November 24, 2014


Local author finishing second North Ridgeville history book

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Author Carol Klear is at it again.

One of the city’s most familiar names to those interested in local history is busy completing her second book for Arcadia Publishing, a South Carolina-based firm best known for its “Images of America” series of locally produced pictorial histories.

Also known for reporting on North Ridgeville news and people over a 20-year career with North Ridgeville Press, Klear said her second volume is a definite departure from the first.

“It’s been a bear,” Klear said. “The Arcadia people are very nice to work with, but I told them if they did a third series to remind me not to get involved.”

Klear was on deadline to submit all of the text for her new book, which is being published in Arcadia’s nearly 100-volume “Legendary Locals” series which highlights individuals and groups that have made a lasting impact on a community.

The volume is a collection of anecdotes on 100 people, past and present, who have helped shape North Ridgeville’s history.

Unlike the first book, whose format allowed Klear to glean information from the city’s historical society archives, residents and other sources for those long gone, the new book required interviews with dozens of people still living.

“Some lasted 45 minutes or an hour,” Klear said. “Others were shorter. I did five in one day in some cases. The last book was a lot easier.”

On top of that, her contract with Arcadia for the new volume required that it be finished in nine months instead of the 12 she was allowed for the “Images of America” book.

“I couldn’t mess around,” Klear said.

Klear knew she wanted the book to represent locals from all walks of life “good, bad or indifferent. I wanted differing views.”

“Legendary Locals” will include some obvious choices such as Lois Sullivan, a good-natured but relentless watchdog of city affairs for decades before her passing at age 92 in January of this year.

Others profiled in the book include Father Joseph Trapp, a former pastor of St. Peter Church whose photos were seen throughout Klear’s first book, and the family of Alex Sismour, a 14-year-old North RidgevilleHigh School freshman whose September 2011 death from a traffic accident has led to a plethora of charitable efforts sponsored by his family.

“They have done so much in the way of different memorials,” Klear said. “I just finished their story.”

Even for a veteran writer, Klear had a hard time condensing vignettes for the 127-page book to a 140-word maximum.

“Their story ended up being 200 words,” Klear said. “It was hard because there was so much emotionally.”

Klear has also worked hard to avoid any errors.

“In a weekly paper you can make corrections the next day,” Klear said. “I’ve got to get this right because when it’s done, it’s done.”

Plans call for the book to be published next summer.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or

  • Lord Anoobis

    Here are some ideas to put in future history books about Ridgeville:

    1) “…and then North Ridgeville became known as a speed trap. In fact, they lowered the speed limit on EVERY road through the city to 35 MPH. This includes the Turnpike, I-480, and Route 10. The mayor said it was all done in the name of safety and not to generate cash.”

    2) “Mike Freeman would eventually become the Chief of Police. How such an a$$hole got that position was anyone’s guess. Chief Freeman would later get reprimanded for the way he reacted to his wife’s arrest for shoplifting. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

    3) “Navigating through North Ridgeville became very difficult. The city had no problem approving the hundreds of new homes, but did nothing to improve the infrastructure to deal with the corresponding increase in population. What great planning. As town/cities often do, they had to come begging the taxpayers for more money to build a new Middle School.”

    Sound about right, folks?

  • scunnered74

    Was Ms. Klear a teacher many years ago? Kind of short with blonde, curly hair? I think I remember her.