Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘local history’ Category

2012 Brooklyn Centre Memorial Day Ceremony this coming Monday, May 28th, at 11:00 AM

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Brooklyn Centre Memorial Day Photo Only

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 25th, 2012 at 11:32 am

Brooklyn Centre Memorial Day Ceremony

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Every Memorial Day our friend and neighbor Rick Nicholson organizes special tribute to our armed forces and the veterans who lost their lives so that you and I would have the great freedoms we enjoy because we live in America.  There are a few short speeches, music, a flag placing ceremony and conversations with friends and neighbors.  It is a great way to start a holiday that remembers the fallen and the dead who gave their lives so we would be free.  All are welcome.


11:00 AM, MONDAY

MAY 30TH 2011




Smith’s Dairy and a Walk Down Memory Lane

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Yesterday, I read the Plain Dealer article about Smith’s Dairy going “green” and remembered a field trip from my elementary school years.  Today, the same article shows up in the day’s roundup over on Crain’s so I took it as a sign to blog about that field trip. 

Every school had a few-the “special” kids.  In the 1950’s, there were no special education classes that separated anyone from the “mainstream”.  We were just all in it together.  Field trips were always a challenge for our teachers with ALL the  kids because we were a “rowdy” bunch.  The “buddy system” back then was a “must”.

For purposes of this story, “Jimmy” had not one buddy but two buddies.  Basically because two of the boys had a disagreement on whose turn it was to team up with Jimmy.  By now, you know the lead character’s name in this story is not really Jimmy, but the name is inconsequential, and,  it is better to protect the “innocent”. 

At our elementary school,  there was a traditional sequence of field trips.  Kindergarten was a walk through the picturesque town of Shreve and our first trip to the Town Library which was located in the Town Hall topped off with a picnic on school grounds.  First grade was a trip to the train depot, boarding a passenger train for our trip to picturesque Wooster  followed by a picnic and afternoon of play at Wooster Park. 

Second grade was one of the FAVORITES handed down from class to class-Smith’s Dairy in ORRVILLE followed by a picnic and an afternoon of play at Orrville Park.   Needless to say at seven years-old as fascinating as watching bottles being washed, placed on a conveyer belt system and filled with milk, capped, and then, boxed would be– the making of the ice cream was the piece d’ resistance. Each of us would be receiving an individual cup of ice cream to be consumed at the park with our brown bag lunches.  Before we received this treat, we were told that we would need to find our “buddies” and walk through the HUGE walk in freezer where the ice cream was stored for distribution of our ice cream treats

To this day, I believe that I remember How VERY, VERY cold that walk-in freezer was.  No one tarried in that place!  Later, as we sat at the picnic tables eating our lunches and ice cream.  Someone noticed that “Jimmy” was missing.  Everyone immediately looked at the two boys that were assigned to be his buddies.  Both of them thought the other one was responsible for being his buddy, and therefore, NO ONE had been his buddy.  Obviously, a classic example of miscommunication between teacher and student. 

The last time anyone remembered seeing him was right before we walked into that big freezer.   Miss Plantain (another alias) screamed and went to wake up the bus driver for the long drive back to the dairy.  Twenty minutes later,  they returned with a nearly frozen Jimmy in tow.  He had been found sitting on a tub of ice cream patiently waiting for rescue by one of  the Smith Dairy truck drivers.   

We all had to sit through a lecture on responsibility and how when given a task we should follow through.  To this day, I do not how our teachers thought we shouldered more responsibility than they did for Jimmy sitting on a block of frozen ice cream waiting for rescue.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 20th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

just like downtown

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What do a librarian, a magician and a Broadway playwright have in common? They all lived in Cleveland and they’re all featured in this year’s Brooklyn Centre Garden Party—“Magic, Mystery, and Millionaires.” Come and see famous characters in Cleveland’s past portrayed by costumed narrators. Stroll through the grounds and see who’s who in our history. Enjoy musical entertainment in the Victorian Chapel, and relax in the shade with a glass of lemonade. Find out about Ohio’s native plants, make a mask with local artists, hear the latest about the Ohio and Erie Canal project, visit with our friends from the Zoo, and see what makes Riverside Cemetery one of Cleveland’s must-see places.

Ticket prices are as follows: Advance, $5 senior, $8 adult, $20 family of four; Day of Tour, $7 senior, $10 adult, $25 family of four. Call 216-351-0254 to reserve your tickets or for more information.

