History of Lorain, Ohio - Chronology

To 1879 | 1880-1899 | 1900-1919 | 1920-1949 | 1950-1979
1980 To 1999 | 2000 To 2009 | 2010 To Present

HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

1533

  • French explorer, Louis Vagard, may have been the first white man to set foot in what is now Lorain County.

1679

  • French explorer, LaSalle, probably traveled near the vicinity of Black River in his voyage on Lake Erie.

1755

  • James Smith is captured and brought to "Canesadocharie" at the mouth of the Black River by the Delaware Indians.

1786

  • Connecticut obtains clear title to the lands of the Western Reserve.

1787

  • David Zeisberger, Marvin missionaries and Delaware Indians attempt to settle at the mouth of the Black River on April 26, 1787.

1802

  • Conrad Reid is born on September 30, 1802 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.

1805

  • The Treaty of Fort Industry is signed extinguishing the Indian title to the lands of the Western Reserve west of the Cuyahoga River.

1806

  • An original land survey is made which includes the site of present-day Lorain.

1807

  • Azariah Beebe and his wife become the first family to settle in Black River Township.
  • Nathan and Horatio Perry erect a house at the mouth of Black River and open a store for trade with the Indians.
  • The area begins to be known as the Black River settlement.

1808

  • Ferry charges across Black River: hog and sheep (each) - two cents; footman - six cents; man and horse - eighteen cents; loaded wagon and team - sixty cents; and all other carriages - thirty-seven cents.
  • On July 22, 1808 local groups petition Geauga County Commissioners to have Lake Road continued on toward Sandusky.
  • Lake Road is surveyed by Amos Spafford.

1810

  • John S. Reid arrives to build a house, then returns to Newburgh (near Cleveland) to get his family.
  • Daniel Perry and family settle west of Black River in early March of 1810.
  • The Shupe, Quigley, Lyons, Kelso and Seeley families settle in or near the Black River Settlement.

1811

  • John S. Reid's family moves to the area.
  • William Martin establishes a farm, three miles west of Black River, on the little stream once called "Martin's Run" (which runs through what is now Columbus Park).
  • Qartus and Aretus Gilmore join the Black River Settlement.

1812

  • Edmund Gilmore and family move to Black River.
  • Edmund Gilmore builds county's first barn.
  • John S. Reid is commissioned Postmaster for "The Mouth of the Black River Post Office", October 23, 1812.
  • John S. Reid builds the Reid House Inn and Tavern.
  • John S. Reid builds a ferry opposite his block house.
  • Judge Nathan Perry, Sr., (from Cleveland, Ohio) passes away while visiting his son, Nathan Perry in Lorain.
  • Azariah Beebe and his family left the Black River Settlement, relocating on the Huron River to the West.
  • John Lyons is born. He is the first White child born in the Black River Territory.
  • On August 15, 1812 the news of Hull's surrender to the British fans rumors of a British invasion of Ohio.
  • A "War Scare" is started by a false report of the burning and capture of Fort Huron by Indians.
  • A Militia post is established at Black River to ensure citizenry that they could safely return to their homes and cabins.

1813

  • Guns of the Battle of Lake Erie can be heard at Black River on September 10, 1813.
  • Legend has it that Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) planted apple trees in this area and informed settlers of the results of the Battle of Lake Erie.

1815

  • The War of 1812 ends; an influx of settlers coming to area resumes.
  • Land near the present-day Lorain Country Club is sold at $3.15 an acre.

1816

  • On April 1, 1816 Henry Root's family (his wife and six children) arrive. Other sources identify them as the "W.H. Root Family".
  • According to Al Doane, John S. Reid buys his first land, Lot #5. It is 875 feet wide and runs from the river to 11th Street.

1817

  • The last "Red Men" are seen in the area.
  • Black River Township is ordered established by Huron County Commissioners.
  • On April 7, 1817 the first election was held in the township. Daniel Perry was elected Clerk. Seventeen votes were cast and fifteen men were elected.
  • John S. Reid opens the "Mouth of the Black River Post Office".

1818

  • The sloop "General Huntington" is built, late in the year, by Captain James Day and Captain Fairbanks Church. She is the first ship built in the area.
  • Augustus Jones and William Murdock are given land near Black River for a shipyard, by the government to replace property burned in combat during the Revolutionary War.
  • Cornelius Reid, son of John S. Reid, drowns when the lake ship, "Independence" sinks in Lake Erie off Black River, on the way to Detroit, Michigan with a load of corn.

1819

  • "The Great Hunt of 1819" is held by men of the two townships; over 75 deer are killed.
  • John S. Reid is elected as Huron County Commissioner.

1820

  • Shipbuilding industry begins as Augustus Jones and William Murdock construct sailing vessels near the mouth of Black River.

1821

  • Captain Judah Ranson sails the second schooner ("Ann") built in Lorain on Lake Erie.

1822

  • Lorain County is established by State Legislature on December 26, 1822.

1823

  • Stakes are driven to mark the location of the Lorain County Courthouse in Elyria, Ohio.

1824

  • The corner of Black River Township lying east of the river is annexed.
  • John S. Reid is elected as one of the first three Lorain County Commissioners. (33)
  • Lorain County government begins functioning.
  • Lorain County is organized.

1825

  • Quincy Adams Gillmore is born on February 25, 1825 at Black River.
  • The wooden lake ship "Young Amaranth" is launched.

1827

  • John S. Reid has a cabin built near the lake for use as a schoolhouse.
  • The first School Board is elected.
  • The "First District School" is organized.

1829

  • Thomas Brown moves to Lorain from Detroit, Michigan, and opens a tailor shop.

1830

  • Population is 209.
  • On January 12, 1830 Amherst and Black River are divided into separate townships.
  • The first election for the newly divided Black River Township officials is held on April 5, 1830.

1831

  • Quartus Gillmore is elected as the first Justice of the Peace on April 4, 1831.
  • John S. Reid dies on December 3, 1831.

1832

  • The Ohio Railroad is surveyed through Black River.
  • Land is for sale at $1,000 an acre in the ill-fated Ohio Canal Project.
  • Mormonism" surges in the area; Prophet Joseph Smith preaches in nearby Amherst.
  • Anna Reid, the mother of Conrad Reid, dies on March 5, 1832.
  • Pioneer Ralph Lyons died at his Lake Shore Farm, east of Beaver Creek.

1833

  • A planked road is built with a tollbooth between Charleston and Elyria. (The memorial stone commemorating this is stationed in front of the present-day Journal building near the area formerly known as "The Devil's Elbow").
  • Germans begin to settle on the southeast corner of town.
  • H.D. Root and Edward Gillmore are born in Lorain.

1834

  • A village town site (then unnamed) is surveyed and plotted into lots by the County Surveyor, Edward Durand.
  • On May 10, 1834 part of the John S. Reid farm at the mouth of the Black River is surveyed into lots by Edward Durand.
  • The Ohio Railway Company is projected to cut across the southern portion of Charleston; the project later collapses and the State of Ohio loses $249,000.

1835

  • Conrad Reid is Postmaster.
  • Conrad Reid builds the Reid House, a two-story hotel, at the corner of Broadway and East Erie Avenue.

1836

  • The second plot, extending the area of Charleston, is surveyed on May 28, 1836.
  • The corporation charter for the newly named Village of Charleston is issued by State Legislature.
  • Land speculation seizes the citizens of Black River anticipating nearby placement of the Kilbuck and Black River Canal.
  • The "Black River Steamboat Association" is formed.

1837

  • The charter election for "Charleston" is held.
  • Joshua Freeman surveys the second plot of Black River; Washington Park is included on this plot.
  • The first steam boat, "The Bunker Hill", is launched in Lorain by F.N. Jones Shipyard.

1838

  • The Steamboat "Lexington" is constructed by Black River Steamboats Association.

1839

  • "Circuit rider" preachers hold the first religious services in Lorain.
  • The first church (Presbyterian), on Washington Avenue north of West Erie in Lorain, is built on land donated by Conrad Reid's brother-in-law, Daniel T. Baldwin.

1840

  • The population of Charleston (Black River Township) is 668.
  • The First Methodist Episcopal Church is formed with 450 members. The Pastor is W.C. Dawson, D.D.

1842

  • Charles Dickens sails Lake Erie on the Charleston-built "Constellation".
  • A house belonging to Daniel Baldwin was moved to Lot 108 on an original town plot and made over into a church building.
  • Captain Augustus Jones dies.

1843

  • The "Ohio Railway Company" program collapses; hopes of having a railroad built through Charleston are dashed; plans to incorporate Charleston are dropped.

1844

  • Charleston population is 250.

1847

  • The Black River Commercial newspaper ceases production on September 12, 1847.

1848

  • The "Free Soil Party" (anti-slavery) garners the most votes in the county election.
  • Emmanuel Evangelical Society begins its missionary labors in Lorain holding the first meeting in a small chapel on the farm of Caspar Dute.
  • On March 7, 1848, Seth Griffin, blacksmith, advertises his willingness to shoe horses and oxen.

1849

  • A pontoon bridge over Black River is operated by a ferryman.
  • Quincy Gillmore (from Black River) graduates from West Point at the head of his class.

1850

  • Charleston population is 659.

1850s

  • Area abolitionists play a role in conducting escaping slaves north to freedom.  Charleston is known as "Stop 100" on the Underground Railroad.

1851

  • Charleston's lake shipping grain trade is seriously curtailed by the building of the Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati Railroad through Elyria rather than Lorain.
  • Evangelical Germans form a congregation with seven charter members meeting in a log house on Oberlin Avenue.

1853

  • A two-story frame school building is erected on the site of the present Fire Station No. 1 on Fourth Street.
  • (Approximately 1853) Lighthouse tender Lance Bridge was chosen to be "Marshal" of Charleston's first Police Force.

1855

  • Another influx of Germans settles in the area.
  • Seven wooden ships are constructed in the Black River shipyards.
  • Emmanuel Evangelical Church is built on the corner of what is now Fourth Street and Hamilton Avenue.

1856

  • The Methodist Episcopal Church in Lorain is organized in Spring by Reverends Hard and Griffin, and occupies the former Presbyterian Church building on Washington Avenue north of West Erie Avenue.

1857

  • Charleston has three large warehouses, two hotels, several stores, two blacksmith shops, shipyards, a boarding house, a lime kiln, a steam sawmill and many residential buildings.

1860

  • Lorain County overwhelmingly votes in favor of Abraham Lincoln (4,045 for Lincoln, 1,766 for Douglas).
  • Lorain's future as an industrial city is forged when an iron furnace business is established at the foot of 8th Street by S.O. Edison (the uncle of Thomas A. Edison) and Philo Tilden. The superintendent of the company is William McKinley, father of the 25th President of the United States.
  • The Steamer Lady Elgin sinks after a collision off Lorain.

1861

  • Charleston sends a full quota of men to the Civil War. (LJ 6/18/1959)
  • The beginning of the Postal Service in Lorain is run out of the store of Caleb Peachy.

1862

  • On August 29, 1862 the semi-annual educational tax apportionment for the township is $396.20.
  • A tax is levied to support township schools; 187 persons of school age are in Charleston at the time.
  • General Quincy Gillmore (from Black River) establishes his fame on April 28, 1862 as an Artillery Officer at the siege and capture of Fort Pulaski, Georgia.

1865

  • S.O. Edison and Company's iron furnace makes a profit of $65,000. Three hundred men are employed cutting wood to make charcoal (William McKinley, Sr., father of the future President, was his partner).
  • December 1865 - Q.A. Gillmore resigned his commission as Major-General, and went into engineering, improving Atlantic Coast Harbors.

1866

  • The first African-Amerians settle in Lorain.

1868

  • W. Scott Lyons, shipbuilder, dies.

1869

  • The Methodists build a brick church building on the site of the old wooden church at Washington Avenue north of West Erie Avenue.

1870

  • The population of Black River is 838.
  • A four-room, two story brick school building (which later became part of the Lorain High School building) is completed and occupied.
  • Mark Lampman operated a wild animal zoo at the mouth of the Black River.
  • John Gawn establishes the first commercial fishery.

1871

  • The population is 400.
  • The first formal adoption of school textbooks included McGuffey's Readers, Ray's Arithmetics, and Harvey's Grammar Books.
  • Seventy-five boys and girls crowded into Fire Station No. 1 and were taught by a single teacher.
  • Benjamin F. Bellows is the first School Superintendent.
  • James Connolly is appointed by Secretary Boutwell as the keeper of the Black River light.
  • S.O. Edison iron furnaces goes out of business after a fire destroys the furnace.
  • The Great Chicago Fire results in a great demand for Amherst Quarries Stone is shipped on Lake Erie from Oak Point Pier.

1872

  • The town's first railroad, C.L. and W. R.R., arrives with Hugh George McLennan at the throttle. (It was later known as Cleveland, Lorain and Wheeling Railroad, then Cleveland Tuscarawas Valley R.R.)
  • H.D. Root began building wood crafts from steamers to steam launches and tugs.
  • Brown Brothers Lumber was then the Lorain Lumber Company.
  • Lance Bridge was selected by a committee of citizens as the village's first "law" (police).
  • July 23, 1872 - The First Congregational Church is organized; met in the former Methodist Church building at 4th Street and Washington Avenue.
  • Rush Reid, son of Conrad Reid, dies of typhoid fever (age 27) after surviving an 1869 shipwreck of the 'Clough'.

1873

  • Lorain is officially incorporated as a village; it is named after Lorain County which got its name from the Province of Lorraine, France.  (Charleston is not used because there was already another Charleston in Ohio.)
  • County commissioners build a swing bridge on Black River at Erie Avenue replacing the pontoon bridge which had been in use for some years.
  • "The Black River Commercial" newspaper is founded on May 8, 1873.
  • George Wickens, Sr. comes to Lorain; he takes on a job as "baker's boy" in Mr. Jones' Bakery".
  • The first Catholic services are held in Lorain by Rev. Mullen (Molon?) in private homes.
  • The first bathtub is installed in the Farrell House Hostelry.

1874

  • The first election of the re-incorporated village of Lorain is held on April 6, 1874; Conrad Reid is elected the first Mayor of the Village of Lorain at age 72.
  • A four-room school building is erected at a cost of $15,000, by a contractor named Stanley Griffin.
  • "The Black River Commercial" newspaper ceases production.
  • On October 2, 1874 the Office of Marshal established H.R. Osgood.
  • The first boatload of coal arrives; the cargo is off-loaded onto wheelbarrows.
  • Typical food prices of the day: Eggs - 16 cents a dozen; Butter - 22 cents a pound; New Potatoes - $1.15 a bushel; Cheese - 16 cents a pound; Smoked ham - 18 cents a pound.

1875

  • The first Lorain high school is established.
  • "Lorain Stove Company" is formed.
  • Henry Root constructs the schooner "Our Son" for H. Kelly.
  • First Methodist Episcopal Church is made a "station"; they had a membership of 86, with Rev. A.P. Jones as their first minister.
  • Conrad Reid resigns as Mayor on October 1, 1875.
  • Thomas Gwen is appointed as Mayor; he serves from October 7, 1875 to October 29, 1875.
  • H.S. Rockwood is elected Mayor on October 29, 1875.

1876

  • H.S. Rockwood resigns the Office of Mayor on July 24, 1876.
  • On November 21, 1876 the Mayor is given the authority to summon and impanel juries whenever legally demanded.
  • The grist mill is built.
  • The Lorain Branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union is formed.
  • The Lorain Church of Christ (also called the Franklin Street Disciples of Christ Church) is founded on December 17, 1876.
  • On February 13, 1876 Mrs. Elizabeth Gilmore, mother of ten children, dies at age 78.
  • F.W. Edison is appointed as Mayor; he serves from July 24 to August 15, 1876.
  • G.V. Bayley is elected Mayor on August 15, 1876.

1877

  • Hans Peder Nielsen establishes Nielsen's Jewelers.
  • G.V. Bayley resigns the Office of Mayor on August 27, 1877.
  • F.W. Edison is appointed Mayor on August 27, 1877. He serves until October 16, 1877 when F.B. Vernam is elected Mayor.

1878

  • There are 68 pupils enrolled in Lorain's two schools.
  • F.B. Vernam serves as Mayor until April, 1878, when T.W. Fanchen is elected Mayor.
  • The First National Bank of Lorain (later Citizen's Savings Bank Co.) is established.
  • The community's first resident Roman Catholic Priest, Reverend Joseph Romer, is appointed in February.
  • St. Mary's Catholic Church Parish is organized; church construction starts.
  • On November 13, 1878, the cornerstone is laid for the new First Congregational Church building by Reverend Frank McConnaugh.
  • Ernest J. King, future Admiral of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet, is born in Lorain on November 23, 1878.
  • The Church of Christ congregation purchases a site on 5th Street and builds a one-room chapel.

