“A Sanguine Belief in Cleveland’s Future Greatness”

"Dominance of the City" mural created for the Cleveland Public Library as part of the Public Works of Art Project during the Great Depression. Courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library via Ohio Memory.
“Dominance of the City” mural created for the Cleveland Public Library as part of the Public Works of Art Project during the Great Depression. Courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library via Ohio Memory.

In July of 1796–July 22nd, specifically–General Moses Cleaveland and his survey party arrived in the place that would both bear his name and become the second-largest city in Ohio.

Cleveland is characterized by its energetic downtown, diverse economy, many cultural offerings, and location on the shores of Lake Erie.  If you’re not familiar with all of the characteristics of this great city, Ohio Memory can give you a peek at what makes Cleveland so special.

Chapter VII of "A Comic history of Cleveland," via the State Library of Ohio Rare Books Collection on Ohio Memory.
Chapter VII of A Comic History of Cleveland, via the State Library of Ohio Rare Books Collection on Ohio Memory.

First, you might enjoy reading about the first hundred years of Cleveland’s history in Cleveland in a Nutshell. As the title implies, this is a very brief account of the city’s past, from its beginning as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, through the incorporation of the city, the establishment of economic enterprises, and the creation of local government. Or, if you prefer your history with a comedic touch, you can read about the same period, with the addition of a few years, in A Comic History of Cleveland. The project was undertaken in an effort “to secure the funds necessary to endow a bed in Lakeside Hospital – now part of the University Hospitals Case Medical Center System – for the use of students of Western Reserve University and Case School of Applied Science.” The book is peppered with humorous observations and remarks on imagined scenarios, such as when it quotes General Cleaveland as proclaiming “’this metropolis is to be known as Cleaveland with an A, and don’t you forget it!’ And thus was Cleveland formally christened.” This fun read will put a smile on your face even as it fills in the blanks in Cleveland’s history.

Photograph of Cleveland's iconic Terminal Tower, via Ohio Memory.
Photograph of Cleveland’s iconic Terminal Tower, via Ohio Memory.

Ohio Memory offers access to many historic photos of Cleveland’s sights, from monuments to buildings to shots of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. If you prefer sports, check out some of the photos of the Indians and the Browns. And if music and concerts are more to your liking, take a look at the photos and documents relating to the Cleveland Orchestra.

These items all offer a little peek at what makes Cleveland so special. If you haven’t been there in a while, check out the Official Ohio State Travel Guide and the Ohio Calendar of Events, both published by the DiscoverOhio, an Ohio state government agency. Current issues can be found here at the agency website, while past issues have been archived and continue to be available in Ohio Memory: click here for the travel guide and here for the calendar of events.

Celebrate Cleveland’s long history by taking a trip to this remarkable city. And don’t forget to tell them that Ohio Memory sent you!


Thank you to Shannon Kupfer, Digital/Tangible Media Cataloger at the State Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!

 

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