And here is another version as it appeared in CoolCleveland this week: Sunday, June 10th, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Brooklyn Centre Garden Party, Riverside  Cemetery, 3607 PearlRoad, at I-71.  Costumed narrators will tell the stories of famous “residents” of the cemetery. Musical entertainment, light refreshments, and kids’ activities. Learn the history of this beautiful resting place and stroll through the landscaped grounds.  Local organizations will have booths featuring various gardening techniques, plus adoptable animals.Call 216-351-0254 for details and advance tickets, or get tickets at the door.

A group of friends and neighbors have been working very diligently on this project since the cold winter months.  And now, this Sunday where it is predicted that we will have one of the beautiful late spring days that keep us all here, the show will be unveiled.  This project has taken on a character all its own.  We have received much free publicity, help from all kinds of sources, and a lot of good will.  We have had such a good time putting this event together that if those of you who attend have half the fun, it will have been well worth it. 

So it’s my phone number on the banner at the gates of the cemetery and everywhere else our advance publicity has appeared—the Plain Dealer, Cool Cleveland, The Sun News, doctor’s offices, websites, coffee shops and more places than I am aware. So if you haven’t made plans for the weekend or even if you have, consider doing something just a bit different and come to a garden party. Oh, did I tell you that kids are more than welcome. Art House will be there making masks with the kids, one of our Cleveland Public Library librarians will be there to read to the young ones, and there will be a virtual scavenger hunt that they can play alongside their parents while taking the tour.

And as I told someone on the phone yesterday, reserve your tickets now, and pick them up at will call just like downtown, at the Playhouse.

Lest We Forget

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Each year one of our neighbors, Rick Nicholson, gathers a group of us from the neighborhood together at a small burial ground to commemorate Memorial Day. Amid the hubbub of all of the weekend activities we gather together in this small unobtrusive graveyard surrounded by war veterans dating back as far as the Revoltionary War, to pause and remember the reason for this holiday.

Last year, Ruth Ketteringham, ninety-nine years young and our neighborhood historian, gave what was her last public appearance and speech. She likened each of us there as a drop of water starting as a rain drop and ending in the ocean and repeating the cycle all over again. She told us that we needed to have the faith and hope of those raindrops that continue to fall and shape the hills and valleys of our world because each of us if we have the fortitude and the determination can learn from our ancestors and make this a better world if only we never give up.

So, again a group of us will gather there for a moment of reflection and remember those who have sacrificed their lives to make us free and understand that we have been given a huge responsibility to honor their lives and sacrifices by remenbering them beyond a holiday and making them proud of their fellow Americans by acting with integrity and grace in dealing with all peoples of our nation and our world.

If you have a few minutes to spare, please join us. Here are the details.

Join us for a service at the historic Brooklyn Centre Burying Ground also known as Denison Cemetery to honor our military veterans.

11:00 a.m. Monday May 28th, 2007

Meet at the Broolyn Centre Burying Ground (Denison Cemetery) located on Garden Avenue East of Pearl rouad behind Aldi’s.

This cemetery had its first burial in 1823 and was deeded The Brooklyn Centre Burying Ground i 1835. Many war veterans, starting with the Revolutionary War, are buried in this local historic cemetery.

for more information or questions, call Rick Nicholson, Brooklyn Centre Historical Society at 216-398-1494.

Written by Gloria Ferris

May 26th, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Can We Afford Another Missing Tooth?

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I left this toothless grin comment on the Save Our Land BlogMike Gill’s Free Times article gives us a lot of food for thought.  Preservation and rehabilitation should always be considered when redevelopment in a neighborhood is an issue. Thanks to the Cleveland Restoration Society for reminding us that school buildings were community centers and a gathering place for both young and old.  How fitting if a school received a new life as a home for our older citizens so that they could remain a part of the community where they grew old creating so many memories in their lives.  Put yourself in their shoes. At seventy, will you want to be uprooted from your neighborhood looking for a new place to find new friends, create new memories, or would you rather stay in place and blossom?  

Written by Gloria Ferris

April 6th, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Bloggapalooza 2006 and the Little Rascals

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I spent many an afternoon sitting in front of our Philco TV munching on Oreos, sipping cold, cold milk watching the Little Rascals put on one of their famous “shows”. I wished and I hoped that I would find a group of friends just like those characters on TV that would want to hang a blanket in our  barn  and have the time of their life.  Who knew that well past my childhood, I would find my group of rascals.  When I read this post at Word of Mouth, I held my breath, closed my eyes, and whispered “No, it couldn’t be”.