1879

  • The "Lorain Daily Times" newspaper starts business as Frederick Rowley purchases the "Lorain Monitor" for $300.
  • The first high school graduating class consists of two boys and one girl.
  • Reger and Werner Fish Company is founded.
  • St. Mary's Chapel, on Reid Avenue and present-day 7th Street, is opened in March of 1879 by Father Romer. Its membership consists of 30 families.
  • Twentieth Street Methodist Episcopal Church is founded by Rev. John Wilson.
  • T.W. Fancher serves as Mayor until April of 1879, then Frank Hogan is elected as Mayor.

 

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HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology 1880 - 1899
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

1880

  • Lorain's population is 1,595.
  • Bank of Lorain (later Citizen's Savings Bank) commences business; it was started by W.B. Thompson.
  • Frank Hogan resigns as Mayor on September 7, 1880, and A.R. Fitzgerald is elected as Mayor on this same day.
  • The Lorain Board of Health is organized on May 24, 1880.
  • Craft's Central Drug Store is established.
  • Fisher's Jewelry Store is established, and is later owned by G.D. Trimmer.
  • St. John's Evangelical Church is organized with 16 members on May 9, 1880.

1881

  • Town Council grants a franchise to F.P. Vernon to start a horse drawn street car line.
  • On June 8, 1881 an ordinance is passed creating the position of Police. G.W. Shadduck is appointed as Policeman.
  • On January 20, 1881 the Joel Hayden Brass Company is organized, with a capital of $200,000.
  • A typesetting machine is invented by Lorainite, John R. Rodgers.
  • A.R. Fitzgerald serves as Mayor until April, 1881. G.J. Clark is elected as Mayor on April 5, 1881.

1882

  • The Mayor is G.J. Clark.
  • The School Board issue to raise $8,000 is defeated by a vote of 63 to 7.
  • The second school issue to raise $4,500 is passed by a vote of 46 to 4.
  • The YMCA branch is started.
  • The Knights of Columbus Council 637 is established as the oldest Catholic Men's Club in the City.
  • The Bank of Lorain is reorganized as the First National Bank, and occupies its new building.
  • The First Baptist Church is organized with 7 members on May 14, 1882.

1883

  • Upon reaching the Ohio Railroad, the Cleveland and Tuscarawa Valley Railroad was renamed the Cleveland, Lorain and Wheeling (CL&W R.R.).
  • In April of 1883, the Reid House Hotel at Broadway and Erie burns (a month after Conrad Reid's death).
  • The School Board issue to raise $5,500 to build a south wing on the Washington Street School building, passes by a vote of 39-5.
  • George Wickens starts a furniture store; he is also the village undertaker.
  • On March 22, 1883 the first fire company, "Eagle Hose Company", is formed by city ordinance; it later becomes the number one station.
  • On January 10, 1883 the first attempts to start a library for the city start as an association library, the Lorain Library Association, selling 100 shares of stock operating from the dentist office of Dr. Purcell
  • The Lorain Chamber of Commerce is founded on July 28, 1883; the charter is issued on July 31, 1883.
  • The Joel Hayden Brass Works paid $1.00 a day more or less, which wasn't at all bad in those days; it employed 400 workers.
  • The new First Baptist Church at present-day Reid Avenue and 18th Street, is built as the first permanent worship place for the congregation.
  • Conrad Reid dies on March 24, 1883. He was the first Mayor of the Village of Lorain.
  • Kent Street Methodist Episcopal Church is organized with 150 members.
  • A large-frame church replaces the first St. Mary's Chapel on Reid Avenue.
  • The first services are held at the First Baptist Church on July 10, 1883.

1884

  • The first water pumping and distribution system is installed, with no filtration of the river water.
  • G.J. Clark serves as Mayor until April of 1884, when F.W. Edison is elected as Mayor.
  • The first house in South Lorain is built on September 25, 1894.

1885

  • F.B. Vernam's one-horse car streetcar line unites the two ends of the village.
  • Gilbert Hogan strikes "sulphur springs" water while drilling for gas.
  • The John Stack Coal Company is founded.

1886

  • Otto Braum is elected as Mayor in April of 1886.
  • Eight hundred eighty-five students are enrolled in the city's school.
  • The administration of the Lorain Library Association is turned over to the Board of Education.

1887

  • One thousand thirty-three students are enrolled in the city's school.
  • F.P. Vernon starts the (horse) street car line extending from the Loop at Broadway and Erie Avenue to 21st Street.
  • Mineral Water is discovered in Central Lorain. The Devonian "baths" are opened.
  • Mr. G. Hogan ships his Devonian Springs Mineral Water to locations in other states.
  • On May 18, 1887 the first successful gas well is drilled in Lorain at the corner of Broadway and 6th Street.
  • Lorain streets are lit by natural gas from pipes at the new gas well.
  • Samuel Babcock is appointed as attendant at the Swing Bridge at $348 per annum.
  • The east side of Broadway from Erie Avenue to 4th Street is destroyed by fire.
  • There are nineteen bicycle owners in Lorain; several boys employed at the Brass Works are contemplating buying bicycles to ride to and from work.

1888

  • Otto Braum serves as Mayor until April of 1888; A.H. Babcock is elected as Mayor in April of 1888.
  • The water level is high, causing the Swing Bridge on Black River to be damaged when it is struck by a boat.
  • The Lorain Savings and Banking Company is organized.
  • The Lorain Daily News is founded.
  • Late in the years, Sisters of St. Francis take charge of St. Mary Church School; the two-story St. Mary's School building is erected at a cost of $10,000.
  • General Quincy Gillmore dies on April 11, 1888.
  • William Jones (the builder of the house later used as City Hall) dies on January 15, 1888.

1889

  • A ferry is used while the new Erie Avenue Bridge is being built.
  • County commissioners repair the damage to the swing bridge; they elevate the bridge and build a viaduct over the railroad tracks and marsh.
  • Lorain has one bank, six doctors, three firms of attorneys-at-law and 10 lodges.
  • On September 17, 1889 the steam launch "Leo" sinks in Lake Erie off Avon drowning nine Lorain community leaders.
  • There are complaints in the newspaper about baseball players "breaking the Sabbath".
  • The Joel Hayden Brass Works adopts Standard Time - The Lorain Times suggests that Standard Time, rather than "Sun Time".
  • On March 17, 1889 the first stationery store in Lorain was opened. It is Eldred's, Inc., at 375 Broadway.
  • On July 15, 1889 the Mayor reports 34 arrests from January-July and $117.40 are collected in fines. Eight prisoners are working out their fines on the streets.
  • Kolbe Brothers and Ranney Fish Company is started. (It is later called the Ranney Fish Company).
  • William McKinley is in town in September campaigning for election.

1890

  • Lorain population is 4,863. (Foreign-born population is 1,069, or 22%).
  • A.H. Babcock serves as Mayor until April.
  • W.B. Thompson is elected as Mayor in April.
  • The City Council is negotiating a way to fund extending Bank Street (6th Street) out to Oberlin Avenue.
  • The Wagner Opera House (later called The State) was where the Broadway Building is now but was on the 2nd floor of the building. (One source lists the year as 1893).
  • George Randall laid out a 1/2 mile dirt race track - for both horse races and bicycle races on the east side near Euclid Avenue.
  • A Miss Sherwood, of Cleveland, announces plans to start a circulating library in Lorain. The cost of a 2-year membership is $1.50.
  • The "American Eagle" excursion ship provided daily service to Lakeside and Put-In-Bay during the summer.

1891

  • The first electricity franchise is voted in Lorain (The Lake Erie Electric Light Company).
  • On April 25, 1891, a second charter was issued to the reorganized Chamber of Commerce.
  • The schooner J.D. Sawyer sinks 4 miles east of Lorain.
  • The Lorain Savings and Banking Company is organized.
  • The Garden Avenue School is erected.
  • The Sam Klein Company is founded.
  • The Lorain Branch of the Bohemian Lodge, Sobeslav, is founded. This branch of the Cleveland organization spoke only Czech in meetings and publications.

1892

  • Population is 6,000.
  • The Mayor is W.B. Thompson.
  • The assessed valuation of the City of Lorain is $1,133,056.
  • The National Vapor Stove Company begins construction of a plant on Long Avenue and 13th Street.
  • St. Joseph Hospital was founded when the need arose to provide hospital facilities for a child who required immediate surgery. At that time the nearest hospital was located in Cleveland.  Founding staff were Father Joseph L. Bihn, Sister M. Ludmilla Schmidt and Sister M. Antonia Adams.
  • A sanitary sewer system is constructed, pumping directly into the Black River; the typhoid death rate soared.
  • The Lorain Herald (a weekly newspaper) begins publishing on Franklin Avenue (5th Street), just off Broadway.
  • The school library starts with 200 volumes.
  • One thousand, five hundred thirty-nine children are enrolled in Lorain City Schools.
  • Lorain Schools have children of 13 different nationalities registered. (The immigrant influx to work at the steel mill didn't start until 1894).
  • A lazy streetcar horse decides to stop on the Nickel Plate Railroad line. A collision with an oncoming train was barely averted.
  • The First Methodist Episcopal Church is built at the present Reid Avenue and 6th Street site, to replace the chapel at Washington Avenue near West Erie.

1893

  • Lorain's population of nearly 7,000 is amply served by 38 saloons.
  • The National Vapor Stove Company transfers its plant and business to Lorain from Cleveland.
  • On May 18, 1893, the National Vapor Stove Company began operations in its new Long Avenue factory (at the Nickel Plate Tracks). One hundred twelve stoves were made on the first day.
  • Fairhome Addition housing lots are being laid out.
  • Lorain has 107 business houses of 34 different types including 6 barbers, 2 photographers and 1 plumber.
  • Dr. G.M. Harris indicates in the Herald newspaper that he feels that in impure water supply had caused that spring's typhoid epidemic; he predicts worse is to come if the water supply is not purified.
  • An epidemic of typhoid fever raged throughout the city during the summer.
  • There are 8 diphtheria cases, with 3 deaths reported among Lorain children.
  • Fines of $50.00 are to be charged if children attend school without being vaccinated against diphtheria.
  • Lorain Schools reported that the number of children taught by one teacher ranged from 29 to 75.
  • Brass Works employees work for over two months with no pay. The company is in financial difficulty.
  • The Herald newspaper is skeptical about the walkout staged by Brass Works employees on June 30, 1893. The only reason the men gave for the strike was that they had had no pay for two months. The Herald thought that the walkout showed a lack of consideration by the men for their employer.
  • The National Vapor Stove Works closes in August. (They are the 2nd victims of the Panic of 1893).
  • The industrial depression hits Lorain with 400 unemployed at the closing of the Brass Works; public work is created at $1 a day for workers paving city streets.
  • The Herald reports that the Lorain Street Railway Company horse car line filed a petition for receivership. (The company at that time owned four street cars and horses, a mile and a half of tracks).
  • A delay in the start-up of free home delivery of mail by the Post Office is blamed on the lack of street name signs.
  • City Council is urged by the Herald newspaper to erect street signs giving street names.
  • A campaign is underway to eliminate "unsightly" front yard fences.
  • Drunken sailors on shore leave are handled by Constable J. Smith.
  • The First National Bank of Lorain is reorganized as the Citizens Savings Bank.
  • There is much dissatisfaction among residents of the East Side by reason of the inconvenience caused in swinging the East Erie Avenue drawbridge - it is not uncommon for the bridge to be held open for 15 minutes.
  • Bridge Tender G.H. Whitford complains of speeding horse and buggy drivers on bridge.
  • "Smart Alex" boys on bicycles on sidewalks are riding recklessly and are danger to pedestrians.
  • The Herald announces the community's pleasure at no ore or coal being handled on Sundays. (Sundays up to that time had been just another work day).
  • The Bonsor Opera House (later the Wagner Opera House) is opened, boasting a chandelier with 28 electric lights. (On the second floor of the present Broadway Building)

1894

  • Lorain is incorporated as a city.
  • Black River Telephone Company is organized; it has 25 subscribers and is the second independent telephone company in the United States.
  • W.B. Thompson serves as Mayor until April. George Wickens is elected Mayor in April.
  • J.B. Coffinberry started work on obtaining land for a steel mill.
  • On March 30, 1894, the Johnson Steel Street Rail Company of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, proposed to village officials to move their rail mills from Johnstown, PA. to Lorain if they would widen and straighten the Black River.
  • On March 30, 1894, the Lorain Times-Herald declared: "It is settled". The Johnstown Steel Works will be located in Lorain. Work begins to clear the site in May. Construction and moving will begin in July. Through the winter of 1894-95, work goes on for the moving of the Bessemer converting works, a blooming mill, a rail rolling mill with finishing equipment, and a group of mechanical shops from Johnstown, PA to Lorain's (present) South Side. The moving and installation was finished in February, 1895.
  • The Lorain Evening Herald newspaper is established on March 22, 1894.
  • Lorain High School's first year of physical education sees it losing all the games of its three-game football schedule.
  • Hotel Lorain is built at the corner of 7th Street and Broadway by Reverend J. Frank Smith of First Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • Oberlin Avenue Greenhouse is one of the oldest establishments of its kind in Lorain.
  • The last horse car is run on July 14. The horse street car line is replaced with an electric system owned by Johnson Steel Street Railway Company (a plant in Lorain that made streetcar rails).
  • On June 8, 1894 the Johnson Company laborers break ground for the power-house of the Lorain-Elyria Electric Line.
  • Spang Bakery is established.
  • The Post, an independent German newspaper, is established.
  • First United Brethren Church is organized with 210 members.
  • The Second Methodist Episcopal Church is organized with 15 members - it met in the Wagner Building and later on 5th Street.
  • The Second Baptist Church is organized by Reverend B.H. Ware. It met in the Wagner Building and later on 12th Street.

1895

  • On May 1, 1895 the first electric street car runs down Broadway and turns around at the loop built at the intersection of Broadway and Erie Avenue.
  • The first steel was blown in the Bessemer Steel Works on April 1, 1895, and one month later the first rail was rolled in the rail mill.
  • The first shipment of steel from Lorain mills - six barges left for New York City via the Erie Canal.
  • Fifteen people die from typhoid fever.
  • Lake Terminal Railroad Company was incorporated.
  • "Tiger Rose Company", the city's second fire company, is formed. (It later becomes Number 2 Company).
  • Thew Automatic Shovel Company is organized; it began manufacturing Captain Richard Thew's patented steam shovel.
  • November 18 is the first day of home mail delivery in Lorain.
  • On November 14 the first mail box for free delivery is placed on the corner of Broadway and Bank Street.
  • Glen's Bathing Beach Resort is opened by George Glendening.
  • Randall's Grove is a popular beach spot on the East Side near Euclid Avenue.
  • On July 4, the first automobile race was held in Lorain. Cars attained the high speed of 25-30 miles an hour and the cars cost $1,250.
  • Penfield Avenue Savings Bank (later the Central Bank Company) is established at Broadway and 20th Street.

    14. Lowell School is erected.
     

  • St. Mary's Catholic Church on Reid Avenue (a frame building) is destroyed by fire on June 5, 1895.
  • St. David's Episcopal Church on Pearl Avenue is organized with 150 members.
  • The Chrysanthemum Literary Society is formed.
  • The United Brethren Church is organized on January 6 with 12 charter members.
  • On March 29, 1895 the Sorosis group is organized.

1896

  • George Wickens resigns as Mayor on January 15. C.N. Snyder is appointed as Mayor on January 15; he serves until April. J.B. Coffinberry is elected Mayor in April.
  • Ten people die from typhoid fever.
  • Broadway Avenue is paved with bricks; it is the first paved street in the city.
  • Lorain Jewell filtration plan is authorized. Lorain is the first city in the United States to begin construction of a public system of filtration for the purpose of filtering all the water passing through the city mains.
  • In 1896 Council created the Office of Chief of Police. G.H. Meister became Lorain's first Chief of Police.
  • Lorain Foundry Company is established.
  • A lady sales clerk at the Boston Store elopes with her sweetheart on a tandem bicycle.
  • Griffin Hotel is the most popular stopping place for wayfarers.
  • A third city fire company, the "Tom L. Johnson Company", is formed.
  • Lowell School opens.
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church is organized on January 5.
  • St. Joseph Parish School opens in January with 40 students.
  • The new St. Mary's Church building replaces the one which burnt in 1895.
  • The Second Congregational Church is organized in February with 14 members.
  • Wimodaughsis Club is organized.
  • Lorain Sisterhood Organization is formed in February with Mrs. E.B. Pierce as President.

1897

  • The Mayor is J.B. Coffinberry.
  • Jewell Filtration Plant is completed.
  • Cleveland Shipbuilding Company (later American Shipbuilding Company) is organized; ground is broken on February 10 by contractor John J. Stang.
  • Subscriptions to construct a YMCA building are started.
  • On October 7, 1897 the first electric interurban car on the Lorain-Cleveland run arrives in Lorain to begin regular service.
  • Ernest J. King graduates from Lorain High School .
  • H.M. Smith and J.F. Gerhart move to Lorain from Elyria to start a dry goods emporium.
  • Baetz-Barber Dairy is established.
  • Chestnut Street Methodist Episcopal Church is organized with 40 members. (
  • The new St. Mary's Church is dedicated on May 23, 1897.

