Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "Cuyahoga Valley National Park"
72 total

Eloise and Cedric Plavney interview, 06 July 2017

Eloise and Cedric Plavney discuss their experiences with the Cleveland Hiking Club since they joined in 1987. Highlights include Camp Onwego experiences, outstanding hiking trips, and memories of hiking club members past and present.

Jim Sprague interview, 13 April 2017

Jim Sprague joined the Cleveland Hiking Club in 1979 and was an active member through the 1980s. In this short interview, Sprague recalls memorable hikes and illustrious club members he encountered.

Rena Fiedler Interview, 2011

Rena Fiedler grew up on her grandparent's farm, the Stanford House, near Boston, Ohio. Her grandfather's aunt, Ellen Stanford, passed the house along her nephew, Ernest Dickenson. Rena's parents, William Hatch and Fanny (Dickenson) Hatch, lived at the Stanford House until Rena was in gradeschool. On the Stanford property, Rena's grandfather had many livestock, corn, and other produce. Rena remembers details about the farm, as well as life in Peninsula c. 1930s forward. The Stanford House…

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Carol Haramis Interview, 02 March 2011

Carol Haramis's family has owned a farm for 5 generations that is now an agro-tourism farm. They raise Christmas trees, day-lilies, and pumpkins. They also produce maple syrup and hold festivals on the farm. In this 2011 interview, Haramis discusses the history of the family farm and details some of the work required to run the farm.

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Chris Burgdorf Interview, 02 April 2009

Chris Burgdorf, full time superintendent Camp Manatoc,describes his educational background as a Parks and Recreation Management major at Kent State, his work as a ranger with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and his current duties as superintendent of the Boy Scout Camp. Burgdorf, whose father was an executive with the Boy Scouts, grew up in scouting, and explains the various activities that the boys engage in year round at Manatoc. He also provides a description of the camp facilites, and how…

Terry Smith Interview, 2011

Terry Smith began his farming venture in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in 2005. He raises goats, turkeys, chickens, and recently started working with honey bees. He sells meats to local restaurants, and has tried hosting events on the farm, but with little success. There is no butchering done on his property, and he really enjoy farming.

Ott Wilson Interview, 02 May 2011

Vernong Ott Wilson was born in 1916 in Bath, Ohio, and grew up in the summer house of the Hale Farm property. Ott's family worked the Hale farm during the years when C.O. Hale was alive, as well as when Clara Belle Ritchie and her father took over the farm. Ott provided many memories of life on a farm during the Great Depression, and jobs he shared with his father hauling milk and farming. Ott also shared memories of bootlegging activities in Peninsula and Everett. His story gives a picture of…

Ott Wilson Interview, 20 July 2011

Ott Wilson's family purchased a house in Bath, Ohio in the early 20th century, and rented farm land from C.O. Hale, of the Hale Farm, during the 1920s and 1930s. Ott, his father and brothers did farm work on their land and for Mr. Hale, as well as Hale's niece, Clara Belle Ritchie, who later owned the property. This is Ott's second interview on the topic. He shares more information on farming activities and working on the Hale Farm. He also provides information about the Hale and Ritchie…

Heather Walters Interview, 2011

This oral history interview looks at Basket of Life Farm, a small farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The farm is run by Eric and Heather Walters who have a sixty year lease on the land. The farm is part of the Countryside Conservation Initiative and is a Community Supported Agriculture farm where individuals buy a membership and are given a share of whatever is grown.

Henry Fortlage Interview, 2011

Henry Fortlage was born and raised in Independence, and experienced the Cuyahoga Valley extensively growing up. In his interview he discusses his extended family's farms, his parents experiences growing up in the Cuyahoga Valley area, as well as his own. He touches on issues such as community changes, hunting, the river, farming, volunteer work in the park, and the wildlife within it. As a life-long resident and a current volunteer, his insight in to the park is fascinating and informative in…

Tom "Skip" Wilson Interview, 2011

This is an interview with Thomas “Skip” Wilson. Skip has worked for the mill since 14 years old and been doing it full time since graduating college. Milling is no longer the main focus of the facility and instead they are now focused on a customer oriented business. They have a good relationship with the Park but have an innate fear of “big government.” As a protection against this they opened up another facility not within the park in case they buy out the land. All-in-all Wilson has…

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Rebecca Jones Interview, 2011

Rebecca Jones is an interpretive ranger with the National Park Service at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This interview was conducted to get information about the history of different park sites, including the Ohio & Erie Canal, the Everett Road Covered Bridge (with contra dancing), and the Frazee House.