Well, for those of us who are literalists in the blogosphere, it wasn’t EXACTLY a Little Rascals Productions, but it was a Meet the Bloggers production, and that, my friends, is good enough for me.  Believe me, you never want me up on a stage singing to you.  So all of my fantasy didn’t play out, but the best part did. Everyone pitched in, worked very hard, and people came!  And then more people came, and it rained, but it didn’t change a thing.  We just moved it all inside and kept on laughing and enjoying our time together, and my band of friends just kept growing and growing.  I even ate FRIED Oreos.  Of course, the beverage of choice was no longer cold, cold milk but instead cold, cold beer,  but hey nothing ever stays the same.   

And, as the night wore down, people began to leave. When there were just a few of us left sitting around that round table at The Town Fryer, we talked about what a great day it had been, and then, Scott, who had worked harder than all of us on making the day the success that it was, said “Wait until next year!”  Music to a woman’s ears who had always wanted to be a part of “The Little Rascals”.    Thanks everybody!


Written by Gloria Ferris

July 27th, 2006 at 9:11 am

Do You Hear What I Hear?

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Thursday, April 13th the historic Broadway Mills/Strong Cobb/Gillota building and its supporters go before the Cleveland Landmark Commission to plead its case for Historical Landmark status.  This building at the end of the Central Viaduct in the vicinity of the Western Reserve Historical Society Fire Museum stands in the way of the construction of the northern span of the “signature” innerbelt bridge.

I understand that Baker & Associates has provided the paperwork showing that the building should not be eligible for Landmark status.  This firm is the one hired by ODOT to design the innerbelt bridge.  To me, this appears to be a conflict of interest.  Would you agree?

This is not the first time that this firm has been in this position.  Baker & Associates was the firm who prepared the paperwork showing that The Fulton Road Bridge did not deserve Landmark status.  The city and the Landmarks Commission used the paper the firm produced as one of the reasons for denying Landmark status.  Baker and Associates was the firm hired by the County to design the new “signature” bridge over the zoo valley.  I have heard that ODOT was the voice behind the scenes saying that the Fulton Road Bridge needed to be destroyed and a new one constructed.

Strangely enough, ODOT Director Gordon Proctor used the “possibilty of landmark status” for the Walker Weeks building and the Juvenile Justice Center as reasons for closing the Carnegie exit in the plans for the ODOT “renovations”.  

Oddly enough, the players in this new Landmark Status case appear to be the same, ODOT, the county engineer, the City of Cleveland, and Baker and Associates.  I hear the sound of wrecking balls and heavy machinery unless we as a community stand behind the people wanting to save this landmark. 

Please attend this important Landmark Commission meeting.  They are open to the public.  If you cannot attend send your letters of support to Bob Keiser at  I would suggest sending a copy of your email to Ed Hauser at or Norm Roulet at


Written by Gloria Ferris

April 11th, 2006 at 2:34 pm

building community

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I have a new page, available also through the sidebar to the right. There are a number of ways we become members of a community, and one of them is by joining organizations and participating in events, or just by hanging out and talking. Some community-building opportunities we have available here in Ward 15, or near it, appear on the new page, in no special order as yet. If you think I should be including something else, let me know.

Our Brookside Park of Yesteryear

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Here it is s late at night and although I am tired I cannot sleep,  so I googled Brookside Park just to see what I could find.  Here are a few of the things I found. Brookside Park was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1902. Does that mean that the old stone wall along Fulton Road could be that old or maybe even older.  The Zoo was moved from Wade Park to Brookside Park.  I found a turn of the century postcard collection available from the Cleveland Public Library, and then I found this  And here is a print that can be purchased depicting an early baseball game  These postcards are an awesome display showing Brookside Park in its early years. And in 1972, there was a sighting of Bigfoot at Brookside Park.  Hmmm, 1972, sighting of Bigfoot, could something else have had an influence here? And one last postcard of the Brookside Zoo from yesteryear. 

Mrs. Ivey and her daughter Mary Esther told me of the great times that they spent with family and friends at Brookside Park.  Mary Esther told of ice skating parties in the winter, tennis matches whenever the weather was amenable, and the lake where there was boating and canoeing and swimming in the summer.

They told me of fireworks displays on the 4th of July and baseball games at the historic baseball field where the seats were nestled into the side of the hill.  There were old fashioned concerts and all sorts of events all year long.  Looking at these postcards, and remembering those conversations with two of my favorite people make me realize that a park can be a sense of place and community for a neighborhood.  With that, I will say good night.    

Written by Gloria Ferris

March 13th, 2006 at 11:25 pm