1898

  • The Mayor is A.H. Babcock.
  • On November 1, 1898 the Johnson Company is reorganized and changes its name to the Lorain Steel Company.
  • The Cleveland Shipbuilding Company begins work in the spring; it s first ship launched is the steel steamer "Superior City", on April 13th.
  • 1200 men are employed at the new Cleveland Shipbuilding Company.
  • Long distance telephone communication service comes to Lorain.
  • Captain W.S. Pole of Lorain commands Company A of the 5th O.V.I. (Ohio Volunteers Infantry)
  • Ground is broken for the new YMCA building.
  • St. Stephen's Sick Benevolent Society is founded by a group of Hungarians; it is the forerunner of St. Ladislaus Church.
  • The United Evangelical Church is organized with 75 members.
  • On October 16 the Oldest Hungarian lodge is founded.
  • Reverend Adolph Swierezynski is sent to Lorain to conduct services for Polish- speaking residents.
  • The Round Table Literary Society is formed.
  • J.B. Coffinberry serves as Mayor until April. A.H. Babcock is elected Mayor in April.

1899

  • The first blast furnaces are completed at Lorain Steel Company.
  • Cleveland Shipbuilding becomes part of American Shipbuilding Company.
  • On October 11, 1899 the Lorain Gas Company acquires plants of Wright Gas Company and the Lake Erie Electric Light Company.
  • Citizens Gas and Electric Light Company is organized.
  • The construction of the new "swing bridge" over the Black River starts to replace the old floating bridge. A temporary pontoon bridge is used during construction.
  • On May 5, 1899, a second reorganization meeting of the Chamber of Commerce is held in the City Council chambers.
  • The YMCA building is dedicated on February 22, 1899.
  • The Edison Hardware Company is established and is later known as Lorain Hardware Company.
  • Regular hours of workers at the docks are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The Steamer Margaret Olwill sinks about 8 miles off Lorain.
  • Charleston School is erected.
  • Miss E.N. McConnell ends her twelve-year tenure as Principal of Lorain High School.
  • City Bank is established at Pearl Avenue and East 28th Street.
  • The Second Congregational Church is reorganized at East 31st Street (then called 13th Avenue) Building, organized with 31 members.
  • St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is organized with 60 members.
  • The Second Baptist Church is organized with 39 members.
  • On August 6, 1899 the First Methodist Church organized a mission Sunday School (later Gawn Avenue Sunday School) that met on 5th Street (which is now Colorado Avenue).
  • Kent Street Methodist Episcopal Church is erected (later called the 20th Street Methodist Episcopal Church).
  • Thew Automatic Shovel Company begins operation.
  • The Johnson Steel Company becomes the Lorain Steel Company on November 1, 1899.

 

<BACK TO INDEX

<BACK - To 1879

HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology 1900 - 1919
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

1900

  • Lorain's population is 16,028. Foreign born citizens account for 4,727, or 29.5%.
  • A.H. Babcock serves as Mayor until April. George L. Glitch is elected Mayor in April.
  • The Cleveland, Lorain and Wheeling Railroad becomes part of the Baltimore and Ohio (B & O) System.
  • On May 12, 1900 the new swing bridge (later to be replaced by the Bascule Bridge) is completed at the Erie Avenue Black River crossing.
  • The Moxham House is the Showplace of South Lorain. It is the home of A.J. Moxham, President of National Tube.
  • Telephone directories were simply pieces of colored cardboard with all subscribers listed on one side.
  • Lorain fisheries' annual catch is about 4,000,000 pounds.
  • Carpenter's Local 705 becomes the first craftsmen's union established in Lorain.
  • The average salary paid in Lorain is $964.
  • Lorain National Bank of Commerce is established.
  • Lorain Library Association is formed by members of the city's three literary clubs. The Lorain Library Association opens a library in October in a small frame building at 5th Street and Broadway. Reverend Thompson sparks the start of a reading room for young men in the old Lorain Herald building on Bank Street.
  • The Daily Democrat newspaper is issued.
  • The Church of Christ, Scientist is organized with 15 members.
  • Zion Lutheran Church is organized with 40 members.
  • South Lorain Methodist Episcopal Church (later called Grace Methodist Episcopal Church) is organized on July 13th with 57 members.
  • The First Presbyterian Church is organized on October 25 with 60 members.
  • Nativity Catholic Church is organized with 100 members. It is finished in April and dedicated on September 9.
  • The cornerstone for St. John's Roman Catholic Church is laid on September 8.
  • Some enterprising people purchase land from the A.C. Farragher farm and turn it into Century Park; the Century Park Dance Hall was built that year.
  • Helen Steiner Rice is born in Lorain on May 19.

1901

  • This was the first year Lorain had no deaths from typhoid fever.
  • On April 1, 1901 the Lorain Steel Company becomes a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation.
  • The Lorain Sisterhood Library Board and the men's Reading Room Board unite and officially incorporate in April as the Lorain Public Library Association.
  • Ernest J. King graduates fourth in his class of 67 from the Annapolis U.S. Naval Academy.
  • In July Colonel William F. Cody ("Buffalo Bill") came to town with his Wild West Show.
  • Wimodaughsis (Wives/Mothers/Daughters/Sisters) unites with the Lakeside Federation.
  • On May 8, 1901 the Lorain Daily Times, Weekly Herald and the Evening Herald are consolidated as the Lorain Times-Herald.
  • St. Joseph Hospital acquires formally organized medical staff.
  • Reger and Werner Fish Company is established.
  • On June 16, Captain R. Thew left for the Klondike Region to inspect one of his steam shovels which was being used in gold mining.
  • On May 20, 1901 C.F. Gilmore is appointed as Police Surgeon.
  • The Grace Methodist Episcopal Church built a permanent building on present-day East 31st Street.
  • Thomas Gawn built and donated a chapel on Gawn Avenue (now Delaware Avenue) for use by the Gawn Avenue Mission Sunday School.
  • The Ladies' Guild of the Redeemer Mission is reorganized as St. George's Mission.

1902

  • Lorain's population is 27,087.
  • George L. Glitch serves as Mayor until April. F.J. King is elected as Mayor in April.
  • 4,049 children are enrolled in Lorain City Schools.
  • As of November 20, 1902 9,383 persons are listed in the "new" Lorain City Directory.
  • Almost 500 new homes are constructed in Lorain in one year. (The average cost is $1,600.)
  • The assessed valuation of the City of Lorain is $4,784,981.
  • On November 17, 1902 City Council passes a new gas ordinance granting the Citizens' Gas and Electric Company the right to pipe and supply national gas.
  • The Lorain Public Library Association is formed with 50 members.
  • Andrew Carnegie is notified by the Lorain Library Association of the acceptance of his terms for his gift of $30,000 for the erection of a library building.
  • For the year ending October, 1902 there were 2,360,000 pounds of fish shipped by rail out of Lorain on the Nickel Plate Railroad.
  • Fairhome, Garfield and Harrison Schools are established.
  • Verbeck on Broadway south of 7th Street is gutted by fire.
  • On August 25, 1902, the Lorain Times-Herald sells for 2 cents an issue.
  • Central Hardware Company is established.
  • The East Side Literary Society is formed.
  • The cost of interurban from Lorain to Elyria is 9 cents.
  • The Chrysanthemum Literary Society is reorganized as Sorosis.
  • The new building for Black River Telephone Company exchange is occupied.
  • On April 18, 1902 the Black River Telephone Company plans to increase its service to include 1,000 phones.
  • The Lorain Church of Christ builds its new church on Franklin Street (which is now 5th Street) at a cost of $10,000.
  • The Hungarian Reformed Church is organized with 72 members, by Andrew Estenes.
  • On July 12, 1902 millions of "Canadian soldiers" invade Lorain, constituting a health hazard and a disposal problem.
  • On July 24, 1902 the Lorain Library Association chooses Streator Park as the site for the new Carnegie Library building.
  • St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church is founded.

1903

  • The population is 21,000. Square miles incorporated are 9.75. (35)
  • The city purchases the Stang house on West Erie Avenue for $30,000 to use as a City Hall.
  • On June 19, 1903 the water department discussed replacing the 5 1/4 miles of wooden water pipe still in the city.
  • Construction begins on a new pipe mill east of the Lorain Steel Mill.
  • The cornerstone is laid on August 19th for a new library building.
  • The value of the Lorain Library Fund (Carnegie's gift) is $30,000.
  • There are 1,500 books in Lorain Public Library.
  • Six banks are now operating in Lorain.
  • Paul S. Short founded Lorain Business College.
  • The average number of patients at St. Joseph Hospital is 25.
  • St. Joseph's Training School for Nurses is established.
  • B & O Car Shops employ 450 employees.
  • Lorain Foundry has 300 employees.
  • Thew Automatic Steam Shovel Company has 175 employees.
  • The American Steel Shipyard has 1,250 employees.
  • The Lorain Steel Company has 2,300 employees.
  • Haydenville Brass Works closes.
  • E.G. Koethe opens Lorain Printing Company with 18 employees.
  • Lorain Street Railway (13 1/2 miles of track in Lorain) connects Lorain and Elyria.

    20. The cost of a house and lot in South Lorain is $1,500.
     

  • YMCA Association membership numbers 350.
  • Lorain Auto Parts Company is established.
  • Lorain Public Schools has 6 school buildings, 61 teachers and 2,600 students enrolled.
  • A round trip ticket to Cleveland on the interurban costs 80 cents.
  • The Transylvanian Saxon Sick Benefit Society is founded.
  • There are 22 churches in Lorain.
  • 40 percent of the population of Lorain is of Roman Catholic Church affiliation.
  • There are 6 parochial schools in Lorain, 13 teachers and 700 students enrolled.
  • The First Presbyterian Church building is dedicated on September 20.
  • The United Brethren Church building at West 21st Street and Reid Avenue is completed and dedicated on June 7th.
  • The First English Evangelical Lutheran Church is organized on September 20 with 23 charter members. It met in the Pierce Block.
  • The Hungarian Reformed Church erected a new building at Globe Avenue and East 31st Street.
  • Slavic settlers of Lorain purchase 3 1/2 acres of land at 25th Street and Elyria Avenue for the erection of Holy Trinity Church, school and rectory.
  • The Agudheh Achin congregation is organized; a synagogue is erected on 12th Street between Broadway and Reid Avenue.
  • The Hungarian Lodge Szent Mihaly Magyar G.K. B'o Egyleb is formed. This formed the basis for St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church.
  • Lofton R. Henderson is born on May 24.  He will be the first Marine pilot to die in the Battle of Midway.  Henderson Field on Guadalcanal will be named in his honor.

1904

  • On June 7 the City Council approved an ordinance limiting the speed of cars and bikes to 8 miles per hour on city streets.
  • The Carnegie Public Library building on 10th Street is dedicated on May 30, 1904.
  • On January 22, 1904 the Black River flood causes over $200,000 damage.
  • On April 19, 1904 the School Board allows teachers to wear short skirts.
  • Harrison School is built.
  • Brownell and Lincoln Schools are established.
  • On February 13, 1904 the Lorain Brick Company is incorporated.
  • On December 25, 1904, a dance hall is opened at Glenn's Beach resort by George Glendening.
  • Lorain Crystal Ice Company is founded, located at 120 Oberlin Avenue.
  • On January 7, 1904 Lorain and Elyria Ice Company commerce work is cutting ice in the lake west of the river.
  • As of March 15, 1904 the streets are infested with gangs of tramps; women are advised to be cautious about walking alone at night.
  • Ideal Dairies, Incorporated is founded by the Guziks.
  • Central Bakery is started by Edward Kowalski.
  • On September 29 151 saloons closed down and attended the official opening of the Cleveland Sandusky Brewing Company here.

    15.Reverend Joseph Szabo becomes the first resident priest of St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Magyar Church parish.
     

  • St. George's Mission is renamed "The Church of the Redeemer" in May. The cornerstone for the building at the corner of Reid Avenue and 7th Street is laid on October 2, 1904.
  • On February 29, 1904 Mr. H. Tate offers a $5.00 reward for information on a thief who stole Tate's horse and hack.
  • On July 7, 1904 is the annual parade of the Junior Military Company of the YMCA.

1905

  • Lorain's population is 25,500.
  • Some of Lorain's monthly expenses: Street cleaning - $134; Garbage collection - $114; Police Department - $1,300; Prisoners' board - $74; Street lighting - $930.
  • The first pipe is made at National Tube Company on February 10.
  • The Lorain Public Library owns 40 books in German and 15 in Hungarian.
  • The city's first vote on the liquor question - the First and Second Wards voted to remain dry.
  • On March 23, 1905 fourteen saloons closed when their districts are voted "dry".
  • The Lorain Savings and Banking Company is purchased by the Cleveland Trust Company.
  • Penfield Avenue Bank Company is organized.
  • The Style Center opens.
  • Reidy-Scanlan and Company is established as a Furniture and Undertaking Business.
  • Lorain Auto Parts Company is established. They are still in business at this time.
  • John Lopatkovich started the Home Dairy Company.
  • A group of businessmen headed by Captain Richard Thew buys out the Dollar Savings Bank and establishes the Lorain Banking Company.
  • Products in tonnage of American Ship Building Company exceeded that of any other company in the world.
  • The Brown-Cochran Company (gas engines and refrigerating machinery) employs about 300.
  • On August 1 thirteen people die when the Nickel Plate Flyer and freight train have a head-on collision.
  • On June 5, "Grace M." Lovin tugboat, caught poaching in the Canadian part of Lake Erie, sunk after a collision with the Canadian cruiser "Vigilant".
  • The St. Matthews African Methodist Episcopal Church is formed in July.
  • The South Lorain Baptist Church (Trinity Baptist Church) is organized on February 3, 1905.
  • Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish is organized.
  • On October 22 the Lorain Slovak Gymnastic Union Sokol is formed. (Lor Nation)
  • On August 9, 1905 Lorain grocers and butchers close shop to take the excursion steamer "Frontenac" to Cedar Point.

1906

  • Lorain's population is 28,000.
  • There are 22 miles of paved streets and 2,300 telephones.
  • Typhoid and diphtheria cases are reported in the city on March 13, 1906.
  • Twenty-three acres are added to the original 20-acre site of the American Shipbuilding Company.
  • Tom L. Johnson's three-cent fares for streetcars, including Lake Shore Electric through Lorain, go into effect on November 1, 1906.
  • The Lorain Post Office moved its "temporary" quarters from Broadway (near 6th Street) to 6th Street, 1/2 block west of Broadway.
  • Kindergarten for foreign children is opened at the YMCA.
  • The first Lorain High School Scimitar is produced.
  • The Bohemian Women's Lodge is formed.
  • The Lorain Gun Club is organized.
  • The Gawn Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church (later Delaware Avenue), at present-day Delaware and West Erie Avenues, is built.
  • The St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church building at Wood Avenue and East 29th Street is completed, at a cost of $85,000.
  • On October 28, 1906, Lodge 101 of Carniolian Slovenian Catholic Union is formed.
  • Hungarians of South Lorain organize St. Michael's Greek Catholic Church, at Wood Avenue and East 29th Street.
  • Tube mills construction is completed at National Tube.
  • On January 19, 1906 the Stockford Meat Company on Pearl Avenue sells prime rib roasts for 10 cents per pound.

1907

  • The new water purification plant goes into operation in April. The breakwater at the harbor entrance is built.
  • On August 28, 1907 the Ohio Inspection Bureau warns that Lorain contractors will have to install better electric wiring or the insurance rates will go up.
  • On April 30, 1907 a fire destroyed the National Stove Company factory on Long Avenue. It was rebuilt immediately.
  • On October 9, 1907 the Green Line is to open its new system - cars are to run every 20 minutes.
  • On January 21, 1907 residents petition the City Council to have Reid Street paved.
  • The Fire Department puts horses to work and purchases a new hook and ladder wagon.
  • On March 18, 1907 horse wagon No. 2 gets stuck in the mud on the way to a fire on Penfield Avenue.
  • Steve Dohanos, famous American artist, is born on May 18, 1907 in Lorain.
  • The first power boats appeared on Black River.
  • James Mollison organized the first Lorain Soccer Team; they lost the first game with the Cleveland Thistles, 2-1 (score two-to-one).
  • In November of 1907 the Temperance Crusader Carry Nation visited and spoke at the Lorain Armory; collected $30.00 and sold 400 souvenir hatchets.
  • On April 27, 1907 A.V. Hageman Real Estate Company advertises East Side homes for $1,300 to $2,200.
  • Sts. Cyril and Methodius purchases a church and rectory building at Globe Avenue and East 31st Street from St. John's Parish in the Fall (Autumn).
  • The local chapter of Romanian Beneficial and Cultural Society is founded.
  • A foundation is built for a new lighthouse and a temporary lighthouse structure is erected.
  • On October 18, 1907 there is a fire in the 13th Avenue School. Panic is prevented due to fire drill practices earlier.
  • As of November 4, 1907 new books at the Lorain Public Library include Silas Marner and House of the Seven Gables.

