Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, October 7, 2002

President Jack Smith opened the October 7, 2002 meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. with 32 members and guests being present.

As a first order of business Jack asked the secretary to read the minutes from the last meeting. Following the reading of the minutes upon a motion by Theresa Szipple and second by Stan the minutes were approved.

Jack asked Barb Wolfe to give the treasurer's report. She reported that as of this evening there was a balance of $475.42 in the checking account and the money market has a balance of $5,854.03. She further reported that she had recently transferred $1,000.00 for the checking account to the money market account to get a little more interest. Jack then asked if there were any outstanding bills to present for payment this evening and Jean Fischer stated that she had given Barb a bill for this evening's refreshments.

Jack then thanked Chuck and Cheryl Huene for the planting and maintaining of our flower boxes this summer. The flowers were beautiful and your efforts did not go unnoticed. Thanks again.

Further Jack stated that our calling committee under the chairmanship of Pat Furnas could use some help. With our ever growing membership she sure could use a few more hands. See Pat after the meeting if you can assist her.

Next Jim Szipple reporting on the progress of the front steps stated that he has spoken with Al from the Stone Salvage Company who explained the process that we need to go through for the repairs. Right now we are trying to firm up the costs involved to present to the mayor in order to get the purchase order to proceed with the project. It would be easy to just tear out the old steps, however, we are attempting to preserve the integrity of the old steps to continue to compliment the building.

Jack then reported that on September 27th the students from The Cleveland Institute of Art toured Avon Isle in order to prepare their projects for the design contest which is being sponsored by our club. The first place prize of $250.00 will be awarded to the student with the best design to assist our club with the restoration of the old Avon Isle. The winning design will be displayed at the French Creek Nature Center as part of our club's Bicentennial display. The students then went to the French Creek Nature Center where Matt Kocsis gave the group a detailed summary of the parameters of what will be expected for the exhibit to include the concept that brings in the jazz age that occurred in the 1920's when the Avon Isle was in its hay-day - what it was like then.

Jack then reminded the members that an additional feature of our participation in the Bicentennial display is that the Avon Historical society will be bringing in artifacts that we have in our possession. These articles will be picked up by the nature center staff, a receipt will be issued to the donor, stickers will be placed on the artifacts for identification and a complete record will be made of the article and donor. Jack then asked Nancy McGhee and Theresa Szipple to co-chair our participation in this phase of the collection of artifacts and they both agreed.

George Bliss then took the floor and reported on his continuing battle with the North Ridgeville city government and engineers to correct the spelling of Nagel Road. He is hopeful but has no assurances that it will be corrected on the next batch of city maps because the city tabled the issue - but he is still working on it.

Regarding the Landmark Ordinance Committee, Jack reported that he and Dr. Fischer will be attending a preservation meeting in Cleveland tomorrow and they were hoping to get more background and ideas to do it the right way the first time around. They will report on this at the next meeting.

Dr. Fischer then reported to the members that the oral history project begun by Pete and Sharon Kratt has now been taken over by Ford Motor Company employees who are volunteers from the company's 'gen bank' of laid off employees. Dr. Fischer reported that the only problem of interviewing the older generation of Avonites by this group is that Mike Wolf and Bill Furnas are only 3 days older than he is - and he doesn't consider himself a senior citizen yet. The group is very excited about the information and stories gathered so far and they plan to interview Hugh Gough and his wife Gwen, along with Franny Bommer and Bill Cummings in the near future.

Next a discussion was held regarding where to hold our annual Christmas party. At the present time the membership has been notified that it will be here at The Old Town Hall on December 2nd. However, a suggestion was made by Nancy McGhee that due to our growing numbers and the lack of kitchen facilities and limited bathroom facilities that perhaps we could look into holding the Christmas party at the Avon VFW hall. Jean Fischer stated that she did not think there would be a problem holding at the town hall because we normally have a number under 50 attending. It was suggested that the calling committee could try to get a confirmed number of those members planning on attending and we could go from there. Jean then suggested that in view of the fact that we have a guest speaker this evening that the issue of the Christmas party be tabled until the next meeting in November.

Jack then thanked everyone who attended the Planning Commission meeting 10-2-02 to voice our protest of the plan to widen Detroit Road to 5 lanes thereby destroying and removing more historical homes and buildings along the way. These is an extremely important issue to our club and the community as a whole and we must stay on top of this issue.

Jack then announced that at our November 4th meeting Jean Fischer will be speaking on `Avon Terrorized by Armed Maniac, 1905'.

There being no further business to conduct, upon a motion by Theresa Szipple and seconded by Pat Furnas the meeting was adjourned.

Jean Fischer then introduced tonight's speaker, Robert Deville, of Cleveland who gave a wonderful portrayal of John D. Rockefeller that was enjoyed by all.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary

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