Staff Meeting Agenda for Sept. 9

I.  Updates
A.  Curatescape
B.  Coventry App Tours
C.  Prosperity Social Club
D.  Arab American Oral Histories

II.  Reflecting on Symposium

III.  Plans for Coventry Tour

IV.  Cleveland Historical
A.  Tremont Sites
B.  LGBT Sites
C.  Collinwood Sites

Looking ahead to Sept. 16: We’ll return to St. Clair Superior, Slavic Village

Symposium Registration Table

There will be a list of paid registrants (i.e., “standard” or “full” registration).  We will give registrants (and all listed program participants) a program, lunch and reception tickets, and a lanyard name tag.


Carol:  8:00 – 10:30 AM

Danielle:  10:00AM – 12:30 PM

Mike:  12:00 – 2:30 PM*

Joe:  2:00 – 4:30PM

*Mike has since agreed to operate the video recorder. (Thanks!) We should have at least have another person trained by Al Nozak so that we’re certain to be covered and have some flexibility, especially in the unlikely event that someone can’t come as planned.

SV and SCS Plan for Fall Semester

Slavic Village:

Danielle:  Third Federal Savings & Loan, Bohemian National Hall, Hruby Observatory

Possibly more by Carol and Danielle as time allows; otherwise, the remaining 3 Slavic Village stories can be pushed to spring semester.  One we need to be sure to do is Cleveland Worsted Mills.

St. Clair Superior:

Carol:  Coppertop Building, Marie’s Restaurant, Firehouse at 1321 E. 55th

Joe:  Edible History House, Apartment building at 7049 Superior Avenue, Community Greenhouse Partners at 6527 block of Superior Avenue

Mike:  Cleveland Turners, Beverage Distributors, St. Vitus Church

Keep alternative topics in mind and stay in touch if you hit snags on the above topics.

Staff Meeting Agenda for July 29

I.  Metroparks closeout
II.  Prosperity Social Club Oral History
III.  Slavic Village & St. Clair Superior updates
IV.  Destination Cleveland
V.  Logging/processing closeout (or can defer as needed)
VI.  Looking ahead: September symposium, Coventry tours
Anything else?

CPHDH at Prosperity Social Club in October

Prosperity Social Club is celebrating their 15th anniversary with an event focused on the history of the building, which was home to Dempsey’s Oasis from 1938 to 2000. They will be collecting stories and archival materials from the Dempsey family, as well as from long-time patrons and residents. The Center will be there collecting oral histories on October 17th, from 1-4pm. If you’d like to participate (and enjoy some free food and beverages at one of my favorite places in town), let it be known at a staff meeting. A press release will be coming soon, at which point I can provide some more info.

Staff Meeting Agenda for July 15

I.  Review of Slavic Village and St. Clair Superior app research

II.  Closing out Metroparks project

III.  Discussion of Cleveland Voices

Reminder: There will be no CPHDH staff meetings on the following days: July 22, August 5, August 19.

Staff Meeting Agenda

I. Revising (and Reenvisioning) App Tours
– Proposal from Chris Roy for new Tremont tour organization + discussion
II. Cleveland Neighborhood History Initiative
– Update from Jim Dubelko + progress reports from team
III. Destination Cleveland
– Review Progressive Field and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame app narratives
IV. Other updates as needed

St Clair Superior/Slavic Village Topics

Joe Dill:
Summer (SCS): Azman Sons Market (6501 St. Clair) – Frank or Ray Azman*
Summer (SCS): SIFCO – has own history department
Summer (SCS): Dimer Mansion (Slovenian National Home)
Summer (SCS): Maple Lanes Bowling – Barb Rogers*

Carol Drake:
Summer (SCS): Coppertop Building
Summer (SCS): Marie’s Restaurant
Summer (SV): Third Federal S & L
Summer (SV): Turner Mills/Cleveland Worsted Mills
Fall (SCS): Apartment Building at 7049 Superior
Fall (SCS): Firehouse at 1321 East 55th
Fall (SCS): 1st additional story TBD
Fall (SCS): 2nd additional story TBD

Mike Barkacs:
Summer (SCS): Ariel International
Summer (SCS): Cleveland Turners
Summer (SV): Oliver Mead Stafford
Summer (SV): Forest City Brewing Co.
Fall (SCS): Zak Funeral Home
Fall (SCS): Beverage Distributors
Fall (SCS): 1st additional story TBD (Edible History House?)
Fall (SCS): 2nd additional story TBD

Danielle Rose:
Summer (SV): 1909 Tornado
Summer (SV): Kaynee Co.
Summer (SV): Forest City Park
Summer (SV): Broadway & East 55th (incl. Broadway S&L & Goodman Furn.)
Fall (SV): Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Fall (SV): Hruby Observatory
Fall (SV): Cleveland Central Catholic High School
Fall (SV): Bohemian National Hall