1908

  • In January, F.J. King's term as Mayor expires; A.A. King is elected as Mayor.
  • In early 1908 the Lorain Board of Trade is formed, with D.H. Aiken as its first and only president.
  • On November 24, 1908 the Chamber of Commerce and Lorain Board of Trade merged into the "Lorain Board of Commerce".
  • On February 14, 1908 the Nickel Plate drawbridge across Black River is the longest single-span structure in the world.
  • On December 17, 1908 one of the most expensive fires happens to the business people when the Borrows Milling Company grain elevator burned down.
  • L.G. and William Kutza operate a local Drug Store.
  • On January 3, 1908 Lakeside Avenue homes are reported in peril from lake erosion; thirty feet of land falls into Lake Erie.
  • Lorain High School employs its first athletic coach, David Darrow.
  • The names of all South Lorain streets are changed to present designation to avoid confusion with streets of similar names in other parts of town.
  • A "deposit station" of library books is started at the Y.M.C.A. building.
  • The Czechoslovak Society of America builds Sokol Hall on Kelly Place.
  • On November 5, 1908 the City Bank declares semi-annual dividends of 3 1/2 %.
  • On November 24, 1908 the Lorain School Board decides to take over the sale of text books to students.
  • On December 4, 1908 the new Schnitzler Building opens for business with A.J. Schnitzler's grocery store on the first floor.
  • On December 29, 1908 taxpayers are to get back part of $40,000 paid in excess property assessments.

1909

  • On October 12, 1909 a diphtheria epidemic alarms the City Health Board; there are 22 cases in 11 days.
  • On August 23, 1909 the Health Board appoints a doctor to conduct tuberculine tests on area farmers' dairy cows.
  • The Lorain Fire Department went from volunteer to paid under Chief Edward Essex.
  • The Lorain Lighthouse is built at a cost of $19,800. (LJ 6/13/1976) (The date is uncertain; other sources give the date as 1916.)
  • The annex to Garfield School is built.
  • On June 3, 1909 a chemical analysis of Lorain's Devonian Spring water reveals 14 minerals "of medicinal value". (There is a $150,000 plan to re-open the spring.)
  • Open hearth furnaces are added at National Tube Company.
  • South Lorain (Trinity) Baptist Church Building is completed on 13th Avenue (now East 31st Street).
  • On May 21, 1909 the University Club of Lorain is founded.
  • St. Peter's Parish is organized. The cornerstone of the church building is laid in June.
  • The Lorain YMCA gym will allow ladies to use its facilities on Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 2-5:00.

1910

  • Lorain population is 28,883. This is an 80% increase over the population of the year 1900. Of the 28,883, there were 10,929 foreign-born, which amounts to 37.8% of the populace.
  • A.A. King's term as mayor is over in January; F.J. King is elected as mayor.
  • The Lorain Social Settlement Association is organized in May with Mrs. E.M. Pierce, President.
  • U.S. Congress appropriates $150,000 to build a post office in Lorain in February.
  • Central Bank Company absorbs Penfield Avenue Bank Company.
  • Miss Elizabeth K. Steele becomes the librarian of Lorain Public Library.
  • George Daniel, a 1905 graduate of Lorain High School, becomes the second athletic coach at Lorain High School.
  • The Lorain Powerboat Club was established; it joined the Inter-Lake Yachting Association in 1913. It would later be called the Lorain Yacht Club.
  • On May 17, 1910 Lorainites to watch Halley's Comet tonight as Earth passes through its tail. ("No Danger" say scientists).
  • On March 9, 1910 Miller Jewelers gives one Eagle Stamp with every ten cent cash purchase.
  • On October 3, 1910 lake fishermen look for a big run of blue pike when fishing season opens this month.
  • On December 24, 1910 Christmas dinner will cost less than last year; turkey costs 25 cents a pound, goose costs 20 cents a pound, and chicken costs 16 cents a pound.

1911

  • The present Main Lorain Post office site (Broadway and 9th Street) is purchased for $42,500 in December.
  • Captain Winslow Greisser, of Buffalo, arrived on April 9, 1911 to begin his job as Superintendent of the new Lorain Life Saving Station.
  • On December 17, 1911, the Lorain Motorcycle Club is started by Dr. A.M. Webster; it met in the Wagner Block.
  • The Women's Auxiliary of the Young Men's Christian Association is organized.
  • Work on the new Lorain High School building commences.

1912

  • F.J. King's term as mayor is over in January; T.W. Pape is elected mayor.
  • Lorain modernizes its fire department and starts to switch from horse-drawn fire wagons to motorized fire trucks.
  • The Lorain Fire Department purchases its first motorized hose truck and hook-and-ladder truck.
  • Broadway's brick surface is repaved with asphalt from 21st Street to the Lake.
  • On August 27, 1912 the "Yellow Line" of Lorain Street Railroad wins a court case against the city giving it the right-of-way on 28th Street.
  • Sauer Music Company at Fifth Street is founded.
  • Schools begin giving pupils medical checkups.
  • A $2,000,000 ore unloading plant at the foot of Broadway is placed in commission in May.
  • Lorain County Electric Company is organized.
  • Lorain High School Football Team has an unbeaten season; George F. Daniel is coach.
  • As of March 12, 1912 butter sells for 36 cents a pound and eggs sell for 25 cents a dozen.
  • As of June 27, 1912 the Wickens Company is selling Al Jolson's new record, "Movin' Man, Don't Take My Baby Grand" for 75 cents.
  • Perry Centennial and Home Week Celebration takes place on July 13, 1912.

1913

  • The ground breaking for the new Lorain Post Office building is held in April.
  • In August of 1913 the cornerstone is laid for the new Post Office at 9th Street and Broadway.
  • As of January 1, 1913, the City Engineer, C.M. Osborne, reports 22.1 miles of paved streets now in the city. (L T-H 7/16/1913)
  • In February of 1913 construction began on the new East 31st Street Bridge, to be finished by August.
  • On October 14, 1913 the City Council agreed to recommend an 8-hour day with a $2.00 minimum wage for city laborers.
  • On November 9 or 10, 1913 Lorain is hit by the worst snow-storm of the century; ice, 6-8 foot drifts, 14-foot waves on the lake; transportation is halted; 300 died.
  • Lorain suffers approximately $100,000 damage in a flood of Black River which is caused by three days of rain.
  • It was estimated that Lorain now had 400 automobiles and 183 motorcycles.
  • The Lorain Automobile Club is organized; by July there were 100 members, representing 25 "machines".
  • On July 15 the water-logged hull of Oliver H. Perry's boat the Niagara is brought into Lorain's harbor on its way East.
  • Kline's Department Store established.
  • In November Sts. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Parish is established.
  • On July 13-19, 1913 the Perry Centennial Celebration was held.
  • As of August 20, 1913 the Hotel Columbus charges $1 a night and advertises telephones in rooms.
  • On August 24, 1913 the Public School System employs 127 teachers.
  • On October 14, 1913 City Council agrees to recommend an 8-hour work day with a $2 minimum wage for city laborers.

1914

  • T.W. Pape's term as Mayor expires in January; J.J. Pollock is elected Mayor.
  • Lorain's Post Office Building at Broadway and Ninth Street is completed; the cost is $150,000.
  • Lorain Public Library has 9,768 books by the end of the year; circulation for the year is 64,716.
  • The Lorain Social Settlement Association merged with Associated Charities.
  • On July 8, the Riverside Park is christened by Mayor John J. Pollock.
  • On February 12, Lorain es Videke (Lorain and Vicinity Hungarian weekly newspaper) is established.
  • A "Segregation scheme" which was designed to limit the sale of land in the Sheffield Land Company in South Lorain to non-foreigners, ends.
  • The Lorain Federation of Women's Societies is organized.
  • Lorain High School's football team has an unbeaten season; George F. Daniel is their coach.
  • Associated Charities of Lorain is incorporated.
  • On May 14th Lorain's first bathtub is dismantled from the Farrell House Historic Hostelry.
  • The underpass is constructed beneath the B & O railroad tracks at 28th Street.
  • St. Peter's Church building is completed.
  • On March 2, 1914 a Farmyard Night was held at the vaudeville theater; livestock are given away as door prizes.
  • On March 10, 1914 the Chamber of Commerce announces its new slogan, "Lorain - Where Coal and Iron Meet".
  • As of June 9, 1914 the strawberry crop is plentiful; the price drops from 17 cents to 14 cents per quart.
  • On December 28, 1914 the Times-Herald engages a Domestic Science Expert, Miss Harriet H. Ellis, to give free lectures on household economics.

1915

  • Of the 35,332 books circulated by the Lorain Public Library, 2,343 are foreign language books.
  • On August 4, 1915, the Lorain Civic Club is formed to help better political conditions in Lorain.
  • Benjamin E. Meacham invents the "Lorain Oven Heat Regulator" used on Magic Chef Stoves.
  • Hoof and mouth disease infects cattle in Lorain County.
  • Enrollment in the city's ten schools is 4,769.
  • The annex to Lincoln School is built.
  • On September 6, 1915, 50 are hurt in a crash of an Interurban bus.
  • On July 27, 1915 is the first performance of "Manhaters", a photoplay sponsored by the Times-Herald and staged by an all-Lorain cast.

1916

  • J.J. Pollock's term as mayor is over in January; L.M. Moore is elected mayor.
  • On September 18, 1916, Council votes down a proposal to adapt Eastern Time in Lorain to Central Time now in use.
  • Lorain Lighthouse is built. (The date is uncertain; other sources say it was built in 1909).
  • On May 12 Lorain High School is dedicated.
  • Lorain High School's football team has an unbeaten season; George F. Daniel is the coach.
  • The main section of St. Joseph Hospital (facing Broadway) is completed.
  • Delis Brothers Furniture Store is established by Chris, Charles, and Peter Delis.
  • John Halabuck, from Lorain, served as a Cleveland Indians bat boy.
  • On May 11, 1916 the Hotel Majestic (7th Street and Broadway) reopens as the Hotel Central.
  • Lorain Macaroni Factory is started by Rosario Glorioso.
  • Get out of the cold and listen to the Alvie Miller vs. John Kilbane fight on December 11, 1916 at the Broadway Hotel party.

1917

  • On August 17, 1917 the National Tube Company and American Shipbuilding Company file for exemption of employees from the draft.
  • A new exchange building for Black River Telephone Company is completed on Ninth Street.
  • On April 10, 1917 the Lorain Chapter of the American Red Cross was established. On May 2, the Lorain Chapter of the American Red Cross was recognized by the Central Committee.
  • On June 26, 1917 the Andregg Brothers are testing at Lorain their hydroplane which is used in Cedar Point exhibitions. (Purchased from the Lorain Aero and Hydro Co., 9th and Broadway).
  • Chris Dellefield opened the first "auto bone-yard" (junk yard) in Lorain, on Broadway, between 21st and 22nd Street.
  • The second wing of Lorain High School containing the gymnasium, is completed.
  • Jesse Hamman and Griffith L. Jones write the words and music for Lorain High School Alma Mater.
  • Walton-Doane Electric Company is organized on 6th Street.
  • On October 13, 1917 Uncle Sam asks you! Buy a Liberty Bond for our Men and Women.
  • On November 15, 1917 the coal shortage may close schools. Less than 100 tons are on hand in the city school supplies.

1918

  • L.M. Moore's term as mayor is over in January; A.J. Horn is elected mayor.
  • On March 20, 1918 the Red Cross pleads for clothing drive donations for Belgian and French war refugees.
  • On February 19 or 26, 1918, the Government Secret Service Men announce plans to come to Lorain and search for unregistered German aliens.
  • On April 23, 1918, the American Shipbuilding Company received $50,000,000 order for 66 vessels from the U.S. Emergency Fleet. One third of these is to be built at Lorain. (The largest Great Lakes contract ever)
  • On March 25, 1918 a group of loyal citizens force a Lorain saloon owner to remove a picture of Kaiser from his wall.
  • On November 11, 1918 a Spanish influenza epidemic in Lorain finally subsides; 200 deaths are reported. The epidemic kills 200 Lorainites, closes schools, churches and businesses in Lorain.
  • On July 17, 1918 the Nathan Perry Chapter of the DAR is established.
  • On January 16, 1918 D.W. Griffith's film "Intolerance" opens at the Broadway Theater; the matinee costs 25 cents.
  • On January 31, 1918 residents are assured that the flour supply is adequate, even though it is rationed.
  • On October 10, 1918 the city reaches its goal in the bond campaign. $1,261,200 liberty bonds are sold.
  • On November 29, 1918 the Lorain Opera House presents Olive Tell in "Secret Strings". Admission is 10 cents and 15 cents. War tax is extra.
  • On December 9, 1918 the Draft Board completes work, records are sealed and formal closing of rooms takes place.
  • On December 18, 1918 A $25,000 fire puts the city in darkness as turbine burns at the light plant.
  • On December 21, 1918 the Lorain Opera House presents Norma Talmadge in her latest silent picture, "Her Only Way". Admission is 10 cents and 20 cents.

1919

  • Lorain County members of the 329th Infantry return from France.
  • A wave of immigrants arrives in Lorain.
  • The bath house is first built at Lakeview Park.
  • The Lorain County Electric Company plant is built at the northern end of Oberlin Avenue.
  • Lorain Board of Education purchases land for a recreation field. (Longfellow Park).
  • The Kiwanis Club is organized.
  • The City purchases Century Park (2 1/2 acres) land from Charles and Martha Refring for $14,700.
  • The Steel Stamping Company is organized. Helps Santa Claus. They are makers of toys world wide.
  • As of September 19, 1919 double bed size muslin sheets are on sale for 85 cents.

<BACK TO INDEX

<BACK - To 1880 - 1899

<BACK - To 1900

HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology 1920 - 1949
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

1920

  • Lorain's population is 37,295. Foreign-born are 11,927 or 32% of the population.
  • A.J. Horn's term as mayor expires in January; W.F. Grall is elected mayor.
  • On March 23, 1920 the YMCA building on 28th Street is gutted in a fire.
  • The Daily News (formerly the Daily Democrat) is purchased by a group of people who were founding a new newspaper, the Lorain Times Herald.
  • "Superior City", the first all-steel freighter is built in Lorain, sinks in Lake Erie with a loss of 29 men.
  • Thew Automatic Shovel Company is reorganized as the Thew Shovel Division of Koehring Company.
  • Heilman's Restaurant opens at "The Loop".
  • American Legion Post 30 was organized.
  • On June 20, Mullen-Murray VFW Post 451 held its first meeting.
  • Rudy Moc, a Vermilion photographer, relocates his studio at 1920 Broadway.
  • Orena Thiery Beaver is chosen as "Miss Lorain" for two consecutive years.
  • Carroll Automobile Company is organized by a group of industrial promoters in the old brass foundry building on the west side. About 600 Carroll Automobiles are made between 1920 and 1922 - price tag of $3,985.
  • On June 30, 1920 the Times-Herald headline says "Canadian Soldiers Have Begun to Arrive".

1921

  • On May 31, 1921 a recession causes Thew Shovel to reduce the work force by 40%.
  • The Steel Stamping Company (steel toys) goes into production.
  • The first Mexican families settle in Lorain. There are two or three families.
  • The Lorain Journal started publication.
  • George Daniel is appointed as Supervisor of Physical Education for Lorain Schools.
  • As of August 3, 1921 the Wickens Company sells Victrola outfits for $25, or $1 down and 50 cents a week.
  • December 22, 1921 is the coldest day of the year recorded. Mercury drops to 12 degrees.

1922

  • On April 6, 1922 the Statue of Victory at West 5th Street and Erie Avenue is dedicated as a World War I memorial.
  • Lorain High School's Basketball Team is the winner of the first Ohio High School Athletic Association Class A Title.
  • The school system is reorganized with the addition of four junior high schools.
  • The Lorain Lions Club is organized on April 24, 1922.
  • On September 14 the Polish American Citizens Club is formed.
  • On April 15, 1922, B.K. Muir went into the drug store business. In 1955 he has 32 stores in surrounding states.
  • Lofton J. Henderson graduates from Lorain High School.
  • The Carroll Auto Company factory closes after being in business for two years and making about 600 cars.

1923

  • Lorain High School joins the Lake Erie League.
  • The nurses' home is built near St. Joseph Hospital.
  • On August 22, 1923 the Antlers Hotel, built by Lorain Lodge of Elks No. 1301, officially opens.
  • Lorain Creamery Company is founded on 7th Street.
  • On March 17, Cleveland Lorain Highway Coach Company was established.
  • On August 11, the Dance Hall in Old Century Park burns to the ground.
  • The steel mill begins recruiting workers from Mexico.
  • Immigrants from Mexico arrive to work at the steel mill.
  • In April of 1923 the American Croatian Club is founded.
  • The first services are held at St. Anthony's Church on April 22, 1923.
  • The Lorain Macaroni Factory closes.

1924

  • W.F. Grall's term as mayor is over in January; George Hoffman is elected mayor.
  • St. George Church is founded.
  • The Sandusky-Lorain Tornado hits Lorain on June 28th, 1924 at about 6 p.m. Dozens of people are killed and millions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses in central Lorain is the result.
  • Charleston School is destroyed by the Tornado.
  • Lorain's first "branch library" is established in South Lorain's new YMCA building. "Home visits" are used to retrieve library overdue books. Circulation of library books for the year exceeds 100,000.
  • The Slovenian National Home is founded at 31st Street and Pearl Avenue.
  • St. Mary's School building is dedicated on February 20, 1924.