AJ and Pamela Neitenbach Interview, 2011

AJ and Pamela Neitenbach manage the Neitenbach farm, which is part of the Countryside Conservancy's Countryside Initiative program. They grow vegetables and herbs, which they grow for medicinal and culinary purposes, and then sell these products at their roadside stand and at local farmers' markets. The Neitenbachs shared knowledge of these herbs, as well as details about starting and raising a family on a farm for the first time. As newcomers to the valley, the Neitenbachs learn from…

Gerald and Marilyn Polcen Interview, 07 March 2011

Gerald and his wife Marilyn Polcen describe their experiences farming sweet corn in Sagamore Hills including the challenges of the deer population. They talk extensively about the dairy cows they used to have. They relate stories from raising their family of the farm as well as growing up in the Cuyahoga Valley.

Dave Wingenfeld Interview, 2011

Dave Wingenfeld owns Canal Corners Farm & Market located at the corner of Canal Road and Tinkers Creek Road in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Dave runs the farm's day to day operations with his two sons Danny, the oldest, and Noah, the youngest. Noah is currently a Student at CSU and also participated by being interviewed seperatley. Dave and his family live in the historic Gleeson House built in 1854. In 1974 Dave purchased the Swan Farm. Through the Countryside Conservency Initiative…

David Weyrick Interview, 02 April 2009

David Weyrick, author of "To These Things You Must Return," a popular history of the Boy Scout camp, Camp Manatoc, relates the history of the Camp, including the bequest of land by H. Carl Butler, efforts to raise funding for construction, and the purchase of more land as the camp outgrew its original space. As a long time Boy Scout volunteer, Weyrick talks about the history of Scouting in the Akron area, his involvement as a youth and as an adult, and his research while writing the history of…

Dorothy Vani and Myron Marfut Interview, 06 April 2011

Dorothy Vani and Myron Marfut grew up on the Lorenz property in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park during the 1950s. Coming from an Austrian descent, these two siblings illustrate their experiences of what farm life was like during this time in the Northeastern Ohio region. We were able to extract valuable information from this interview, such as how the farm was run solely by their mother because of a divorce over religious issues, the duties/chores that came with living the farmer's lifestyle,…

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Helyn Fiedler Toth interview, 13 July 2011

This is Helyn Toth's second interview, a follow-up to her interview about growing up on the Hunt Farm in Everett, Ohio. In this interview, Helyn focuses on the nearby Point Farm, (now called the Point-Biro Farm), that was started in the early 1880s by her great-grandfather Nathanial Point. On the Point Farm, the Point family mainly raise dairy cattle and shipped the unprocessed milk to milk companies in Akron.

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Hazel Broughton Interview, 2011

Hazel Broughton grew up on Sand Run Road in the Cuyahoga Valley and lived in the Szalay family's old home. She has detailed memories of her family's vegetable garden, her friend's family's Carter Store in Everett, as well as the popular local square dances in Peninsula. Hazel attended Everett Church of Christ throughout her life, and is currently the only member who was a part of the original church. She provided details about the church structure, as well as the layout of Everett in the 1940s…

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Pat Morse Interview, 30 March 2011

This is an interview of Pat Morse done on behalf of Cleveland State University and the Cuyahoga Valley Authority. The purpose of this interview is to discuss the area around Lock 26 of the Erie Canal, the Inn that Mrs. Morse's Grandparents maintained, the property around her childhood home, the beaver pond which is adjecent to her house. Other information about the community and other potential interviewees are given during the course of the interview. Another objective of this interview was to…

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Darwin Kelsey Interview, 2011

Darwin Kelsey directs the non-profit Cuyahoga Countryside Conservancy, which helps restore historic farming properties in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, as well as assign the properties to contemporary farmers to work in sustainable ways. Kelsey has a history of working in museums and studying historic agricultural traditions, and goals to restore local community agriculture. Kelsey described the negative effects of the modern food system, with decreasing numbers of farmers and insufficient…

