November 27, 2014

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Lorain marks its 200th anniversary

LORAIN — Before there was steel, a tiny marketplace provided the backbone for a young city at the mouth of the Black River.

It took another 100 or so years, but that marketplace eventually grew into Ohio’s 10th-largest city. Beginning today, Lorain will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its humble beginnings by taking residents on a stroll through the past.

The Black River Bicentennial Celebration will last all weekend and feature re-enactors, storytellers, films, trolley tours through the city and a meet-and-greet with the city’s founding fathers and mothers or at least people dressed like them.

Black River Bicentennial events
9 a.m. — Boat tours along the Black River for $10 per person and tours to the lighthouse for $20 per person at Riverside Park
10:30 a.m. — Tree carving on Second Street
11 a.m. — Opening ceremonies at Veterans Park off West Erie Avenue featuring re-enactors and several politicians
1 to 3 p.m. — Fire department memorabilia display at the Lorain Central Fire Station, 14th Street and Broadway
1 to 6 p.m. — Living history trolley tours free of charge. Reservations required through Moore House Museum, (440) 245-2563.
1 to 6:45 p.m. — Guided tours of the Charleston Village Pioneer Cemetery, 1139 W. Sixth St.
2 to 4 p.m. — The story of the Underground Railroad in Lorain at Black River Landing

Sunday
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Old-fashioned hymn singing, vendors, historical re-enactors, Native American teachings, old-fashioned children’s games and a street artist at Veterans Park
1 to 5 p.m. — Living history trolley tours free of charge. Reservations required through Moore House Museum, (440) 245-2563.
1 to 5:45 p.m. — Guided tours of the Charleston Village Pioneer Cemetery, 1139 W. Sixth St.
1 p.m. — Vintage Base Ball game at The Pipe Yard in Campana Park off Meister Road featuring the Lorain County Buckeyes vs. the Sycamore Grasshoppers. Cost is $3 for everyone 13 and older and $1 for children 12 and younger.

Old-fashioned children’s games as well as a vintage baseball game at The Pipe Yard in Campana Park will cap off the celebration.

“It’s important Lorain realizes that it has so many facets, and one of these is its history,” said Lorraine Ritchey, member of the Charleston Village Preservation Society. “Lorain is a fascinating story of perseverance, and there’s so much more to be discovered.”

The two-day event celebrates Lorain’s beginnings as a trading post that was established by the area’s first permanent settler, Nathan Perry Jr., in 1807. More pioneers moved in around a green acre of land they called Public Square, which is in what is now part of Veterans Park area off West Erie Avenue.

That town went through several name changes, including Black River Township and Charleston, before the city of Lorain was established in 1864.

Events will take residents all over the historical portions of the city, including Charleston Village and Black River Landing. Re-enactors will portray the entire legacy of Lorain, including that of the Native American tribes who called the area Canesadooharie — their name for the Black River.

Trolley tours will take people around the city while guides point out the past. The Moore House Museum on West Fifth Street will even get in on the fun with its own tours, provided by the Black River Historical Society.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.