1925

  • On May 27, 1925 the Lorain Public Library Association is dissolved; it becomes the school district library.
  • On June 25, 1925, Century Park re-opened after the dance hall fire two years earlier.
  • A new Bath house is built at Century Park.
  • On January 8, 1925 a Lorain Prohibition Era court case sets precedent; the smell of alcohol is enough to convict a man.
  • The Matt Ebinger Coal Company is founded.
  • George Hoffman serves as mayor until August 15.
  • H.D. Walters takes over as mayor on August 15 and serves until January, 1926.
  • On February 21, 1925 Colgan Motor Sales has the new Studebaker coach on sale for $1,295.
  • On March 4, 1925 Lorain High School students listen to President Coolidge's inauguration speech over radio in the school auditorium.
  • On August 12, 1925 Highland Park subdivision homesite lots are on sale for $400 and up.

1926

  • A seamless pipe mill is built at Lorain Steel.
  • On December 23, 1926 25,000 miles of wire is used in the Black River phone system. There are 9,675 subscribers.
  • On March 26, 1926 residents petition to have a bridge across Black River at 14th Street.
  • On October 26, 1926 Lorainite Elmer Sorr is granted a patent on a safety device to guard traffic at railroad crossings.
  • American Crucible Products Company moves into Lorain.
  • Januzzi's Shoe Store is established.
  • The first public tennis courts are built at Lakeview Park.
  • The Lorain Rotary Club is formed on May 26, 1926.
  • A Mexican baseball team is organized to play in Lorain Class 'B' Sunday League.
  • The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is organized on Clinton Avenue between East 30th and East 31st Street.
  • W.F. Grall is elected mayor in January of 1926.
  • The mid-year list of graduates is announced on October 8, 1926. There are 27 boys and 50 girls.
  • As of November 27, 1926 theaters will remain open on Sundays in face of arrest; the Sunday Blue Law may extend to all activities.

1927

  • On February 24, 1927 the Board of Education buys 14 1/2 acres of land on Oberlin Avenue to be used for a recreation stadium (later called George Daniel Field).
  • On October 15 or 16, 1927 the new Masonic Temple at 4th Street and Washington Avenue is dedicated.
  • The Lorain Branch of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association is organized.
  • Miss Mary M. Haskell founded the Americanization Center (later called the Neighborhood House). It is officially organized on 1/14/1927.
  • The first year in the Lake Erie League is the undefeated team and league champs.
  • On August 2, 1927 Colonel Charles Lindberg interviewed by the Times-Herald over the telephone.
  • The Lorain Garment Company came to Lorain to make clothing.
  • On October 2, 1927 the dedication was held for the new Second Methodist Episcopal Church on 7th Street between Broadway and Reid Avenue.
  • On June 14, 1927, the alligator in Washington Park Pool was suspected of killing some of the pool's fish.
  • On October 4, 1927 West 22nd Street residents petition the City Council for natural gas. Cooking with coal oil or gasoline is too dangerous.
  • On October 31, 1927 Lorain High School holds "paid" movies at noon lunch hours. Fee is 1 cent.
  • On November 25, 1927 a Journal ad read "Used 1926 Ford Roadster, excellent condition, $195.00.
  • On December 14, 1927 a two-line ad in the Journal costs 72 cents for a week.
  • On December 20, 1927 Christmas mail sets new records at the Post Office; 73.000 pieces of First Class Mail and 1,500 parcels are delivered in one day.

1928

  • J.C. Standen is elected as mayor in January.
  • Lorain has approximately 610 business establishments which are classified as commercial-retail.
  • On January 18, 1928 plans are announced to pave Reid Avenue between 5th and 10th Streets.
  • On April 19, 1928 the $500,000 Palace Theater opens with the movie "Something's Always Bound to Happen". The Palace is billed as "The Largest One-Floor Theater in Ohio".
  • On September 5, 1928, the mayor doubled the Lorain "booze squad" making four on liquor control duty.
  • On September 6, 1928, a record haul of contraband liquor is confiscated by police.
  • On March 3rd, Century block fire, 6th and Broadway $100,000 damage is done. Five firemen are injured.
  • On February 3, 1928 the Lorain Telephone Company offers radio service over telephone wires.
  • The First Boat Regatta is held in Lorain.
  • Anthony Foisy retires as "rope-cutter" at Lorain Ship Launchings. He had been employed there since 1898; he is replaced by an electric cutter.
  • Ridge Hill Memorial Park is founded.
  • The Sociedad Mutualista Mexicana is organized as a lodge to meet the social needs of the community.
  • On October 1, 1928 the Lavender and Purple 11 dedicate the new stadium with victory over Massillon, 20-0.
  • On October 6, 1928 the YMCA breaks the record for enrollment with 155 enrolled in their night classes.
  • On October 27, 1928 the city completes work on the Lakeview Ice Rink, and awaits zero degree weather to see it in use.
  • On November 7, 1928 the $115,000 Lorain School Bond Issue carries; assures addition to Hawthorne Jr. High School.
  • On December 12, 1928 the first portion of Lorain's new street signs is erected. The first one is at Broadway and Erie Avenue.

1929

  • The national Depression hits Lorain.
  • The last of the city's horse-drawn fire wagons is replaced by a motorized fire truck.
  • On September 10, 1929) the Community Chest project adopted enthusiastically by Lorain.
  • The Americanization Center becomes Lorain Neighborhood House.
  • The Lorain Credit Bureau is organized.
  • Only 1.9% of Lorain's population is African-American.
  • On June 11, 1929 Delis Brothers Furniture, 12th Street and Broadway, has Sealy mattresses for $39.50.
  • Robert Nagy is born on March 3.  He goes on to become a famous opera tenor in New York city.

1930

  • Lorain's population is 44,512. Foreign-born are 11,619 or 26.1%.
  • P.J. Goldthorpe is elected as mayor in January.
  • On December 2, 1930 the City Council votes to start construction on an ice-skating rink on Longfellow School grounds.
  • The last Fire Department horse is sold from the Number 8 Station. LFD is now completely "motorized".
  • On October 7, 1930 Council adopts the lilac as the Community Flower.
  • On September 3, 1930 Ward Van Orman, Lorain High School graduate and America's most famous balloonist wins the International Gordon Bennett Cup race in his Goodyear VIII on September 3, 1930.
  • As of October 20, 1930 54% of Lorain families own their homes; Lorain outranks many cities in home ownership.
  • On October 24, 1930 the Sporty Miniature Golf Course opens above the Palace Theater.
  • On November 22, 1930 the account of the Lorain-Elyria football game was broadcast by Lorain Radio Corporation, with William "Boomie" Firestone as announcer.
  • On November 30, 1930 coal sells for $5.75 per ton or two tons for $11; from Miller Coal Company.
  • On December 13, 1930 Christmas carols are to be broadcast over loudspeakers in the downtown area to help heighten the Christmas spirit. (1984 Calendar)

1931

  • On May 21, 1931 ("Lorain Lilac Day") the first Lilac Festival is held in Lorain.
  • The first class graduates from Clearview High School. 
  • Chloe Anthony Wofford is born in a house on Elyria Avenue.  She is later known world-wide as Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • A stage-gymnasium combination is completed at Lorain High School.
  • S. Weitz Clothing Company started operations in July.
  • Hageman's Shoe Store opens for business.
  • On January 13, 1931 "washed and dry cleaned coal" is available for $6.50 per ton from Black Diamond Coal Company.
  • As of March 11, 1931 the Hupmobile price is reduced from $1,195 to $995. Hi-Speed stations sell gas for 3 cents a gallon.

1932

  • Joseph Conley is elected as mayor in January of 1932.
  • The Depression of 1932 sees about 75% of South Lorain's commercial buildings vacant.
  • On September 2, 1932 a fire damages the Swamp Lily Hotel (a Lorain "landmark" built in 1894) and threatens Erie Avenue Viaduct and Swing Bridge.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt passes through Lorain on his campaign train at 9 a.m. September 13, 1932.
  • On April 5, 1932 or May 30, 1932 the dedication of the Memorial Rose Garden at Lakeview Park was held. Seventeen town organizations sponsor rose beds in the Central Rose Garden.
  • On September 28, 1932 the Serbian Singing Society "Miloje Melojevich" is formed.
  • On January 9, 1932 the Lorain Branch of the AAUW (American Association of University Women) is formed.
  • The Lorain Institute of Arts and Sciences was started.
  • The Lorain Journal newspaper purchases the Times-Herald.
  • On September 7, 1932 "Horse Feathers" starring the Marx Brothers is playing at the Ohio Theater.

1933

  • Joseph Conley is mayor.
  • On January 30, 1933 the mayor asks local banks to consider a six-month moratorium on mortgage foreclosure.
  • On March 6, 1933 Lorain banks close to comply with Franklin Delano Roosevelt's nationwide financial holiday.
  • Ernest J. King rises to the rank of Rear Admiral.
  • Lorain County Radio Corporation expands its services to include a Great Lakes ship- to-shore system.
  • The Garden Avenue School is torn down to make room for Boone School.
  • As of April 20, 1933 Lorainites have consumed 120,000 bottles of beer in two weeks since the end of prohibition.
  • In October, 1933 Lee Furniture opens for business.
  • On December 8, 1933 the Baccalaureate tradition at commencement exercises ends. The School Board asks churches to take over the services.
  • In January, 1933 Martin McGill founded the Lorain Institute of Arts and Sciences. Classes began in February, 1933.
  • On May 10, 1933 the Lorain Business and Professional Women's Club receives its charter.
  • On August 21, 1933 the Journal announces that it has signed the National Recovery Act (NRA) agreement covering its pay scale and work week.
  • On November 16, 1933 school girls join the throng at the Journal cooking school held at the Palace Theater. There are 1,600 in the audience.

1934

  • E.A. Braun is elected mayor in January.
  • Lorain Centennial is celebrated from July 15-22, 1934.
  • On June 13, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sends a congratulatory note to Mayor Braun in honor of the Lorain Centennial.
  • On July 20, 1934 50-75,000 people watch the 8-mile Centennial Parade on Broadway; Lake Road traffic is backed up to Vermilion (13 miles away).
  • Governor George White attends the Centennial Festivities.
  • Carol R. Horn writes the Lorain Centennial Song.
  • Miss Jean Koepke is selected as Miss Lorain for the Centennial Pageant.
  • Charles Leising is crowned as King Neptune to officially launch the Centennial.
  • On January 2, 1934 the Goodall Company started making Palm Beach clothing in Lorain.
  • Some physical education teachers give their services, without pay, to supervise city playgrounds during the summer.
  • T.N. Molas Furniture Store opens for business.
  • On July 9, 1934 the Lorain Jail houses its first female auto thief.
  • The Bohemian Political Club is formed.

1935

  • The Rose Garden at Lakeview Park is laid out.
  • On October 5, 1935 bank deposits in the city are up $750.00 in nine months. This is evidence of rebuilding from the Depression.
  • On July 1 and 2, 1935 was held the First Annual State Convention of the Fraternal Order of Police. It was held at the Antlers Hotel, Lorain, Ohio.
  • On August 7, 1935 Tom Mix (and his horse Tony) are in Lorain for a Wild West Circus.
  • On October 19, 1935 work on Lorain's WPA project halts because of the lack of building materials.
  • As of December 12, 1935 births in Lorain hit the lowest mark in a four year period.

1936

  • On February 17, 1936 the Lorain Council considers a proposal to lift the ban on Sunday dancing.
  • Inventor C. Paul Stocker founds the Lorain Products Corporation to manufacture many innovations for the telephone industry.
  • On February 18, 1936 the Hotel Lorain (at 7th Street and Broadway) is destroyed by a $100,000 fire in sub-zero temperatures. Six other businesses are also destroyed and two firemen are injured.
  • On January 29, 1936 Rear-Admiral Ernest J. King takes over the command of an aircraft carrier fleet.
  • On July 1, 1936 the Lorain Memorial Fountain is dedicated to the city's war veterans. The cost is $20,000. It is built by WPA labor.
  • The American Slovak Home is founded on September 11, 1936.
  • The PTA Council is organized on January 10 or 11, 1936.
  • On July 1, 1936 the Fountain in Lakeview Park is dedicated as a memorial to World War I Veterans.

1937

  • The Easter Basket is constructed by David Shukait, an employee of the Lorain Parks Department.
  • The bowling green is completed at Lakeview Park. Park records indicate that it opened for use in July, 1936.
  • On August 26, 1937 WPA workers complete the Lorain High School recreation field stadium addition.
  • Miss Marion M. King is appointed as Head Librarian for the Lorain Public Library.
  • Ship-to-shore phone service begins on the Great Lakes on March 23, 1937.
  • As of June 10, 1937 Ziegman's Garage on East 28th Street has SOHIO X-70 gas for 18 cents a gallon and oil for 17 cents a quart.

1938

  • George P. Bretz is elected as mayor in January and serves until November 25, 1938. A. Mutuszak serves as mayor starting from November 25.
  • On October 16, 1938 the Casimir Pulaski monument is dedicated at Pulaski Park by the Lorain Federation of the Polish Society.
  • The First Rose Carnival is held in Lakeview Park on June 2, 1938.
  • On June 2, 1938 Mildred Broyles is crowned as the first Rose Queen.
  • The last street cars run on the Lorain Street Railway Line.
  • On May 1, 1938 the Lake Shore Electric Company is replaced by the Lake Shore Bus Company; the Lorain Street Railway Company is replaced by the Employees' Transit Lines.
  • A bond issue passes to build new Lorain bridges.
  • Boone School is dedicated.
  • Ernest J. King receives the rank of Vice Admiral.
  • As of November 19, 1938 thick-soled shoes are passe; Lorain police wear double seats in their pants because of motor cruiser duty.
  • Construction starts on the Central High Level Bridge on November 28, 1938.
  • On December 31, 1938 300 men are added to the crew paving Broadway; concrete is to reach "The Loop" by Friday, January 4, 1939.

1939

  • The Lorain Board of Recreation is set up.
  • The Easter Basket is constructed for Oakwood Park.
  • A 6,000-pound anchor uncovered by workers at Riverside Park is placed in front of the Rose Garden at Lakeview Park.
  • The city has 12 playgrounds.
  • Stamp sales at the Post Office for the year total $145,000.
  • Government Aid provides funds to add lights to the stadium to enable the scheduling of night football games.
  • As of February 15, 1939 2,500 Lorainites have WPA jobs.
  • The Polish Legion of American Veterans, Pulaski Post 38 is organized.
  • On September 8, 1916 the city purchased the Chamberlain Estate for $5,554 which is now Lakeview Park.
  • On September 8, 1939 the Memorial to L.N. Moore, a former Lorain Mayor, is unveiled at Washington Park.
  • Beta Sigma Phi is founded in Lorain.
  • The new Vocational Arts Building is completed at Lorain High School.
  • On October 30, 1939 an oil-drenched scrap pile on a Black River dock caught fire and burned for three days.
  • On January 25, 1939 bids are let for two new Lorain bridges.
  • Construction starts on the Erie Avenue Bascule Bridge; the cost is $1,368,000.
  • Construction starts on the Central High Level Bridge; the cost is $1,365,000.

1940

  • H.G. Van Wagnen is elected as mayor in January, 1940.
  • On June 23, 1940 work continues on Lorain's two new bridges; and a new Isaly's Dairy Store is opening at 1920 Broadway.
  • The Central High Level Bridge and Erie Avenue Bascule Bridge are dedicated on September 25, 1940.

1941

  • The Bascule Bridge replaces the Swing Bridge and the new High-Level, 21st Street Bridge opens.  Both bridges are dedicated on the same day.
  • Mayor Harry VanWagnen organizes the 25-member Lorain Defense Council to mobilize civilians for the war effort.
  • On January 27, 1941 American Crucible Products applies to the War Department for a permit to expand its plant for National Defense production.
  • Vice-Admiral Ernest J. King is appointed as Commander-In-Chief of the U.S. Fleet.
  • Driscol Music Store is established.
  • On January 14, 1941 the Lorain Philharmonic Orchestra gives its first performance.
  • On February 28, 1941 Lorain High School teachers launch a drive to improve student composition skills.

1942

  • Ernest J. King is the first man ever to serve in combined function as Commander-In- Chief of the Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.
  • On August 30, 1942 Admiral King is the Guest of Honor at the "Win the War" demonstration in Lorain.
  • On June 17, 1942 Lorainites begin collecting scrap rubber in WWII "Salvage Campaign".
  • On August 13, 1942 all motorists driving over 40 miles per hour clocked by police will be arrested - there is need to conserve tires now on all cars.
  • On September 26, 1942 singing telegrams are banned for the duration of the war.
  • On September 15, 1942 the Exchange Club receives its charter.
  • In May of 1942 the new Number 3 Blast Furnace at the National Tube Company set a new national record - 43,866 tons of iron produced in one month.
  • Lorain High School graduate Major Lofton Henderson, after whom Henderson Drive is named, is shot down by a Japanese plane in the Pacific. Henderson's last act is one of valor, as he guides his wounded aircraft into the smokestack of a Japanese aircraft carrier; destroying the enemy vessel in the resulting explosion.
  • On September 4, 1942 there are appeals for men to help harvest war crops; pay 50 cents an hour to harvest vegetables and 7 cents a bushel to pick apples.

