Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 9-2-15

  • 10-7-15 Meeting of the Avon Historical Society

  • 9-9-15 Minutes of the Meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission


    President Ralph White called the September 2, 2015 meeting of the Avon Historical Society to order at 7:00 p.m.

    The minutes of the May 6, 2015 meeting were approved as read with Theresa Szippl making the motion and Matt Smith seconding.

    17 members were present.

    Treasurer Christine White reported a balance of $5,054.98 in the checking account.

    There were no outstanding bills to present.

    In old business:

    The last meeting was held at the home of Dave and Barb Linton on Detroit Road in the historical Ora B Cahoon house. Those attending had a great time and enjoyed their gracious hospitality. A belated thank you will be sent, congratulating them also on the sale of their home and hoping they will continue to remain members of AHS.

    In new business:

    The 2015-16 season of meetings has begun with meetings in September, October and November. The November meeting will be in addition to the traditional Lorain County inter-society meeting.

    December will be the Christmas party at the home of Jean Fischer, date to be determined. There will be no meetings in January or February [2016], resuming in March through June.

    Theresa Szippl has sent an initial email regarding dues for this season with a mailing to follow.

    Jean Fischer spoke of the phone call she had from the daughter of Richard Forthofer. He is 89 years old and she would like it if someone would visit him to record his Avon memories. It was suggested that Terri Czup do that. She is the City of Avon Media Consultant.

    Ralph gave an update on the last Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting. A house on the east side of SR 83 by Car Parts Warehouse was approved for demolition.

    Matt Smith gave an update on the History Walk Project. The contents for the first plaque on Wilbur Cahoon were sent to Paneer Graphics.

    The placards from the Lorain County Preservation Expo have been moved to the Avon High School for mounting and displaying near the cafeteria, a prominent area for both students and visitors to the school. Mayor Jensen approved the allocation of funds for more sets of placards to be made for the Middle School, St Mary's, Heritage North and South and Holy Trinity with a target date of October.

    The History Walk trail is now open behind the new city pool. The 1/4 mile track is mulched and will be asphalted next year. It is a very scenic walk, partially through the 7 1/2 acres of woods behind the pool.

    Rick Varga, a landscape architect, is working with Matt for identifying and naming the different variety of plants and trees along the trail.

    There will be 14 [history] displays along the trail. They are 36 inches x 24 inches and cost $1400 each. The City is paying for the first one. The City will then work with area businesses to sponsor and pay for the others. Mayor Jensen is also looking into grant monies that may be available. A color print of the first display of Wilbur Cahoon should be ready mid September and installed by October.

    Thanks to Nancy, Theresa and Marion for baking!

    The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 pm with Dan McGhee making the motion and Jim Szippl seconding.

    There was a conflict with the intending speaker's schedule and next month our guest will be Terri Czup, City of Avon Media Consultant, who will discuss the new Landmarks Preservation Commission website and the History Walk.

    The next regular meeting of the Avon Historical Society will be held at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, at the Old Town Hall of 1871, southeast corner of Detroit and Stoney Ridge.

    Respectfully submitted, Christine White.

    Top -- Home

    The meeting of the Avon Historical Society will be held at 7 pm on Wednesday, 10-7-15, at the Old Town Hall of 1871, southeast corner of Detroit and Stoney Ridge. Terri Czup, City of Avon Media Consultant, will discuss the new Landmarks Preservation Commission web site and the History Walk. For more information, contact Stan Hawryluk at 934-0224.



    I. Reading of the minutes of the meeting of September 2, 2015

    II. Treasurer's Report

    A. Any outstanding bills to present.

    III. Old Business

    A. Landmarks Preservation Commission report, Ralph White

    B. History Walk, Matt Smith

    C. __________________________________________

    IV. New Business

    A. __________________________________________

    V. Motion to Adjourn and Second

    Terri Czup, City of Avon Media Consultant, will discuss the new Landmarks Preservation Commission web site and the History Walk.


    The Minutes of 9-2-15 may be read at



    Parking for meetings of the Avon Historical Society:

    On the east side of the Old Town Hall,

    Across Detroit Rd. at Nemo's Restaurant (park close to Colorado),

    Across Colorado Avenue (SR 611) behind Blue Chip,

    On the east side of Buck's Hardware on Church Street,

    Across Stoney Ridge at Lois Shinko's Country Store parking lot (just south of the Gazebo).


