I've learned a lot about this area in nearly 20 years of covering the news in Nordonia Hills. Ten years ago, I worked on a nearly year-long series on the area's history to mark the bicentennial of Olde Northfield Township. I've also had the pleasure of getting to know many local historians, including some good friends who are no longer with us, such as columnist John Straka, writer Don Bean, and Arch Milani, former president of the Historical Society of Olde Northfield.
When it came time to put together this year's Explore Nordonia Hills magazine, which was released in May, I thought that a quiz focusing on tidbits of area history might inspire more people to take an interest in our past. As current Historical Society Trustee Rick Devine puts it, we are the product of our history: To know our forebears is to know how we got to where we are and should guide us on how to move forward.
However, several people told me that the quiz I ended up creating was a bit too challenging. In retrospect, I don't think I would have got all the answers correct had it been prepared by someone else!
So, if you thought the quiz was too hard, I apologize and would like to resubmit the questions, as well as the answers. And when you get a chance, drop by the Palmer House on Olde Eight Road next to Northfield Elementary School. The volunteers at the historical society will be there from 2 to 4 p.m. on July 9 and 23, and Aug. 13 and 27. They'll be happy to see you and are ready to share their knowledge about our area's fascinating past.
1. What year is marked on the space in front of the area's prominent red water pump? The pump is located on the south side of the Brandywine/Olde Eight/Aurora Road intersection in Northfield Center -- 1865.
2. Where is the Benjamin Franklin Bliss Memorial? On the flagpole in the township park at the corner of Olde Eight/Aurora Road intersection.
3. How many "Macedonia Veterans of the Great War" are there, as marked on the city's memorial? The memorial is on a stone that is in storage pending construction of Veterans Memorial Park -- 22 names.
4. The number of Nordonia Hills Veterans from the Revolutionary War until the present is approximately: a) 500; b) 1,000; c)1,900. -- 1,900
5. What type of military vehicle is parked on the side of Olde Eight Road in Northfield Center? An M42 40mm Self Propelled Anti Aircraft Gun, also known as a "Duster," is in front of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6768.
6. Where in Nordonia Hills is there an unused airstrip? The former Forepaugh, or "Four Points" airstrip on private property at the northeast corner of Macedonia between I-480 and Shepard Road.
7. How did the fishing pond in Longwood Park in Macedonia come to be? It was excavated to provide fill for Macedonia Commons.
8. What area resident was known as "Labor's No. 1 Enemy" and helped establish Cleveland Hopkins International Airport? Macedonia's first mayor, Col. William "Frew" Long, who served until age 96, earning him the title of oldest mayor in the United States. He died at age 104 and in his will, left land for Longwood Park to the city and land for the Nordonia Hills YMCA.
9. What area resident founded the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and was known for leading his wealthy friends on hunting parties on horseback with hounds? Cyrus Eaton, the world-famous industrialist whose property is now the large residential subdivision "Eaton Estate" in Sagamore Hills.
10. What type of races took place at "Sportsman Park" for 20 years after it was built on the site of today's Northfield Park in 1934. Midget car racing. The track was initially built for greyhound racing, but that plan did not work out. The track was rebuilt and reopened in 1957 as Northfield Park, which is marking its 60th anniversary this year.
11. Which area mayor was said to be the oldest mayor in the United States? How old was he when he retired? Col. William"Frew" Long.
12. Where were the locations of the two Northfield Center airports? The Oakmont and Charter Lakes developments.
13. What road in Eaton Estates is named after a cow? Troubadour Drive.
14. Where was Little York? It was the southeastern section of Northfield Center by Highland and Olde Eight roads.
15. What Macedonia business now occupies the location of the first frame house in the city? Dunkin Donuts at the corner of Route 82 and North Bedford Road by the railroad tracks.
16. To which town did Nordonia Hills residents flee for safety during the War of 1812? Hudson.
And here are some bonus questions that did not make it into print:
18. When was the old Northfield Township founded? -- 1807.
19. What building was used as a part-time movie theater in the 1930s? Northfield Center Town Hall.
20. For what was Brandywine Road named? The Revolutionary War Battle of Brandywine.
21. What Nordonia High School graduate became an astronaut. Maj. Gen. Ronald M. Sega, Class of 1970. He was also Undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force from 2005-07.
22. Which church had an oil well on its property? St. Barnabas Catholic Church.
23. Where was the old drive-in movie theater? Next to Summit Plaza, where Northfield Village Rehabilitation and Nursing and the Northfield Village Fire Department are located.
24. What famous man-made waterway follows the Cuyahoga River? The Ohio and Erie Canal.
25. Where was the area's first public library building? The Palmer House, next to Northfield Elementary School on Olde Eight Road.
Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433