1943

  • On January 26, 1943 Lorainite Lieutenant William Marsh, bombardier, is killed in action over France and is awarded a Purple Heart posthumously.
  • On August 14, 1943 gas stations are jammed as the ration cut nears.
  • Lorain High School Football Team is undefeated and ranked third in the state.
  • As of February 27, 1943 public patience is wearing thin at the meager supply of liquor at State Liquor Stores.
  • On March 8, 1943 a cold wave sees temperatures falling to 6 degrees below zero.
  • On November 2, 1943 Lorain bowling alley operators are asked to employ boys as pinboys to help curb juvenile violations of curfew.

1944

  • On March 18 the "U.S.S. Lorain" is launched by the American Shipbuilding Company.
  • As of March 28, 1944 Lorain has eight movie theaters in operation: Palace, Ohio, Tivoli, Dreamland, Lorain, Pearl, Grove and Elvira.
  • On April 14, 1944 Yockeys Service Station is founded at the "Devil's Elbow".

1945

  • On February 19, 1945 Lorain's Corporal Charles J. Berry becomes the city's first Medal of Honor winner when he gives his life to save his fellow soldiers by throwing himself atop of a hand grenade at Iwo Jima.
  • Nelson Stud Welding Company moves to Lorain on September 15, 1945.
  • On May 16, 1945 National Tube Company announces that the wartime 48-hour work week will remain in effect indefinitely.
  • On May 1, 1945 Shields Clinic is founded at 4105 Oberlin Avenue.
  • Lorain Safety Council is organized.
  • In November of 1945, voters approve a tax levy to build a new library building.

1946

  • Patrick J. Flaherty is elected as mayor in January, 1946.
  • Puerto Rican immigrants begin to arrive in Lorain.
  • As of July 5 or 17, 1946, the take-home pay from National Tube Company is at a rate of $1.24 1/2 for a 40 hour week, for a total of $49.80.
  • Tons and tons of herring are netted near Lorain after 25 years of absence from the Lake.
  • Brady's Restaurant opens.
  • Lorain AmVets Post 47 is organized.
  • On October 23, 1946 the Colony Club is organized to promote educational, social and civic activities.
  • Bear Furniture Store opens.
  • On August 16, 1946 Lorain's Junior Olympics games are held at the Recreation Stadium.

1947

  • The first Puerto Rican workers are flown from the island to work at National Tube.
  • The B & O docks build a new, one-car-a-minute coal loader.
  • On August 18, 1947 the Dreamland Theater, 19th and Broadway, is destroyed by fire.
  • On May 15, 1947 the Iroquois Tool and Machine Company began operation.
  • On January 17, 1947 the local March of Dimes drive to combat polio. It includes "men-on-the-street" radio interviews.
  • On August 8, 1947 a severe electrical storm rips through the area.

1948

  • On February 13, 1948 four businesses are damaged in an $80,000 fire in the "Big Four" block, 4th Street and Broadway. It is the first General Alarm fire since 1928.
  • On April 7, 1948 The Dreamland Theater reopens after the fire.
  • The Brush Beryllium plant burns on September 22, 1947 with a loss of $400,000.
  • Fire damages the Emmons Pharmacy at 8th and Broadway.
  • On January 5, 1948 the Board of Education operates Kindergartens in the schools for the first time in 20 years.
  • The average cost of educating one pupil in Lorain Schools is $174.74.
  • On May 19, 1948 Miss Victory, the statue at Erie Avenue, receives a new sword and palm leaf to replace the ones which were lost in the tornado.
  • A $2,500,000 housing project is announced for the East Side. Two hundred sixty-eight homes will be built south of the Nickel Plate Railway and 3 to four blocks west of Root Road. They will be $9,000 to $10,000 class homes.
  • On February 22, 1948 the Lorain Youth Center opens at Kelly Place and 23rd Street.
  • On April 8, 1948 Kamm's Record Store has "Little White Lies" by Dick Haymes on sale for 79 cents.
  • On July 25, 1948 John Sutter gives free candy to children attending "Kids Day" at Cleveland Stadium; over 2,000 attend.

1949

  • A Lorain-launched ship became the first to sail from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway.
  • Edgewater Station of the Ohio Public Service Company opened.
  • The Ohio Edison Company buys out stock of the Ohio Public Service Company (including the Lorain County Electric Company).
  • On October 25, 1949 the Lorain Fire Department began using 2-way radios in fire trucks.
  • On September 18, 1949 the cornerstone for the addition to St. Joseph Hospital is laid.
  • On January 4, 1949 juvenile gambling on penny slot machines to win candy bars is denounced by a Council member.
  • On February 16, 1949 Paul Cleaver is sworn in as Chief of Police; he has been on the force since 1929.
  • As of March 21, 1949 G.E. TV's are on sale at Seymour's for $359.00.
  • The South Lorain Postal Station opens on September 16, 1949.
  • On September 18, 1949 the cornerstone is laid for the St. Joseph Hospital addition.

 

<BACK TO INDEX

<BACK - To 1900 - 1919

<BACK - To 1920 - 1949

HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology 1950 - 1979
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

1950

  • The Lorain Slag Company will open on August 1, 1950.
  • Ted Jacobs Store opens for business in downtown Lorain.
  • Harry's Men's Wear opens.
  • On June 7, 1950 is the first outdoor graduation at Lorain High School School.
  • On August 31, 1950 the Lorain Journal's headline reads: "Married Men Seen as Next Draft Target" (for draft).
  • On February 7, 1950 city employees are required to sign non-Communist affidavits.
  • On January 9, 1950 the first bequests approved by the Lorain Foundation are announced.
  • On May 11, 1950 a $35,000 fire destroys the Abruzzese Building at 10th and Broadway.
  • On May 23, 1950 the Lorain Civic Choir makes its first appearance.
  • February 2, 1950 is the first time that the Red Cross Gray Ladies were on duty at St. Joseph Hospital.
  • In August of 1950 an addition to St. Joseph Hospital is added, facing 20th Street. It is completed on August 30, 1950.
  • The Nash two-door sedan sells for $1,754 as of March 14, 1950.
  • On May 25, 1950 the Tivoli is showing "Cheaper by the Dozen" with Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy.
  • On May 29, 1950 the city park workers plant flowers and clip the Lakeview Park "LORAIN" hedge in preparation for summer.
  • On June 21, 1950 the first "Star Party" is sponsored by Black River Astronomical Society at Lakeview Park.
  • Wrestling tonight (September 23, 1950) at the Coliseum: "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers vs. the "Bloody Demon".

1951

  • On November 11, 1951 a fire causes $100,000 damage to six Broadway businesses, including the Palace Theater.
  • On November 12, 1951 two firemen are injured fighting a blaze at the Lorain Brass Company.
  • On November 14, 1951 the Lorain Fire Department receives a new pumper truck 48 hours after two major fires.
  • Ship-to-shore phone service is started - the call letters are WMI Lorain.
  • On July 21, 1951 the Sertoma Club is established.
  • The average Lorain teacher's annual salary is $3,556.
  • The St. Joseph's Hospital Medical Guild is formed on April 10, 1951. Mrs. M.C. Kolczun is elected as President.
  • Club Benefico Estrella de Borinquen is formed by a merger of two earlier clubs, the Associacion Benefica-Cultural Puertorriquena and the Puerto Rican Welfare Club.

1952

  • John C. Jaworski is elected as mayor in January.
  • An early morning fire on May 5, 1952 destroys the Coliseum Roller Rink, which had been built in the mid 1920's by the Moose Club. The fire caused $125,000 damage.
  • Direct-dial telephone service to Amherst, South Amherst, Vermilion, Birmingham, Avon Lake and Sheffield Village is installed.
  • On September 21, 1952 Lakeview and Fairhome Elementary Schools opened.
  • On September 12, 1952 St. Mary's Academy Band is founded.
  • On September 14, 1952 the Polish American Citizens Club opens at 28th Street and Caroline Avenue, with new club rooms.
  • Sacred Heart Chapel is organized; services are held in a converted meat market.

1953

  • Lorain's U.S. Naval Reserve Station wins the Number One rating in the nation.
  • On July 21, 1953 a $75,000 fire strikes the Lorain Products Factory on F Street.
  • On December 15, 1953 the Neighborhood House founder, Mary Haskell, dies in Clairmont, California, aged 86.
  • On October 11, 1953 the Palm Avenue School is dedicated.
  • On November 11, 1953 the Memorial Monument was unveiled in Oakwood Park.
  • On September 2, 1953 the reservoir is nearing the low water mark; residents are asked to curb their water use.
  • The facilities at St. Joseph's Hospital Nurses' Home are remodeled for the establishment of a one-year program for training of Practical Nurses.
  • More than 2,000,000 tons of coal are shipped from the Port of Lorain.
  • Lorain High School leaves the Lake Erie League to join the Buckeye Conference.
  • As of December 30, 1953 the Lorain Telephone Company publishes a weekly "New Telephone Numbers" list in the Journal. Subscribers are to clip and paste them in their phone directories.

1954

  • On February 11, 1954 Lorain liquor establishments are ordered to eliminate pinball machines.
  • On February 20, 1954 Judson S. Masson dies, aged 80. He had been the President of the Lorain Public Library Board of Trustees; he served in the Lorain Schools from 1916-1947. (He was the Principal of Garden Avenue School and also Assistant Superintendent of Schools.)
  • On December 6, 1954 a fire destroyed the Lorain Country Club building on West Erie Avenue, which had been unused since the early 1940's.
  • On August 5, 1954 the Mayor telephones the president of Magic Chef Company, attempting to keep the stove plant in Lorain.
  • The Direct Action Stove Company (originally the National Stove Company) closes its Lorain Plant.
  • The O'Neil Sheffield Shopping Center opens.
  • On July 18, 1954 the Lakeland Women's Club is instituted.
  • On June 13, 1954 was held Lorain's first Folk Festival, by Neighborhood House and Nationality groups.
  • As of January 28, 1954 "saddle shoes" sell for $5.99 a pair at Smith and Gerhart.

1955

  • The Lorain Sewage Treatment Plant is completed and put into operation on October 15, 1955.
  • On June 18, 1955 Lionel Hampton and his band are playing at the Lorain Armory; tickets cost $2.25.
  • Washington Avenue School opens.
  • On June 12, 1955 St. John Elementary and Kindergarten School is dedicated.
  • On May 7, 1955 the Lorain Journal moves its plant from 7th Street to Broadway and Elyria Avenue.
  • On April 2, 1955 the Lorain Arena opens at Stop 107, West Lake Road.
  • On January 31, 1955 the Lorain County U.S. Air Force "Buddy Flight 4150" is sworn in on January 31st in Cleveland. It became the state's last group of men enlisted under the Korean G.I. Bill.
  • A group of women forms a study group to document the community's need for a YWCA.
  • On February 1, 1955 a Christian Youth Center opens at 3019 Pearl Avenue in South Lorain.
  • The new sewage treatment plant goes into full production on December 19, 1955.

1956

  • Joseph Daugher is acquitted and Lucille Bethancourt is convicted in the Cleveland Communist Trials. Both are Lorainites.
  • Hungarian refugee immigrants settle in Lorain.
  • On November 3, 1956 the new American Slovak Home is officially opened by Governor Frank Lausche.
  • On December 5, 1956 a $100,000 fire destroys or damages 12 buildings at 11th Street and Reid Avenue, including Miller's Feed and Supply. Five firemen are injured.
  • Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King dies at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on June 25, 1956. His funeral services are held at the Washington National Cathedral.
  • The first charter is issued to the Lorain YWCA on May 6, 1956.
  • In November a groundbreaking ceremony is held to mark the start of construction of the Lorain Assembly Plant, Ford Motor Division.

1957

  • On November 23, 1957 the new Lorain Public Library building on Sixth Street is completed.
  • Emerson and Homewood Elementary Schools open on November 10, 1957.
  • A W.E.O.L. broadcasting booth is maintained at the Hotel Antlers.
  • Service Overall Supply Company at 35th Street and Elyria Avenue is destroyed in a $300,000 blaze on February 4, 1957.
  • On June 20, 1957 a $1.5 million fire hits the National Tube Division of U.S. Steel (the Roll Shop, one of the oldest buildings in the steel plant, circa 1900).
  • On September 28, 1957 the 28-year-old Robert Nagy signs a singing contract with the Metropolitan Opera Company, New York City.
  • On July 26, 1957 the new fluorescent lights on Broadway from the Loop to 22nd Street, are turned on.
  • The National Tube Baseball Team wins the National Amateur Baseball Federation Title.
  • On December 27, 1957 the new Puerto Rican Home is dedicated.
  • A long distance direct-dialing telephone service is installed.
  • Lorain's YWCA opens its new facilities at the corner of 6th Street and Reid Avenue.
  • On June 22, 1957 the USS Lorain County is christened at Lorain Yards of AmShip. (The largest U.S. Navy Fighting Ship built on the Great Lakes).
  • On November 23 the new Lorain Public Library building opens on Sixth Street and Reid Avenue.

1958

  • On July 5, 1958, C.P. Stocker, President of Lorain Products is named to the Ohio University Board of Trustees by Governor C. William O'Neill.
  • On June 12, 1958 George F. Daniel retires from the Lorain School System after 48 years as coach and athletic director; the Recreation Field is renamed George Daniel Field on June 5, 1958.
  • On November 1, 1958 Oakwood Shopping Center opens.
  • The Mexican-American Citizens Club is founded.
  • On May 19, 1958 Ford's first vehicle and F-100 pickup truck was produced.
  • A new phase in Lorain's industrial growth begins as the Ford Motor Company invests millions to build its largest automobile assembly plant in the city. The first cars to be produced are Ford Falcons.
  • On July 29, 1958 the first passenger car is built at the Lorain Ford Plant.

1959

  • On March 16, 1959 the Lorain City Council passes ordinance annexing 2,100 acres, including Ford's Lorain Assembly Plant.
  • President Eisenhower send a congratulatory letter as Lorain celebrates its 125th anniversary.
  • On July 16, 1959 Lorain's 125th Anniversary Celebration started, and ran till July 25, 1959.
  • Julie Ann Dabrowski is chosen as Lorain's 125th Anniversary Queen.
  • On June 3, 1959 the Norwegian Ship Makefjell, on its maiden voyage, docks at the Lorain Harbor - she is the first foreign vessel to arrive here through the new St. Lawrence Seaway.
  • The Ukrainian National Home, Inc., opens at 2430 East 28th Street.
  • On June 15, 1959 the new Lorain Neighborhood House opens.
  • The U.S. Navy Destroyer Escort is christened in honor of Charles Berry, Lorain's Medal of Honor winner.
  • Lorain YWCA celebrates its affiliation with the National YWCA on May 6, 1959.
  • National Gypsum work started on plant in April, 1959.
  • As of October 17, 1959 Lorain Journal comics pages include "Pogo", "Brenda Starr", "Etta Kett" and "Gasoline Alley".

1960

  • Lorain's population is 68,932.
  • On September 27, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy visits Lorain. He is the first Presidential Candidate to do so.
  • New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller makes a brief visit to South Lorain, campaigning for Presidential Candidate Richard M. Nixon.
  • On October 2, 1960 Prince Norodom Sihanouk, Ruler of Cambodia, visited Lorain, ate at Howard Johnson's, and stayed at the new Beachcomber Motel. He was on his way to make a speech at Kent State University, and wanted to spend a night on Lake Erie's Shore.)
  • On November 8, 1960 a $3.5 million bond issue is passed to construct a new Lorain hospital (Lorain Community Hospital).
  • The 55-year-old Lorain Bank merged with the 26-year-old National Bank to become the Lorain National Bank.
  • In February of 1960, construction begins on the $5-million Admiral King High School.
  • On June 15, 1960 the Nickel Plate Railroad Steam Locomotive #384 is presented to the City of Lorain for display in Oakwood Park.
  • On June 12, 1960 St. Nicholas Byzantine Rite Parochial School is dedicated.
  • The first McDonalds in Lorain opened June 29, 1960 at 2500 W. Erie St.
  •  
  • On December 17, 1960, Aladdin Pallante read a poem by Lorain native, Helen Steiner Rice, on the Lawrence Welk television program. He read the poem "The Priceless Gift of Christmas".

1961

  • The last mid-year graduation is held at Lorain High School.
  • On October 29, 1961 Admiral King High School is dedicated.
  •  
  • On November 18, 1961 Aladdin Pallante read a poem by Lorain native, Helen Steiner Rice, on the Lawrence Welk television program. He read the poem, "The Praying Hands".