    Membership Application, 2015 - 2016, Avon Historical Society

    Mark choice: [] Individual $8; [] couple $10; [] family $15.



    Telephone #:

    Cell phone #:


    Please send your check to the Avon Historical Society, 2623 Stoney Ridge Rd., Avon, OH 44011.

    For more information, call (440) 934-5933


    Top -- Home

    9-9-15 Minutes of the Landmarks Preservation Commission

    Held in the Caucus Room of the Municipal Building

    The Chairman, Joe Richvalsky, called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.

    Roll Call:

    Members: Present Chairman, Joe Richvalsky, Vice Chairman, Ralph White, Lois Shinko, (Clint Gault arrived after Roll Call)

    Guests: Taylor Jack Smith, Matt Smith, Terri Czup, Media Relations, City of Avon, Mary Berges, Ward 3 Councilwoman

    Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of August 12, 2015

    A motion was made by Mr. White and seconded by Ms. Shinko to dispense with the reading of the minutes of the meeting of August 12, 2015, and approve said minutes as published, and the vote was: Ms. Shinko, aye; Mr. White, "aye"; Mr. Richvalsky, "aye".

    LPC Display Boards -- Four New Sets

    Mr. Richvalsky stated that after their last meeting, Ms. Czup met with the Mayor regarding the printing of additional sets of the display boards and the Mayor agreed to do four more sets. The Mayor wanted them to be placed at Avon Isle, Avon Middle School (but since a set is already there, we would place a set at Heritage North and South), and then the Senior Center and City Hall.

    The set at City Hall could be available for the LPC to use at events as needed. Mr. Richvalsky said that he just got notice today that the display boards are done and they can be picked up and distributed. It was agreed that Mr. Richvalsky would pick them up, then Mr. Smith will get them from Mr. Richvalsky and distribute them.

    Mr. Gault arrived at the meeting at this time.

    Ms. Berges asked if the boards would be displayed at the "Fall Into Avon" festival this weekend, and after discussion, Mr. Gault said that he would ask about having the display boards at the French Creek Foundation booth and get back to Mr. Richvalsky on that.

    History Walk Marker #1: The Wilbur Cahoon Family -- Draft Review

    Matt Smith showed everyone the proof of the marker that Paneer Graphics had done and said that the Mayor has to give final approval on it. He pointed out that the Quick Response Code is not on the proof and his question to Ms. Czup was, even though she puts the Quick Response Code permanently on the display, can we go in at any time and edit the subdirectory and Ms. Czup said, yes. Mr. Smith stated that if there are changes to the draft tonight, he will write those on the form that Paneer Graphics sent him and he will mail all this back to them.

    Ms. Czup stated that she loved the graphics on the marker but she had some changes to suggest. Instead of showing the map and how they got to Avon, she would rather see what they did -- how old Wilbur Cahoon was, how far he traveled, how much work it was, what his mission was. And she also felt that the copy about Wilbur Cahoon's role in the Avon Baptist Church could be changed. Jack Smith suggested putting the information about the Avon Baptist Church on the website as that is of great importance and there would be too many words for the marker.

    Mr. White said that he was ok with the copy on the marker but he would like to see a picture of the original Baptist Church along with the one that is already there. Ms. Shinko felt that the map could be smaller.

    Mr. Gault stated that it would be nice to have more emphasis on the grist mill that Wilbur Cahoon established and how he basically made Avon what it was, more on that and less about the very beginning of his life. He built the first sawmill and grist mill, which was required by the Connecticut Land Company, and that is an interesting fact. Ms. Czup added that he would not have gotten the 800 acres unless he had done that. He was 42 years old and he only lived 10 years here; it was just amazing what he did here in 10 years.

    Ms. Czup noted that there is nothing on the marker about the Connecticut Western Reserve. Mr. Richvalsky said that there will be overlaps and Jack Smith added that we want to maintain sequence as best we can. Ms. Czup said that she understood that the markers could be changed after installation if they wished to do that and Mr. Richvalsky said that was true. The physical hardware is permanent but the insert can be changed but that would be expensive. Ms. Czup said but if you had some of the markers in place, you may want to change the chronology.