Additional Slavic Village topics for preliminary exploration (and possible replacement of above one or more topics pending availability of resources and further discussion):
Meyer Dairy
Standard Oil Refinery and Paraffin Works
Cleveland Frog and Crossing Co.
First Federal Savings and Loan
Polish American Cultural Center
Czech Catholic Union
Alliance of Poles
Cleveland Pneumatic Tube Co.
Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church
American Steel & Wire Newburgh Works
Canfield Oil Co.
Baxter Cemetery and Lansing Avenue Jewish Cemetery

Staff Meeting Agenda

I.  Your Parks, Your Stories – update from Rich

II.  Cleveland Neighborhood History Initiative – update from Jim D. plus topic assignment discussion with Carol, Danielle, Joe Dill (whom we’ll introduce), and Mike

III.  Destination Cleveland – discuss Rock and Roll Hall of Fame draft plus need for Progressive Field story

IV.  Oral History Logging – update from Marilyn

V.  Tremont tour planning – update from Chris

At 11:00, immediately after our meeting, Dr. Rose and the two summer undergraduate researchers, Tori and Chris, will arrive to launch their summer work. The rest of the staff doesn’t need to stay for this, although you are welcome. (Marilyn, you in particular may find it interesting because of the focus on developing materials for teachers, if your time allows.)

Everyone feel free to let me know if I’ve omitted anything.

Weekly Update

As a reminder, we will not hold staff meetings this week or next. We resume on May 20.

Regarding Destination Cleveland, we are working toward narrowing down the stories that will actually be featured in their print material. Based on what I’ve seen most recently, the two stories we don’t have that we will need most are Progressive Field and the Rock Hall. The Cleveland Museum of Art will likely also be included, so its revision is also a priority. We may not use the exact titles and texts in our app tours that Destination Cleveland uses in its material. They remain very flexible in that regard.

In other news: My Faculty Research Development grant with Prof. Meshack Owino was funded, which helps us expand and extend the Kenya project into mid-2016. We’re working quickly to round out the roster of presenters for the September 2nd Africa symposium and sent invitations out for the last four presenters today. Finally, I just got an unofficial “thumbs up” on the final piece of the funding puzzle for St. Clair Superior. More on that when it’s official.

Staff Meeting Agenda – April 29

For April 29, here’s what’s on the table:
I.  Cleveland Neighborhood History Initiative
– Update on funding (some good news to share)
– A potential work plan
– Discussion of Slavic Village topics
II. Destination Cleveland
– Moondog Coronation, Rock Hall, Progressive Field sites
– Minor revisions to other sites
III. Visualize CLE update
IV. Old/new business?

April 29 is our last CPHDH staff meeting of spring semester.  It is probably the last meeting until fall for Joe Skonce, who has obtained an internship at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.  (Congrats, Joe!)  We will not meet next week during final exams.  The following week I am in Washington, D.C., so we also will not meet May 13.  Our first summer meeting will be May 20.

Our Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA) project, led by Dr. Shelley Rose, will generally meet outside our CPHDH staff meetings this time. However, I want the students to meet with us early in the semester (for introductions to oral history methods, including logging and clipping) and, as needed, with Erin and me (for planning an approach to tagging oral histories for teacher use).  The students chosen for the award are Tori McDonough and Chris Morris.

Put September 2 on your calendar.  We will not meet that day because we are hosting “The Public Humanities and Modern Africa,” a day-long symposium that will convene the NEH-funded Kisumu app project team, project advisors from Canada, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Texas, and a small group of scholars from Cleveland and Ohio.  Details are in the making.  The event will run from 8:30 to 4:30 with a reception to follow at 5:00 (probably in SC 313-315 and SC Ballroom).  We anticipate having an event registration process to cover the modest cost of lunch and coffee service (details to come).  Also, September 3 (10:00-2:00) is the USRA poster session in the SC Atrium, so if you’re around, stop by and see our poster.

Slavic Village – Meeting at Red Chimney Restaurant with Glenn Sobola

I met with Glenn at the Red Chimney Restaurant (Fleet Avenue) yesterday. He is passionate about his neighborhood and loves to tell stories. Thus, he compliments nicely Tony Zajac’s more organized listing of potential sites for CH stories.

We talked for about 2 hours. I mentioned several of the sites on Zajac’s recommended list, but I soon decided it was better just to let him talk about the stories about the neighborhood he loves best.

Here’s a listing of them (I took notes which are a little more detailed):

1. Isaac Reid: Irish immigrant who bought farm land in Newburgh Township in the 19th century. Around 1880 Cleveland annexed a part of the township. Residents complained about the impact of nearby industry on the township cemetery. Cleveland bought some of Reid’s land to create Harvard Grove cemetery and transferred all the bodies from the township cemetery to this more bucolic location. Reid himself is buried there and 10-15 years ago a large number of his descendants returned to the cemetery to celebrate his life.

2. Waterways of Slavic Village: There are 2 primary waterways–Burke’s Run and Morgan’s Run. Both are for the most part culverted and underground today, but there are places in the neighborhood where you can see parts of them. The “jog” in Harvard Avenue was created in order to get around one of these waterways. There are many other stories of how the waterways were used and why they are important to the history of the neighborhood.