1962

  • Woodrow W. Mathna is elected Mayor in January. He replaces Mayor Jaworski.
  • On April 3, 1962 Ford Motor Company produced their one millionth vehicle, the Econoline Van.
  • The new St. Peter Church is dedicated on June 29, 1962.

1963

  • On May 21, 1963 the Lorain Fire Department received its new "snorkel" fire truck - the first in Ohio.
  • On October 28, 1963 the City Bank building in South Lorain is gutted by a $250,000.
  • The new St. Peter's Church building is dedicated in July of 1963.
  •  
  • In November, 1963 Aladdin Pallante read a poem by Lorain native, Helen Steiner Rice, on the Lawrence Welk television program. He read the poem, "One Nation Under God." Later that month, on November 30th, he read Helen's poem about the nation's assassinated president, John F. Kennedy. The poem was called "Tribute to J.F.K.".

1964

  • On May 3, 1964 is the Lorain Community Hospital Dedication Program.
  • Lorain Slag will close its business on March 31, 1964.
  • On May 4 or 19, 1964 is the organizational meeting for the Lorain Port Authority.
  • The newly formed Columbia Gas of Ohio takes over the distribution of gas in Lorain and in 545 other Ohio communities.

1965

  • On February 18, 1965 the 2 millionth vehicle is built at the Lorain Ford Plant.
  • On January 1, 1965 Steel Stamping becomes the Mascon Toy Company.

1966

  • The demolition contract for the Lorain Lighthouse is cancelled when a citizens' group pleads to have it as an historic landmark.
  • On October 16, 1966 Masson Jr. High School is dedicated.
  • The Lorain Buckeyes Pro Team is inducted into the Special Category of the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio.
  • The Dalton Dress-making Factory opens.
  • The Kennedy Plaza opens on March 19, 1966. It is a Senior Citizen residence operated by the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority.

1967

  • Volunteers band together to create the Lorain International Festival, a yearly salute to the more than 55 nationalities in the International City. The dedication ceremonies are held on the new campus of Lorain County Community College.
  • On July 7, 1967 the First Lorain International Bazaar begins.
  • The first International Princess Pageant is held on July 3, 1967. The winner is Irene Kychun, 19, representing the Ukraine.
  • City Council passes an ordinance declaring Lorain "The International City".
  • The Lorain International Association chose the International Emblem from 20 designs by artist Don Drumm of Akron.
  • On May 9, 1967 the Lorain Council Latin American Affairs is formed.
  • The Mayor proclaims Puerto Rican Day in Lorain on July 30, 1967.
  • Southview High School opens.

1968

  • The International Festival Queen is Simone Maravich, representing Serbia.

1969

  • The International Festival Queen is Irene Sidorwicz, representing Poland.
  • Southview High School opens.

1970

  • Lorain's population is 78,185.
  • Lorain's area is 22.77 square miles.
  • Two new bar mills are constructed at U.S. Steel's Lorain-Cuyahoga Works.
  • The Lorain Sports Hall of Fame is organized by the Lorain Chamber of Commerce on April 15, 1970; the first athlete honored is George Daniel.
  • The new YMCA building opens.
  • The Lorain Public Library's operating levy is defeated; two branches are closed and Bookmobile service is discontinued.
  • The International Festival Queen is Sandra Kay Pong, representing China.
  • On June 19, 1970 Lakeview Plaza opens - it is a Senior Citizen residence center which is operated by Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority.

1971

  • The Ford Motor Company completes two additions to its Lorain facilities.
  • The open hearth furnaces at U.S. Steel's Lorain-Cuyahoga Works is operated for the last time; the new B.O.P. (Basic Oxygen Process) furnaces are completed.
  • On June 24, 1971 four men die in a tragic fire aboard the Roger Blough; their bodies are recovered on June 26, 1971.
  • The Roger Blough is launched. She is the largest vessel ever produced on the Great Lakes, at 858 feet long.
  • The Feature Nationality of the International Festival is Italian; the Festival Queen is Cynthia Ann Smith, representing Ireland.
  • Oakwood Park opens Lorain's first public swimming pool.
  • Joseph Zahorec is elected mayor.

1972

  • There are 17,508 students enrolled in the public schools. Non-public schools' enrollment is 3,192.
  • Hungarian is the featured nationality at the International Festival, and Helen Thelas, the Greek Princess, was the International Festival Queen.
  • There are 97 churches in Lorain, representing most denominations.
  • The Ashland Oil Company builds huge oil storage tanks along the bank of the Black River near the High Level Bridge.
  • Black River Historical Society is formed.

1973

  • The new Lorain City Hall is dedicated on December 16.
  • On June 23, 1973, Cheryl Ann Yourkvitch, Miss Lorain County 1973, was selected as Miss Ohio 1974 at the Sandusky Pageant.
  • The featured nationality for the Lorain International Festival is Polish. The International Festival Queen is Veronica Ann Gonzalez, representing Mexico.

1974

  • The featured nationality for the Lorain International Festival is Puerto Rican. The International Festival Queen is Mary Daugherty, representing Ireland.
  • The Sacred Heart Chapel is dedicated.
  • The old YMCA building in South Lorain closes.
  • The Salvation Army Center is dedicated.
  • High winds rip through the town on Easter Sunday.
  • Cityview Center is completed in February, 1974.
  • Lorain Public Library starts its book deposit service at Cityview Center.
  • The Southside Gardens Housing Project is dedicated.
  • Bear Furniture Store closes.
  • The new Norfolk and Western railroad bridge is completed in July of 1974.
  • Heilman's Ranch House Restaurant closes.
  • The old City Hall is demolished in March of 1974.
  • Civic Center "Madness" celebration is held in September of 1974.
  • West Lorain's "Clarkins Park" area is added to the new Columbus Park area.

1975

  • The featured nationality for the International Festival is Greek. The International Festival Queen is Slovak Princess Debbie Zelina.
  • The "Block Parent" program is started up by schools and parents.
  • Kline's Department Store closes.
  • Some "Loop" buildings are demolished for renewal.
  • WLRO radio goes on air in July of 1975.
  • Lorain Cable TV wins U.S. approval for operation.
  • Lorain's population is 81,045.
  • Lorain Public Library opens the West Side Book Deposit.
  • Civic leaders form the New Lorain Association.
  • Lorain Schools start up the RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) program.

1976

  • The mayor is Joseph Zahorec.
  • All nationalities are honored; no one nationality is featured at the International Festival. Instead the American Bicentennial is featured. The International Festival Queen is Josephine Maffei, representing Italy.
  • The Christian Temple celebrates its 100th anniversary.
  • The Lorain Towel and Supply Company files for bankruptcy.
  • Ed Mullinax Ford builds the world's largest showroom.
  • American Shipbuilding continues to shape shipmaking trends, completing and launching the James R. Barker, the first 1000-foot ship ever built on the Great Lakes.

1977

  • Ownership of the Lorain Lighthouse is transferred to the Lorain County Historical Society for $1.00.
  • The new fire station is dedicated at 15th Street and Broadway.
  • The Black Community is featured at the International Festival. The International Festival Queen is Patti O'Connor, representing Ireland.
  • The City of Lorain buys the Mascon Toy Building for $540,000.
  • Hawthorne students skip into the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • The Neighborhood House marks its 50th anniversary.
  • The Palace Theater opening marks the refurbished theater's new life.
  • Lorain gets its first Civic Center as the Civic Center Committee acquires the old Palace Theater and begins a major restoration that will put the Palace on the National Register of Historic Places.
  •  
  • Groundbreaking held for Lakeview Beach Restoration Project.

1978

  • The Lorain Lighthouse is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Slovak is the featured nationality at the International Festival. Mexican Princess Melissa Rodriguez is the International Festival Queen.
  • Jane Lindsay School closes.
  • Lorain-born author Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon wins the National Book Critics' Award.
  • An experimental federal project puts a new 1,200-foot-long beach at Lorain's Lakeview Park.
  • The Lorain Telephone Company is acquired by the Centel Corporation as a wholly owned subsidiary.

1979

  • A 1,000-foot boardwalk is added to the Lakeview Park Beach.
  • The dedication for the Lakeview Bath House and Boardwalk is held on September 1, 1979.
  • The featured nationality at the International Festival is Slovenian. The International Festival Queen is Greek Princess Angela Marousis.
  • On March 19, 1979 First Lady Rosalyn Carter and guest Chet Atkins visit the Palace Theater to praise Lorain's civic volunteerism.
  • On November 6, 1979 the International Plaza opens. It is a Senior Citizen's residence operated by the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority.
  • The Ohio Supreme Court overrules the Lorain Bingo Law.
  • Thew Shovel closes and moves its operations to Chattanooga, lTennessee.

 

<BACK TO INDEX

<BACK - To 1920 - 1949

<BACK - To 1950 - 1979

HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology 1980 - 1999
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

1980

  • Lorain's population is 75,416.
  • The mayor is William Parker.
  • On March 30, 1980 Admiral King High School becomes Class AAA State Runner Up in basketball.
  • The featured nationality at the Lorain International Festival is Ukrainian. The International Festival Queen is Cynthia Bennett, representing Poland.
  • Republic Steel Corporation introduces an innovative ore transfer facility in Lorain with the opening of the Lorain Pellet Terminal in the harbor.
  • Lorain County Community College opens the C. Paul Stocker Humanities and Fine Arts Center, named after the Lorain inventor and founder of Lorain Products Corporation.
  • Oberlin Manor opens. It is a Senior Citizen's residence operated by the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Association.
  • Nationally-known Lorain-born poet Helen Steiner Rice dies.

1981

  • The featured nationality at the International Festival is Mexican. The International Festival Queen is Japanese Princess Brenda Carroll.
  • On March 30, 1981 Newsweek magazine featured Toni Morrison as the cover story after the release of her novel, Tar Baby.
  • Former Lorainite, Helen Steiner Rice (famous as poet/lecturer) dies.
  • A breakwater of floating tires is built on Lake Erie near the public pier.
  • The Black River Historical Society is formed.
  • The Erie Avenue Bascule Bridge opens for the 100,000th time on May 13.

1982

  • As of November, 1982 the Lorain County unemployment rate is 23.7%.
  • Irish is the featured nationality of the International Festival. Dierdre Kolb is the International Festival Queen, representing Black-America.
  • The first "Sunset Fiesta" is held at Lakeview Park.
  • South Branch Library is enlarged and remodeled.
  • Toni Morrison is honored on January 15, 1982 at the Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting and president's ball, "Salute to Toni Morrison".
  • On May 13, 1982 the Erie Avenue Bascule Bridge opened for the 100,000th time.
  • On November 11, 1982 Robert Overmeyer, born in Lorain, pilots the Space Shuttle.

1983

  • The Main Post Office addition construction starts and is completed by the end of the year.
  • On July 11, 1983 Lorain Creamery ends the use of glass milk bottles.
  • The featured nationality of the International Festival is Scottish. The International Festival Queen is Dawn Salva, representing the Hungarian nationality.
  • Lorain Public Library is awarded a grant of Library Service and Construction Act funds for $456,000 by the State Library of Ohio to finance the construction of an addition to the Main Library building on 6th Street.
  • Following a decline in Great Lakes shipping and a major strike in 1978-1079 the American Shipbuilding Company announces the closing of its Lorain's shipyard.
  • The new boat ramps launch areas open at Hot Water Pier.
  • U.S. Steel's continuous caster operation is started up.
  • Lorain Public Library publishes a 1984 Lorain History Calendar to honor the city's upcoming Sesquicentennial. By the end of the year, circulation for all materials in the library system tops 700,000 for the first time.

1984

  • The mayor is Joseph Zahorec.
  • Lorain Sesquicentennial is observed. Steve Dohanos is the guest speaker for the International Festival Breakfast.
  • Construction starts on the $1.4 million expansion and remodeling addition to Lorain Public Library's main building.
  • Palm Avenue School closing is announced.

1985

  • St. Joseph Hospital closes its Practical Nursing School; the last class graduates in March of 1985.
  • Gel-Pack closes.
  • An Open House is held at the Lorain Public Library to acquaint the public with the newly remodeled and expanded building's facilities.
  • Former Lorainite, Terry Anderson, is captured and held hostage in Lebanon.

1986

  • A grand reopening for Antler's.
  • Jim Mahony is named Veteran of the Year.

1987

  • The third year in captivity in Lebanon begins for Terry Anderson.
  • The Lorain Harbor breakwall project is to begin.
  • Lorain launches several revitalizing projects.
  • Lorain Public Library workers join District 925 of the Service Employees International Union.
  • Navy frigate U.S.S. Oliver Hazard Perry is in the Port of Lorain on a goodwill visit.

1988

  • There is a blaze at the Falencki Hardware building.
  • A suit is filed for AmShip pensions.
  • Lorain dedicates a tree for Terry Anderson.
  • USX dredging of Black River starts.
  • Fire ravages the Copper Kettle Marina in Lorain.
  • June temperatures are scorching, the area is at the hottest ever, at 104 degrees.
  • El Centro de Servicios Sociales center opens amid festivities.
  • The Ford Motor Company's minivan is a boon for business.
  • A grant is OK'd for a downtown hotel located in the old Broadway Building.
  • St. Anthony's Catholic Church turns 65.
  • The Lorain Coast Guard Station is destroyed for a new one.
  • Lorain gets its first female firefighter.
  • Fire ravages the Lorain Spitzer Marina.
  • A gazebo is built at Oakwood Park.
  • The Polish Legion of American Veterans celebrates its 50th birthday.
  • Helen Steiner Rice Day is proclaimed for Lorain.
  • U.S.S. Antrim crew shares its love of Lorain.
  • Area TV's First Lady, Alice Weston, is honored.
  • On Veteran's Day, the Bascule Bridge is renamed Charles Berry Memorial Bridge in honor of the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

1989

  • Terry Anderson is in his fifth year as hostage in Lebanon.
  • The Broadway Building springs to life.
  • Ford lays off 2,700 workers.
  • Ford's Nissan Plant is started.
  • Kosma J. Glavas is named to Judgeship.
  • Lorain Kiwanis Club marks 70th anniversary.
  • The Broadway underpass opens.
  • Cel Rivera is spotlighted in his stormy Police job.
  • Lorain Schools fight tax abatement.
  • It's USS/KOBE as of July 1, 1989 as USX and the Japanese steelmaker join to own the Lorain Works of U.S. Steel.

1990

  • Population is 71,245.
  • Seymour's Jewelers celebrates its 50th anniversary.
  • A mystery spill fouls the Black River.
  • A firm is chosen for the Black River Boat Launch ramp project.
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County celebrates ten years of helping.
  • Ford sends 6,400 workers home from the Ford Motor Company. Layoffs hit Ford workers.
  • Habitat for Humanity program operates in Lorain.
  • The Henderson Drive Bridge is set for a six-week closing.
  • The Journal gets a change of owners.
  • Boaters claim that the Lake Erie Sea Serpent is back.
  • Lee Furniture closes.
  • The pro-casino bandwagon rolls (in favor of starting a casino in Lorain).
  • No dice: Ohio rejects the casino.
  • The Lorain Civil Service Commission declares that city jobs will go only to Lorain residents.

    15.Federal money will help house 122 families through the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority.
     

  • Plans for a Lorain Plaza are back on the stove.
  • The Lorain Port Authority has a port improvement levy to dress up the harbor site.
  • Palace Civic Center lands State funds.
  • Saxon Club's sale is pending; will change into the Our Place Restaurant.
  • The State of Ohio pulls Safeway Driving School's license.
  • City Council and residents blast Stoneco, Inc.
  • Ford's old guard is ousted. (United Auto Workers Local 2000)

1991

  • Terry Anderson, held hostage in Lebanon from March, 1985 to December, 1991, is freed at last.
  • Banc One buys a stake in Lorain County. It buys the Central Trust Company.
  • Lorain weighs the charter issue.
  • The fate of Emmanuel United Methodist Church wavers on its 150th birthday.
  • Ford unveils Jupiter.
  • Lorain is set to have a Head Start.
  • Lorain's high level bridge is renamed in honor of war hero Lofton Henderson Memorial Bridge.
  • War hero Lofton Henderson's real story.
  • Jax store moves to Lorain.
  • Laidlaw Transit is on the move to Gaylord's Department Store site.
  • Spitzer floats an idea for a floating casino.
  • Lorain works to restore the Lighthouse.
  • Two hundred people help dedicate the sign for Lorain's Historic Charleston.
  • Growth is planned for the Nord Center.

1992

  • The Altrusa Club marks its 75th anniversary.
  • Terry Anderson visits Lorain; Eighty thousand people welcome him in parade.
  • Century Park Beach is reopened.
  • Charter Commission proposes charter for city government; but voters turn down the Lorain Charter.
  • The Head Start building wins a Federal grant.
  • Long range planning group for Lorain forms: Lorain 2000.
  • Lorain Public Library users get local dial-up access from their home computers.
  • The Hungarian Reformed Church turns 90.
  • Mayor Alex Olejko announces that this is his last term in office.
  • John Spitzer, king of the auto empire, dies.
  • St. Joseph Hospital and Health Center celebrate 100th anniversary.