    Mr. Richvalsky stated that this is a Landmarks Preservation Commission and the four members have to vote and make the decisions. Everyone else's comments are valid but it is an LPC project funded by the City and we represent all of the citizens so we have to decide what we feel is the best. If we do not get this figured out tonight, so be it.

    We want it to be right and it would be a mistake to put up something that we are all not happy with. We want to put up something that we can all be proud of. We cannot forget what we made our decisions on and keep rehashing the same issues that we have agreed on. What we can do is to talk another 20 minutes on this topic and discuss the points that were brought up tonight. Anyone can talk and have their input and then it sounds like we are going to have to table it for this month.

    Mr. White said that he likes the marker and would not change it drastically. He thinks it is important to keep the house, he really likes the map, the way that the house is with the sign, the plaque, the fading of the house with its architecture at the lower corner; that has to stay. He can see making the map a little smaller and maybe putting some more text in and he would like to see a picture of the original church. Other than that, he is ok with the marker the way it is.

    Mr. Gault thought that the layout of the marker, numbers 1 through 5, is nice but felt that arrows, small dots, or dotted lines would make it stand out more. Also, he thought that a very important thing to highlight is what Wilbur Cahoon did, the challenges that he faced and how very difficult it was to accomplish what he did. Maybe just bullet pointing his challenges.

    Mr. Gault asked if the picture on the right (of Roy and Grace Cahoon) could be smaller and Jack Smith said, yes, you could shrink that and expand that last paragraph. Mr. Gault said that we should keep all the information in there about where his father was born, the timeline, etc. but maybe just shorten the picture and list the extreme challenges he faced.

    Ms. Shinko said that they should shrink the map and the picture and that she would like a picture of the old church in there instead of the modern one. Mr. White noted that the picture of the church was beautiful and he felt that it was relevant to have it in there.

    Mr. Richvalsky asked if the contract says that we have only one rewrite. Matt Smith responded that he did not know but Paneer Graphics did send a form for revisions. He said that he will just go with whatever changes the Commission gives him and when he submits it, that is it. Every time they make a change, they charge more.

    Mr. Richvalsky thought that it would be good to have titles on the board, so that first you see the photo, then you see a title that is bigger, and then you go to the text. Also, he thought that the numbers are too small and should be bigger and bolder, and even the text could even be bigger and bolder. He felt that it was redundant to have the photo and then the house in the background. He would make it one big photo, fading off to the right, just like it is. And then maybe the text can go over the faded part so this will stand out as a larger front of the house.

    The text is hard to see and he would take it off. Matt Smith pointed out that this is 66% of the size of the actual display. Mr. Richvalsky said, yes, but it is very faded and it is hard to see as a photo. So his main points are: bigger text, more prominent, he likes the idea of the dotted lines so that it really relates. He does not mind the size of the map but maybe the placement of the map should be in the middle.

    Mr. Richvalsky said that they would end the discussion and table it for the next meeting.

    History Walk Index of Subjects

    Mr. Richvalsky said that he took the topics for all the markers from their last conversation where they had all the subjects posted up on the wall. He said he would put them up again and they can talk about the order because what is going to happen is that these plaque topics are then going to be the topics that Jack Smith talks about on camera.

    Ms. Czup said that they are going to video Jack Smith talking about some of the Avon history that relates to each marker and that will be part of the QR code on the marker. Mr. Richvalsky stated what is so great about that is that it is going to be very personal. Jack Smith is a great storyteller and it will bring in the emotion and all the detail.

    Mr. Richvalsky posted the topics:

    1.) the introduction of the History Walk, which will be the first marker

    2.) Wilbur Cahoon 3.) the natural history of the area

    4.) the Connecticut Western Reserve and the Firelands

    5.) the "common man"/the Avon farm family

    6.) the Greek Revival architectural style

    7.) famous Avon people

    8.) the German immigration

    9.) the creation of the town center - these were some of the major points that we talked about. Also, there were the subjects of grape vineyards, social conscience and civic pride, other architectural styles, and stone houses, so we are going to have to decide on these, but at least Ms. Czup has the first ones to begin the videos.

    History Walk Entrance and Information Regarding Grants

    Ms. Berges showed everyone pictures that Ms. Shinko had sent her of some sandstone projects that the Connelly family had done She stated that the City was looking at putting up a water feature at the Avon Cemetery and they had a landscape architect come out.