3. Forest City Park and the Humphrey family. Glen speculates that the reason the park eventually failed was because, after the Humphrey family bought the park and banned alcohol, the Polish population would no longer support it, especially when by this time (I gather it’s in the 1920s) cars were available to take neighborhood residents to parks more to their suiting.

4. Hruby Conservatory: Later known as Broadway School of Music and Arts. Produced a large band which played at Forest City Park. May be more stories about the Conservatory.

5. Olympia Theater: Had a great pipe organ from the days of vaudeville when the acts were more important than the movies. Theater closed a long time ago and marquee was taken down, but in around 2000 in the filming of “Welcome to Collinwood,” the building was used and a new marquee put up, which is still there today.

6. 1909 tornado: What it did to the neighborhood, especially to St. Stan’s where several were killed when the steeple toppled. (While we were sitting at our table, another resident stopped by and showed Glen a large photo depicting the damage done to one side of the church. I think the photo belongs to the St. Stan parish.)

7. Father Kolaszewski’s shenanigans: 19th century pastor of St. Stan’s engaged in unorthodox methods of fundraising for church projects. May have been even a little corrupt. Bishop transferred him to a parish in Syracuse. His parishioners missed him and persuaded him to come back to Cleveland, where they started a new parish–Immaculate Heart of Mary. Bishop excommunicated the parish and for a time the church was an independent Polish Catholic church.

8. Oliver Mead Stafford: 19th century power-broker in the neighborhood. He was the founder of Broadway Savings and Loan; also a director of the Worsted Mills; and a close confidante–perhaps partner of Father Kolaszewski, in a number of questionable financial dealings. (His house on Broadway is still standing. The original bank building is still there too–now it’s the site of Hubcap Heaven. In the basement the safety deposit room still exists.)

9. Leon Czolgosz: The family of McKinley’s assassin lived for a while on Fleet Avenue in Slavic Village. Glen’s grandmother used to point out the house to Glen and mutter something derogatory in Polish.

10. Kniola Travel: Michael Kniola operated a travel agency in the neighborhood, recruiting immigrants from Poland for work at the nearby steel mills. His papers are preserved at the WRHS Library.

I have 5 or 6 other subjects, but the above gives a flavor of the sort of stories Glenn Sobola has. He would be an excellent source for CH stories. By the way, he mentioned the Neighborhood Connections project. I sense that he showed up for the meeting at East Cleveland Township cemetery and then wasn’t thereafter, for whatever reason, involved in that project.

Story Revision Should Be Timely, Not Time-Consuming

The Colonial and Euclid Arcades app story was originally written in about 2011 or 2012 at a time when the “Colonial Marketplace” concept for the arcades was faltering. Since rebranded the “5th Street Arcades,” the venue is much livelier. This is an example of how our app stories can become outdated. A few weeks ago I discovered that the last paragraph ended on the wrong note, so I updated it. Here are the “before” and “after” endings:

Today, the shopping in the Euclid and Colonial arcades may not be what it once was. Even so, the arcades maintain their beauty and charm, providing a great respite from Cleveland weather and crowded big city streets.

Today, the arcades do more than merely provide respite from Cleveland winters. Restyled the 5th Street Arcades, the old Euclid and Colonial arcades have brought back a range of distinctive shops and eateries that contribute to downtown’s revival.

Then I tweeted the story with a vintage postcard view to @5thStArcades and @DowntownCLE. The tweet got 18 retweets and 14 favorites. Although only about 10% of those 300+ viewers who engaged with the tweet clicked through to Cleveland Historical, clearly there’s some value in keeping our stories updated for the 10% who do. However, we also shouldn’t try to hitch them to ephemeral events because this adds to our upkeep–not what we want. So, let’s find a balance between timely and time-consuming!


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CPHDH Staff Meeting, March 18

If you haven’t already done so, please join our Slack (not slack) team and try using the channel that’s most appropriate to add your own work progress update for the week. Just click on a channel in the sidebar, such as #oralhistory, #clevelandhistorical, or #dataviz, and then add your update in the box.

At our meeting I plan to interview Chris Roy as a demonstration (and to add to the project collection). We’ll go for one hour or so and then have a discussion about techniques.

We’ll resume our usual meeting structure next week.


I’ve invited you all to our new CPHDH Slack team:

I think this might be somewhat more accessible than the staff blog and more efficient (and generally more useful) than email.

After accepting the invite and creating an account, please add an update in a channel that is relevant to your work (e.g. #oralhistory, #dataviz, #clevelandhistorical, etc). Please use the #general channel for information relevant to the group as a whole and the #random channel for, I guess, pictures of your cat and stuff like that if you’re so inclined. You may also send private messages to others on the team.

There are mobile and desktop apps in a edition to the website and you can choose whether or not to receive notifications.

Let’s give this a try over the next few days and discuss when meetings resume next week.

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