1993

  • Terry Anderson writes a book.
  • Black River gets cleaner.
  • Blizzard sets a mark.
  • The Chicken Kitchen downtown eatery closes.
  • Compassion Baptist Church arises from a fire.
  • Kiwanis Club celebrates 70th anniversary.
  • Bacteria threatens Lakeview Beach.
  • Lorain Community Hospital and St. Joseph Regional Health Center combine.
  • Lorain National Bank to expand.
  • Lorain Port Authority receives grant to help tourists.
  • Toni Morrison wins the Nobel Prize.
  • Lorain Public Library announces plans to honor Toni Morrison by designing a Toni Morrison Room in the Main Library.
  • Lorain Schools Magnet program receives a Federal grant.
  • Chief John Malinovsky retires, making the end of an era.
  • Southview High School is hailed in the nation.
  • Lorain city finances close to default; city budget deficit is over four million dollars. Lorain City Auditor Kenneth Koscho resigns in midst of probe into expenditures. Koscho is convicted on charges of theft, forgery and tampering; he receives a sentence of 7 years in jail.
  • Craig Foltin is elected City Auditor.
  • Widow guides P.C. Campana Company.

1994

  • Antler's Hotel Restaurant reopens.
  • Black River Historical Society operations grow.
  • Black River Reservation Park trails open. The Lorain Port Authority completes Riverside Park, located next to the Charles Berry Bridge.
  • Canadian freighter, Catherine Desagnes, smashes boats and property on Black River.
  • Century Telephone celebrates 100th anniversary.
  • Church on the North Coast purchases land from YWCA.
  • Cityview Park project is OK'd.
  • El Patio Restaurant opens in South Lorain.
  • The city demolishes the Greenwood Inn.
  • Lakeview Beach bacteria is still high.
  • Lorain High closing is announced; to take effect after graduating class of 1995.
  • The first woman in 73 years joins the Lorain Police Force.
  • Replica of Columbus' boat is docked at Black River to help celebrate the Lorain Port Authority Awareness Week.
  • Old English Parlor closes.
  • The Renaissance Inn's name changes to Spitzer Plaza Hotel and Marina.
  • Kilgore & Sons Exterminating Inc, Elyria, used illegal insecticide (methyl parathion). As many as 100 homes were sprayed with toxic chemical.

1995

  • Mayor Alex Olejko completes his last year in office. Joseph Koziura is elected mayor.
  • Lorain and West Virginia Railway gets a State historic OK.
  • Lorain is free of debt.
  • The last class graduates from Lorain High School.  The building re-opens as Lorain Middle School in the fall.
  • Lorain Products firm is sold.
  • Toni Morrison comes to Lorain to participate in the ribbon cutting for the Toni Morrison Reading Room in Lorain Public Library. Hundreds of people attend the event at the Library.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backs the cleanup of methyl parathion in Elyria and Lorain. Initial estimates were that the cleanup would cost about $5.7 million.
  • Cel Rivera becomes Police Chief.
  • Lorain Community/St. Joseph Hospital and Regional Health Center's Cancer Center closes.
  • USS/KOBE aids staff in the crisis of the earthquake in Kobe, Japan.

1996

  • Lorain's estimated population is 69, 800.
  • The Black River Boat Launch is opened.
  • Lorainite, Lt. General Johnnie E. Wilson, deputy chief of staff for logistics in the U.S. Army, was appointed to be a full 4-star general by President Bill Clinton and named head of the U.S. Army Materiel Command in Alexandria, VA. Gen. Wilson, a 26-year-veteran, became the only active Black 4-star general/flag officer in the Army. The last active Black four-star general was Retired Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairman Gen. Colin Powell.
  • Castle Restaurant sponsors Medieval feast meals.
  • The Firelands Symphony finds its 2nd home in Lorain performing at the Palace Theater.
  • City of Lorain buys the old Jane Lindsay School building to be used as a Senior Citizens Center.
  • Joseph Koziura takes office as mayor.
  • Lake Shore Railway railroad seeks historical status.
  • Elizabeth King dies. She leaves a multimillion dollar estate.
  • New health center is built in South Lorain.
  • Lorain area voters vote against gambling casinos.
  • Lorain Wimodaughsis Club celebrates 100th anniversary.
  • Lorain ex-Auditor Kenneth J Koscho, jailed for theft in office, is freed on shock probation after serving 2 1/2 years of a seven-year sentence.

1997

  • Levit's Westside Market closes its doors.
  • Lorain Community/St. Joseph Hospital and Regional Health Center changes its name to Community Health Partners.
  • Lorain church, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrates 100 years.
  • Spitzer land is rezoned for the Black River Project. The Lorain Port Authority Black River Wharf Boat Launch Ramp is dedicated.
  • Colorado Avenue Industrial Park development progresses.
  • St. Joseph Regional Health Center Emergency Room Trauma Care shifts to Community Health Partners on Kolbe Road when St. Joseph Hospital closes
  • Cleveland-Lorain Line Commuter Rail has preview.
  • The city offers $700,000 for Elizabeth King estate land.
  • Ford announces close down of the Thunderbird assembly line. 200 Ford jobs are shifted to in Kentucky.
  • Oak Point Road project wins the OK.
  • St. Mary Church celebrates its 125th anniversary.

1998

  • Judge ruled that Lorain should receive $144,296 from the city's former auditor and from the business that once operated the city's health-care plan.
  • The Lorain County commissioners vote not to guarantee a $1.8 million state loan to save the old Lorain and West Virginia Railroad line.
  • Kings Woods area is for sale.
  • Lutellis Kilgore used a hazardous chemical as a pesticide to kill insects in Lorain County homes. It cost the taxpayers $22 million to clean up the homes that he sprayed with the toxic chemical.
  • Stoneco asphalt company caused foul odors to permeate its neighborhood.
  • Mayor Koziura's annual state of the city address reveals that he plans to spend nearly $10 million will toward fixing streets, parks, parking lots and waterlines.
  • Lorain Planning Commission endorses Spitzer development plan to expand a marina and build 400 condominiums. Certain areas near proposed site are declared "blighted" by the city.
  • Lorain Quota Club celebrates its 50th anniversary.
  • Canes' Surplus Store closes.

1999

  • Elizabeth King estate land is purchased by city and added to western edge of Lakeview Park.
  • Jim Mahony, long time local newspaper writer who was known as "Mr. Lorain", dies.
  • Ground is broken for new South Branch Library building.
  • Kings' Woods area is rezoned for smaller residential lots. City Council votes to purchase the property.
  • New sidewalks are installed at Lakeview Park.
  • City Hall entrance doors renovated.
  • USS/Kobe Steel and Blackstone Capital merge their bar steel plants with operations owned by the Blackstone Group.
  • St. Peter Church celebrates its 90th anniversary.
  • General Johnnie Wilson retires. An entourage, including Mayor Koziura, former Mayor Olejko, Rev. Melvin Woodward III, attends the retirement ceremony of the former Lorainite held in Ft. Myer, VA.
  • Lorain City Auditor, Craig Foltin, announces that he will run for mayor against Mayor Joseph Koziura in the fall election.
  • Stoneco closes down operations in city of Lorain.
  • Nursing staff at Lorain Community Health Partners hospital vote to unionize.
  • King's Woods purchased by Akron Developer. City Council votes down eminent domain purchase of the property.

 

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HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology 2000 - 2009
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

2000

  • Iwo Jima veteran, Lamar Sebert, is honored. (2/24)
  • New Fairless shopping center is announced for South Lorain. (2/23)
  • Darlene Brown, local columnist, retires from the Morning Journal (2/13)
  • Blast furnaces start to add many new jobs at steel mill (3)
  • Driscol Music marks 59 years in Lorain (4/6)
  • Fire ravages historic Fischer's Building (4/27)
  • Morning Journal launches new web site (4/28)
  • South Branch of Lorain Public Library gets a new building (5/21)
  • Brush Wellman Company signs beryllium agreement (6/1)
  • Spitzer Project is moving along (6/20)
  • Lorain's International Festival is located at Veterans Park in the downtown area (6/20)
  • New Century Village homes, constructed in the King's Woods area, sell quickly
  • The Camden Woods housing development construction starts on Kolbe Road
  • Natasha Reidy is International Queen at Festival (6/23)
  • Outlook rosy for St. Joseph community Center (7/12)
  • Dana's Restaurant Comes to Lorain (7/14)
  • The Corner Restaurant Closes (12/31)

2001

  • The Lorain Public Library celebrates its 100th Anniversary.  The Library's new mascot, "Browser" debuts.

2002

  • Construction begins on "Harborwalk", planned to be a 450 home-marina community located near the mouth of the Black River in the area formerly occuped by Amship.

2003

  • The Lorain Port Authority's Black River Landing is officially open for festivals and events that attract more than 300,000 people.
  • In January, the ore boat, American Republic, sailed away carrying the last load of iron ore pellets stored at the Lorain Pellet Terminal at the mouth of the Black River adjacent to City Hall.

2004

  • Lorain Catholic High School closes.  The last class graduates in June.
  • Frank Jacinto Elementary School opens.

2005

  • The last Econoline van rolls off the assembly line at the Lorain Ford Motor Assembly Plant.  The plant closes on December 14 rending a 47-year run in which Lorain workers built millions of vehicles, including F-100 pickups, Falcons, Comets and Thunderbirds.
  • Lorain Middle School closes
  • Washington, Larkmoor, Palm and Garfield Elementary open as new school buildings, as well as General Johnnie Wilson and Longfellow Middle Schools.

2006

  • The Lorain Port Authority constructs an outdoor stage at Black River Landing in time for the Lorain International Festival performances.
  • The city of Lorain and the Lorain County Metroparks sign an agreement for the Metroparks to maintain and develop the northern portion of Lakeview Park.  Renovation of the rose garden is nearly completed by mid-summer.
  • The YMCA on Tower Boulevard closes.
  • An historial marker honoring the Lorain community's involvement in the Underground Railroad (Lorain Station #100) is placed by the African Heritage Walkway Committee at Black River Landing.
  • Lighthouse Village retail development on Leavitt Road begins with the construction and opening of Kohl's Department Store and Home Depot.

2007

  • Through the year the new bathhouse at Lakeview Park is under construction.  It is dedicated on December 8.
  • Brad Friedel Soccer Academies is constructed on Leavitt Road.
  • The African American Walkway Committee installs a bas-relief bronze sculpture commemorating the holiday "Juneteenth" (Emancipation Day) at Black River Landing.
  • The Lorain Port Authority's two new shuttle tour boats, "The Pride of Lorain" and "Spirit of Charleston" starts operating narrated nature tours on the Black River and on trips to the Lorain Lighthouse.
  • Lorain native, Army Sgt. Bruce E. Horner, dies June 1, 2007 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2008

  • The Lorain Port Authority enters into an agreement with Put-in-Bay Boat Lines to start Jet Express excursion ferry service between Lorain and the Lake Erie Islands and later to Cleveland sporting events.
  • The Rose Cafe opens in mid-January at the new Lakeview Bathhouse.
  • Willow Hardware closes after 55 years in business.
  • The Charles Berry (Bascule) Bridge re-opens after being closed for five months of repair by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
  • The Metroparks Steel Mill Trail Extension opens.  The Trail connects to the Bridgeway Trail at Days Dam Picnic Area and continues north through the slag fields of the U.S. Steel Mill to Colorado Avenue in Lorain.
  • The former Lorain Catholic High School building, empty since 2004, is re-opened by its new owner as the "Spartan Building".  It hosts a variety of organizations including a day care center and academy.
  • The nosedive in the national economy at the end of the year is reflected across the country - and in Lorain where Republic Engineered Products, Inc. shuts down its blast furnace and lays off hundreds of steelworkers.

2009

  • Local history groups celebrate the 175th Anniversary of Lorain in a celebration held at Black River Landing in July.
  • The Cleveland Catholic Diocese announces planned closings of a number of churches in Lorain: Ss. Cyril & Methodius, St. Vitus, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, St. Stanislaus and St. Ladislaus.
  • Eric Barnes, a Lorain native and U.S. Air Force airman first class, gave his life for his country in Iraq on June 10.  He joined the ranks of heroes Lofton Henderson and Charles Berry honored by their home town when a park was named in his memory at the corner of Oberlin Avenue and Second Street in August. 
  • Marine Lance Cpl. David R. Hall died August 31 while serving his country in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • The demolition of the former Lorain High School building continued through much of the year.

HISTORY OF LORAIN, OHIO
Chronology 2010 - Present
Compiled by Lorain Public Library

2010

  • The Lorain School Board announces that Southview High School will be closed at the end of the school year and that Lorain will have one high school located in the Lorain Admiral King High School building.
  • The new Lorain High School student body - numbering 2,200 - votes and chooses its new school colors (blue & silver) and its mascot. LHS is now "The Home of the Titans".
  • The 250-foot-tall smokestack at the FirstEnergy Edgewater Power Plant is demolished on December 9.
  • The electric generating plant at the FirstEnergy Edwater Power Plant is demolished on December 16.

2011

  • Lance Cpl. Ryan Giese, was killed Jan. 7, 2011, in the Helman Province, Afghanistan, serving his Country in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • The "new" Lorain High School graduates its first class in June.
  • The Lorain Palace Theatre starts renovations that include installation of re-glazed terra cotta tiles on the building facade and new windows and doors.
  • Phase one of a memorial to Admiral King is constructed on Hamilton Avenue across the street from the home of his childhood.  It is dedicated to his memory on September 18.
  • Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King Elementary School is completed on the grounds of the former Lorain High School.  Members of his family are on hand for the dedication of the school on September 18.
  • As the company celebrates its 125th anniversary in September, Republic Engineered Products changes its name to Republic Steel.  On November 16 Republic Steel announces plans to build a new electric arc furnace at the Lorain Plant.  The $82.5 project is expected is take 18 months for completion and to bring hundreds of jobs back to Lorain.
    Brad Friedel Soccer Academies building is in foreclosure.

2012

  • Chase Ritenauer assumes the office of mayor in January.
  • In January the Lorain City Council approved the $55,000,000 Black River sewer tunnel project. The new sewage conveyance tunnel will run under the downtown between Broadway and the Black River. The 24ft diameter wastewater storage tunnel is to be 5,500 feet long, and will be excavated 112 to 187 feet beneath the city. The project is scheduled for completion in 2015.
  • The Lorain City School Board of Education announces that it plans to move Lorain High School students to the previous Southview High School building at 2270 East 42nd Street in the fall.  This move is planned to accomodate demolition of the existing Lorain High School building (the former Lorain Admiral King High School located on Ashland Avenue) and the construction of a the new Lorain High School building on the same site.
  • The Palace Theatre marquee and exterior entrance remodeling projects commence in the spring and are finished in late summer. A state of the art 3-D projection system is installed as well.
  • U.S. Army Sgt. Louis Torres is killed August 8, 2012 while serving his country in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • The Eric Barnes Heroes Walk memorial walkway is built to connect to the Settlers Watch memorial located at Oberlin Avenue and Second Street.  Donations from the community and recycled building materials from the old Lorain High School are used to help build the memorial to honor Lorain soldiers who lost their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan military operations.  U. S. Marine Lance Cpl. David R. Hall, Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Ryan Giese, Army Sgt. Bruce E. Horner and Sgt. Louis Torres are honored with engraved walkway stones.
  • Demolition of the Whittier Middle School building starts in October.  Granite benches were donated by Lorain City Schools class of 1965 and 1972.
  • Vice President Biden visits Lorain High School in October to campaign.
  • Lorain County commissioners vote to approve a financial support package that supporters hope will keep St. Joseph Community Center up and running.

2013

  • March - Demolition of the old Admiral King/Lorain High School building on Ashland Avenue commences.
  • April  - The new electric arc furnace at Republic Steel is still under construction. 
  • April - The first shaft of the Black River sewer project tunnel project has reached a depth of 185 feet.  The top of this shaft is near the 14th Street Black River Wharf.  The hole is lined with concrete creating a finished diameter of 36 feet.  Work is then scheduled to start near the end of the month on the second shaft close to the lakefront.  Once that shaft is completed a 180-foot-long tunnel-boring machine will chew through the earth to create the underground tunnel. Some parts of the tunnel-boring machine will be assembled above ground. Crews then will use a crane with a capacity of about 250 tons to lower those pieces into the shaft, starting in the third or fourth week of April. Workers will put together the borer, and point it to move northward toward the second shaft, digging a tunnel with a 23-foot diameter under downtown Lorain. The boring machine is expected to chew through the earth at a rate of about 80 feet a day.
  • The Jet Express, sponsored by the Lorain Port Authority, offers cruise packages to the Lake Erie Islands, some Cleveland Browns games and to the Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland.
  • Funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission pay for major road projects. Lorain streets sewer and repaving projects on Oberlin Avenue, West 21st Street, and elsewhere have drivers seeking alternate travel routes as construction crews work on major byways in the summer and fall.
  • The City of Lorain arranges for transfer of ownership of the Carnegie Library Building, built in 1903, to the Black River Historical Society.

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