Center celebrates community

Thus begins the third season of the Legacy & Legends Lecture Series at the East Liverpool Area Community & Learning Center. We will continue the celebration of outstanding historical places, events and the people that make our piece of the Ohio Valley such a great place to reside and to call our home. This past year, the Series featured hymn writer Will Thompson and Thompson Park, attorney William Vodrey and the Ceramic Museum, Chester godfather C.A. Smith and Rock Springs Park, teacher Joan Witt and the East Liverpool Historical Society, attorney Francis H. Lang and the Lake to River highway Route 11 and the world’s leading life insurance salesman Ben Feldman, who never failed to boast that he hailed from East Liverpool.

The Center is about to begin its solicitation of past members and also new members for the Legacy and Legends program for 2018-19. The lectures are held on Tuesday evenings. They begin with a reception and socializing at 6:30 with the lecture at 7. Three programs will be held in the fall and then three in late spring 2019.

To join with other interested area residents the cost is only a donation of $100 to the Center for the six events. This entitles a member to bring a spouse or a guest to each program. Membership is by a donation to the HHH Foundation entitling the donor to a tax deduction in the total amount. Proceeds are used to help underwrite the cost of maintaining the area Community Center. To date, Lecture Series receipts have added $15,000 to the revenues of the Center.

The Center is now accepting applications for membership for the upcoming season. Checks may be sent to the Community Center at P.O. Box 103, East Liverpool, Ohio, 43920. Application forms are available daily at the Center from noon to 6 p.m. except Sundays when the Center does not open until 1. Center volunteers answer the phone for your inquiries or questions at 330-303-2110.

The people and places being celebrated this season were selected by the Legacy & Legends Series members of this past year. This season promises to be even more interesting, entertaining and educational than in the first two seasons of the lectures.

A dream of the Midland Schools superintendent resulted in the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Pa., that has given new hope to this former steel mill town. Over the years, a steel mill and associated industries of Midland had provided significant employment to area residents. Today, the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center is a new source of jobs in Midland Borough and the surrounding area. The school has become a place of entertainment and learning in Midland for both youth and adults of the tri-state area. The April 2019 program promises to provide members of the lecture series with an evening of enjoyment and knowledge and they will also be entertained by students of the Performing Arts school.

The First United Methodist Church of East Liverpool was perhaps the earliest congregation in the community in the early 1800s. In the early 1920s, they built the present church building at Fifth and Jackson streets. Church families were determined at great personal sacrifice to make their new church building one for the ages. They secured two large Tiffany stained glass windows and a marble Tiffany pulpit to compliment their worship services.

Louis Comfort Tiffany developed a unique method of turning assortments of shards of stain glass into highly prized works of art. These artifacts became collectors’ items commanding high prices throughout the world. His work is celebrated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as well as at the Morse Museum that was built specially to showcase his works near Orlando Fla. The program will be led by a qualified speaker on the subject of the art of Tiffany and the program will include a special invitation to attendees to visit and view the church’s windows that have been valued in the millions of dollars. The program will be in May 2019.

A product of the Beaver Local school system, Lance Shultz is one of its more notable graduates. Lance over many years has served on the Beaver Local Board of Education. The Beaver Local school system initially was a rural district in 1934. It serves an area including Calcutta in St. Clair Township and parts or all of four other neighboring townships. The new school complex on Bell School Road has quickly developed into the cultural and educational center for their community.

Lance for many years has been a writer, director and producer. He has produced many movies for Public Broadcasting stations. He became the go-to person regarding Russian military equipment and installations during the “Red October” era when the United States and Russia were contending for world military dominance. The Russian military had opened its doors to Lance and his photographers at a time when there was otherwise little contact between the two rival nations.

Most recently, Lance produced a movie entitled “Violins of Hope, Strings of the Holocaust.” It was first aired on PBS and made its debut several years ago locally at Kent State and also at the famous Rainbow Room in New York City. The movie deals with violins that belonged to prisoners in the Nazi prison death camps during WWII. These violins have been restored as a tribute to the brave prisoners who used their talents and anything else available to them in order to survive. Lance will screen the film and discuss his experiences in the production and gathering of information for his movies that will be subject of the first lecture in the Series presented Sept. 4, 2018.

The city of East Liverpool and the entire area has been fortunate to become the home to the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association and Clock Tower and the Upper Ohio Valley/Lou Holtz Hall of Fame. Many former students and many current residents of the Upper Ohio Valley have been honored at these two treasures located in city of East Liverpool that have drawn so many notable people from around the nation and the world to our area.

These two projects primarily were the result of the imagination, determination, energy and leadership of Frank C. Dawson. He was born, educated and has lived in the East Liverpool area his entire life. Frank has authored a number of books about people of the community, also of his many friends and acquaintances that he has made during his fruitful life. Now it is payback. The community will have its chance to express appreciation to Dawson for the contributions he made to benefit his beloved hometown. Friends of Frank will help us review the life story of Frank “Digger” Dawson on Oct. 2.

The community has its own resident artist, Craig Wetzel, who has devoted his talents to preserving the most memorable sites in the city of East Liverpool and the area in the form of artistic, detailed wall paintings. Residents and visitors who have been to the former Nentwick’s Convalescent Home are immediately immersed in wall murals throughout the facility depicting downtown East Liverpool during its heydays.

The artist will be speaking with Series members about his unique way and of why he chose to share his talents to honor his hometown. Craig has authored a pictorial book of his murals and he will discuss the beautiful reproduction it contains. Wetzel is also a frequent contributor to the local newspaper with his imaginary tales with fascinating people and places. All of this will be the subject of the Wetzel lecture in June 2019.

On Nov. 13, the topic will be a little recognized part of the history of our community. The Point of Beginning has been commemorated for many years by a monument designating the site where the first survey work began on the lands of the Northwest Territory. The area being surveyed was to include what became all or parts of the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota The monument is located at the east edge of city of East Liverpool near the Pennsylvania state line.

The Continental Congress first approved the idea of a survey in hopes of developing and selling lands west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio River. It was hoped that the land could produce funds for the new nation to repay its war debts. However tough terrain, savage Indian attacks and lack of funds to pay surveyors to tackle such a daunting task caused much delay and difficulty for a struggling new country. Representatives of Heritage Thermal and Kent State-East Liverpool campus were involved in the most recent celebration of the Point of Beginning monument and they will be among those who will present this program.

The cost of joining the Legacy & Legends Series for six evenings of enjoyment and socializing is really a bargain.

Each Tuesday evening will begin with a reception honoring the speakers at 6:30 and then is followed by the educational and entertaining presentations. Membership applications may be picked up at the Center. They will be mailed to all former members. Call the Center for more information at 330-303-2110.