Storyteller to bring Millionaires' Row to life in HHA program

Kent Weeklies
The home of financier Sylvester T. Everett, at Euclid Avenue and East 40th Street, was one of the largest mansions on Cleveland’s Millionaires’ Row.
The home of John D. Rockefeller, the most famous resident of Cleveland’s Millionaires’ Row.
Dan Ruminski, aka “The Cleveland Storyteller,” can hold an audience in the palm of his hand.

Mark Twain called it “the grandest, most beautiful street in all the world.”

Travel guides of the time called it the “Showplace of America,” compared it to Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Élysées and designated it a must-see for tourists from Europe.

Today, the ornate mansions, lavish gardens and unparalleled elegance of Cleveland’s “Millionaires’ Row” are a memory – at least until Dan “The Cleveland Storyteller” Ruminski brings them back to life with his spellbinding stories.

For its February program, Hudson Heritage Association welcomes Ruminski, who will share the stories of some of the 250 mansions that once lined a 4-mile stretch of Euclid Avenue and of the wealthy industrialists – Rockefeller, Mather, Hanna, Stone and others – who inhabited them.

His presentation, “Euclid Avenue: Cleveland’s Millionaires’ Row,” will be Thursday, Feb. 11,  at 7:30 p.m. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the program will be virtual, airing on Hudson Community TV (Channel 1021) and HCTV’s online livestream (www.hudson.oh.us/1081/Watch-HCTV-Channels-Online). For those who miss the broadcast on Feb. 11, the program will be rebroadcast and then made available on HCTV’s online archives.

From his storytelling chair, Ruminski, a retired history teacher, transports his audiences back to Cleveland’s heyday with an engaging, easy style, captivating them with illuminating tales of the people and events that transformed Cleveland into one of the world’s top cities.

Over the course of more than a decade, Ruminski, who carefully researches all his stories, has presented to more than 50,000 people across the region.

“I want to celebrate individual Clevelanders and the great families who changed this area and the world,” said Ruminski, who lives in Wickliffe. “I want to inspire audiences and light up the hearts and minds of our region’s younger citizens, help our community find its way to a future that honors and learns from achievements of our past. I want to promote the community I loved as a boy and still do.”

“Breathing life into history through captivating storytelling – that takes special talent. And Dan Ruminski has it,” said Chris Bach, HHA’s President. “We are thrilled to be able to introduce Dan to the Hudson community and hope that his passion for history, research and storytelling rubs off on all of us.”

Founded in 1962, Hudson Heritage Association works to protect Hudson’s historic buildings, the village streetscape, and the city’s Western Reserve architectural aesthetic. HHA encourages the preservation of historic buildings by providing research, resources and education to homeowners who wish to maintain their historic homes. The association co-sponsors the city’s work with the Cleveland Restoration Society. HHA also works with building owners to help them meet historic marker requirements and identifies those buildings with the HHA historic marker. The association celebrates the history of Northeast Ohio by publishing books and newsletters, conducting workshops and field trips and hosting monthly meetings that feature preservationists, historians and craftsmen. For more information, visit www.HudsonHeritage.org or search “Hudson Heritage Association” on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.