Mark Cheimalecki Interview, 01 May 2009

Mark Cheimalecki, long time member of Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Patrol, talks about his introduction to skiing in the 1970's,changes in ownership and management of the ski resorts, and the problems of X-treme skiing and snow-boarding. Cheimalecki describes the medical training,duties and procedures used by ski patrol members, as well as the importance of proper training and equipment needed to ski safely. He notes efforts by a group of African-American skiiers to introduce inner city youth to…

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Catherine Peterson Interview, 2011

Catherine's great grandparents began the Underwood Farm near the turn of the twienth century. They raised steers for meat and dairy cows. Her grandparents and parents lived on the property but farming became a second career as they pursued manufacturing work. Catherine and her husband resided on the property between 1995 and 2005 and still live in the area. The National Park Service owns the property currently adn is restoring the house and barn fur park service use.

Beth Knorr Interview, 2011

Beth Knorr currently works as the Farmers' Market Manager for Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy. She has earlier non-profit and farming experience through her work at the Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath, OH, where she met the director of Countryside Conservancy, Darwin Kelsey. Beth and her husband still work on the Crown Point farm, where they grow mainly vegetables.

Irene Szalay Kusnyer Interview, 2011

Interview with Irene Kusnyer (born Szalay) about farming in the Cuyahoga Valley. The interviewee tells the story of how her family came to settle first in the US and later on in the Cuyahoga Valley. She then talks about how the family got into farming, what farming and life in the Valley was like in the 1930s, and how they eventually came to focus on farming sweet corn. The interview contains rich descriptions of the types of crops and livestock that were used, farming procedures, descriptions…

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David Whited Interview, 24 June, 2008

David Whited is Chief of Planning & Development for Summit County Metro Parks. Trained in Landscape Architecture, Whited oversees new bike trails, towpath completion, and land acquisitions. In this interview, he discusses Munroe Falls, Nature Realm, and plans to develop Cascade Valley Park. He provides some of the history of Summit Metro Parks, including the park district's reputation as one of the oldest, largest, and most influential in the area of land conservation. He describes the problems…

Jim Biggar Interview, 2008

Jim Biggar discusses his background in mechanical engineering and work with water and sewer companies and projects. Biggar discusses also the development of Stouffer and Biggar Farms and their creation as park land. Biggar Farm's transformation into Glen Cairn Forest is also discussed, with an emphasis on connecting local residents to park trails.

John Debo interview, 2008

John Debo is Superintendent of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. He talks about the influence of Earth Day and the environmental movement on his decision to seek a job in the National Park Service. He arrived to take a summer job at what was then the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area having never visited. He discusses the state of the park in the 1970s and the work done there in the 1970s-90s. He discusses the Towpath Trail, Environmental Education Center, the formation and early work of the…

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Dean Perry Interview, 24 June, 2008

Dean Perry was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and moved to northeastern Ohio as a child. Perry began working as a seasonal motor vehicle operator in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the early 1980s and eventually worked his way up to supervisor of grounds and trails. Perry discusses the remedial work required restore the Canal Visitor Center and the Towpath Trail from their state of abandonment, as well as the restorations of Gleason Farm and Everett Village. He also describes the impacts of a…

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Walter Herip Interview, 2008

The President, Creative Director, and Project Coordinator of Herip Design Associates, Walt Herip discusses the economic and historical developmental changes of the Penninsula since 1970. After his graduate studies in Europe ended in 1976, Herip began his company in 1980 and was chosen to design the 25th anniversary logo for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Bridget Garvin Interview, 24 June, 2008

Bridget Garvin gives background, childhood memories in Toledo, and inspiration to work in the perservation field. Describes Cascade Locks,including some history, benefits, and passion to curb suburban sprawl.Garvin notes some milestones in using the Cascade Locks to link the city as a boost to the economy, rather then just a park. Discusses fundraising challenges, donors, political supporters.Virginia Wojno-Forney began the project and Garvin picked it up in 2001. Describes Cascade Mill, and…

