, the achievements of African Americans, and the ramifications of racism. Hamilton received numerous awards for her writing before passing away in 2002. Her work is enshrined at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

1800 W Erie Ave
Lorain

, OH

Quincy Adams Gillmore, considered one of the greatest military engineers and artillerists of the Civil War, was born to Quartus Gillmore and Elizabeth Reid Gillmore at this location in 1825. He attended Norwalk Academy and taught high school in Elyria before embarking on a military career. Graduating first in his class at West Point in 1849, he entered the Corps of Engineers. In August 1861, he served in the Union’s Port Royal expedition in South Carolina and later in the reduction of Fort Pulaski, which defended the water approach to Savannah, Georgia. The fort, considered impregnable to artillery, fell to Gillmore’s rifled cannon on April 11, 1862, after a two-day bombardment. His success effectively ended the use of large masonry fortifications. (Continued on other side)

1350 Brush Row Road
Wilberforce

, OH

In 1918, Charles Young made a desperate attempt to convince the U.S. Army that he was fit for duty. The Army’s highest-ranking Black officer, he had been medically retired and not given a command during World War I. To demonstrate his fitness, he rode 497 miles from his home in Wilberforce, Ohio, to Washington, D.C. Leaving on June 6 he made the journey in 17 days, 16 on horseback and 1 resting. Averaging 31 miles each day, he rode 45 minutes and walked 15 minutes every hour. Upon his arrival, Young met with Secretary of War Newton Baker. Pressured by the Black press and the White House, Baker hedged. He recalled Young to active duty a year later and assigned him to Camp Grant, Illinois, just five days before the end of the war.

Polonia Park, Dexter Street
Toledo

, OH

The first wave of Polish immigrants arrived in Toledo beginning in 1871. Most were Roman Catholics escaping oppression in Prussian Poland, where German chancellor Otto von Bismarck had instituted “Kulturkampf,” a policy of cultural assimilation. The first formal association of the Toledo Polonia (Polish community) occurred on October 16, 1875, when twenty-five families formed St. Hedwig Parish on that saint’s feast day. By 1900 Toledo had become a center of Polish population in America, and many Poles found work here in the growing glass and automobile industries.

NE Corner of E. Ward and N. Kenton Streets
Urbana

, OH

In 1805, a burial ground was dedicated to Champaign County at the intersection of Ward and Kenton Streets, which was then at Urbana’s town limits. It remained open until 1856. Among those interred there was Elizabeth Kenton, eight-year-old daughter of Simon Kenton. When she died in 1810, Kenton, the county jailer, was forbidden from crossing out of the town limits due to his unpaid debts. After following the funeral procession as far as he could, he watched Elizabeth’s burial from across the street. Also buried there were unknown soldiers from the War of 1812; Captain Arthur Thomas and son, who were killed by Native Americans in August 1813; four Bell children, who died in the tornado of March 22, 1830; and numerous early settlers of Champaign County. Many, but not all, were reinterred and rest in Oak Dale Cemetery.