    Ms. Shinko then gave her these pictures, which Ms. Berges showed to the Mayor and they talked about the cemetery but felt that this was maybe a little too rustic for the cemetery, given what is already there. But the Mayor thought that this would be ideal as an entrance to the History Walk at the Aquatic Center.

    So that is why she brought the pictures tonight because she knew the LPC was going to be talking about the History Walk. She said that Fran Burik's son is going to donate sandstone for the project so that is a big part of it because it is expensive and so that is at least the first step. So she wanted the LPC to know and, hopefully, they think it is a good idea for the entrance to the History Walk.

    Ms. Berges said that the other thing that she wanted to present was that anytime she sees information about how to get money or grants she wants to make sure people are aware of it. She passed out a flyer from the Ohio History Connection which listed different communities and historical societies that have received grants from this organization. This might be a source of funds not only for the History Walk but for anything else that the Historical Society or the LPC wants to do.

    Mr. Richvalsky thanked Ms. Berges and asked what the next step is for the History Walk entrance idea; is it is going to be further developed? Ms. Berges said, yes, it will be further developed but at least we have the sandstone so now we will have to get somebody to put it together.

    Ms. Shinko said that she went to the Connelly's barn sale and he had big slabs of sandstone and she was thinking that was the best thing. It is from the earth where they were chiseling it. She was so excited to think that we can have the real thing instead of a plastic whatever. And Mr. Connelly can make anything; he could chisel the words in. Mr. Richvalsky said that would be awesome for the entrance, something really permanent.

    Mr. White stated it would be a good idea to apply for a grant from the Ohio History Connection for the History Walk and everyone agreed.

    Website Development for the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Avon Historical Society

    Ms. Czup reported that the website is live; the name is avonhistoryoh.com and it is the site for the Historical Society and the Landmarks Preservation Commission together which is what the Mayor wanted it to be. She noted some of the information that is now on the website and suggested putting all sorts of different landmarks on it. She said that she needs pictures and the copy that goes with them. The pictures need to be in high resolution, so we will probably have to retake them.

    She asked what other information the Commission wants on there and Jack Smith said that eventually there should be 14 subdirectories, one for each of the displays on the History Walk. Ms. Czup said, yes, she can do that but for right now all she needs is that one for the first display and then we can move from there.

    Mr. Richvalsky said that Ms. Czup could do all the interviews now and Ms. Czup said, yes, we can set up some kind of ideas. She has already decided how she is going to organize for Mr. Smith's interview and apparently, Jean Fischer is going to agree to do something as well.

    Additional Items and Comments

    Mr. Gault stated that he has been working with Steve Corcoran on an application for a funding grant from First Energy for the History Walk project. Mr. Gault said that the French Creek Foundation has agreed to be a conduit to take in money because First Energy will not give to a city, but they will give to a non-profit.

    Mr. White said that Ms. Shinko told him about a situation with a property owner who has a historical property on the landmarks list. This owner received a letter but never came to get her plaque because the house was a rental. It has been years and now she wants to sell the house and is worried about being able to tear it down if the new owner wants to do that. She is worried about what the stipulations are about being a landmark and wants to know before she puts the house up for sale. Mr. Richvalsky asked if Mr. White would please inform this owner about the demolition permit process.

    Mr. Richvalsky stated that a cottage which was located at 39141 Detroit Road has been demolished but their term for demolition had expired. They were supposed to come back to the Commission and go through the process and they did not so technically they are in violation of the rules. He said that he can alert the Zoning Department because really it is about a demolition permit. He knows that the penalty is only $50. but it is more about the principle, and is something we have to get acknowledged at least. Mr. White asked Mr. Richvalsky to check and make sure that the term had expired and Mr. Richvalsky said he would do that.

    Date of Next Meeting

    Mr. Richvalsky stated that the next meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission would be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, at 7:00 P.M. in the Caucus Room of Avon City Hall.


    A motion was made by Mr. Gault and seconded by Mr. White to adjourn the meeting and the vote was all ayes.

    Transcribed by Gail Hayden, Assistant Clerk of Council

    Index of Minutes -- Top -- Home -- What's New