Bob Hunker Interview, 2008

Bob Hunker discusses the creation of the Peninsula Group with the intention of preserving Valley buildings and heritage. Hunker reflects on his work in the preservation of Bronson Church and the historical development and changes to the organization and preservation endeavors in Cleveland. The Cuyahoga Valley Heritage Association as it is now known is discussed, with the goal being the balance between preservation and development. Hunker also discusses challenges posed to his organization, such…

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Ron White Interview, 2008

Ron White discusses his work as the Director of Economic Development for the city of Independence and emphasizes how local environmental projects are affecting his city particularly. White discusses how the regional developmental projects are connected intrinsically to the city's "two year plan," which includes property development, land and building restoration, and wildlife and green space conservation. Overall, White articulates how the economic and social future of the city is connected to…

Louise Nahas Interview,2008

A New York native, Louise Nahas reflects on her exploration of the park trails with friends as well as her husband. The two of them, volunteers at the Happy Days Visitor Center, experienced the ever-widening geographical radius of visitors to the park and the variety of programming. Nahas also discussed challenges in budgeting as well as the growing need for volunteers which facilitated the beginning of the Trailblazer Program to increase volunteer services and membership within the…

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Patty Schwalbach Interview, 2008

Patty Schwalbach grew up in Akron in the 1950s-70s and returned in 2005 after 25 years in Los Angeles. She describes her work in the late 1970s in the Akron housing department and the condition of Akron's Cascade Locks Park at that time. She discusses how a man named Pete Ramnytz was the first to see Cascade Locks' potential. Upon Schwalbach's return to Akron, she became involved in the effort to save the Mustill Store. She relates the history of the canal and lock system and shares her thoughts…

Tom and Bertha Jones Interview, 24 June, 2008

Tom and Bertha Jones are longtime residents of the Cuyahoga County in Summit County. Tom and his father built Tamson Park in Peninsula, while Bertha was a township clerk. When the Cuyahoga Valley National Park was formed, the Joneses sold their home to the NPS, accepted a twenty-year residency, and now rent from the park. In this interview they share early memories of the Cuyahoga Valley, including social life in Peninsula in the 1940s-50s, the trains that ran through the village, and how…

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Tom Fritsch Interview, 2008

Tom Fritsch works in the Akron Metro Area Transportation Study (AMATS) division of the City of Akron, mapping short- and long-range plans for federal funding. He became an environmental activist in college, motivated by an article in the Akron Beacon Journal. Fritsch conducted school-bus tours of the park for children, helped in the Beaver Pond and other park cleanup projects, and joined a chapter of the Sierra Club to help preserve the Cuyahoga Valley. He was directly involved in developing…

Ellen Otto Interview, 2008

Ellen Otto of the Cascade Locks Park Association relates the history of the Cascade Locks area of Akron, including the Irish and German immigrants who built the Ohio Canal, the Great Migration in which African Americans brought jazz to the Howard Street district near the canal in the interwar years of the early-mid 20th century, her own family's stories about life in the area, and the later collaborative campaign to create Cascade Locks Park in Akron. She also discusses a 1995 reenactment at the…

Robert Eckardt Interview, 2008

Robert Eckardt of the Cleveland Foundation discusses his work in the fundraising and grant writing for the creation of National Parks in Northeast Ohio. Echardt discusses in detail the Trust for Public Land grant and the role of the Cleveland Foundation in securing land for National Parks in the recent years. The interview also discusses newer projects such as the Towpath Project and citizen awareness in land preservation.

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Tom Long Interview, 2008

Tom Long, a design and parks development expert, discusses a city/park partnership working towards completing eight developmental units, including plans for the Towpath Trail along the Ohio Canal. Birth of the Cascade Locks Park Association and the movement toward the parks' grand opening as more organizations got involved, fundraising for the Schumacher Mill Site restoration and waterwheel project, and plans for the Richard Howe house. He also discusses the role of the park in economic…

Phil January Interview, 2008

Phil January is president of the board of Cascade Locks Park Association. In this interview he discusses the beginnings of Cascade Park in the 1980s, fundraising and committee efforts, and membership growth. He highlights the Mustill Store, rehabbing, and historical choices made around the canal, and ideas for current and future development projects. January also describes efforts to bring people to the park and how park development and usage has led to rebirth in Akron.