McAllister said Ohio’s first paved street was built in Steubenville in 1884, and that the first mass production of paving brick in Ohio took place in Malvern in 1885 at the Canton-Malvern Fire Clay Paving Brick Co.
Do you have your tickets for our August 19th community program: Frank L. Craig Legacy Series Premier?
As an added bonus to the presentation, Malvern Historical Society Treasurer Linda Byrd will be treating guests to live 1940’s and 50’s music at the keyboard.
Remember, tickets must be purchased in advance with multiple ways to acquire them; there will be no ticket sales at the door.
Want a discounted ticket? We will offer a $5.00 discount to anyone who brings in a pre-1970 Malvern newspaper for us to add to our collection or to scan and return. Regular ticket price is $10 and includes a luncheon, live music, and a presentation. Out-of-state guests will make the day a special occurrence.
Many familiar 1940’s and 50’s Malvern faces and scenes will be projected up on the big screen at the new Malvern School Cafetorium as part of the program. The luncheon will include treats directly connected to Malvern’s past.
The countdown is on….Saturday, August 19th will be here before we know it! Grab a ticket and enjoy some time with your neighbors, have a bite to eat, and reminisce with us. You may just see one of your family members or friends up on the big screen!
The Malvern Historical Society is inviting all to participate in a treasure hunt for back issues of any Malvern newspaper printed prior to 1970.
“We are currently working on a program that will tell the story of Frank Craig, editor and publisher of Malvern’s Community News during the 1940s and 50s. Craig left a lasting legacy to our town and he is a great example of the difference one person can make in a community,” says Jason Lombardi, president of the Malvern Historical Society.
While reviewing the few existing issues of the Malvern Community News in our possession, it has become obvious how much information about our local history and culture is contained in the old editions of this newspaper. “We believe Mr. Craig published almost 1000 issues during his time in Malvern. We currently have only a handful of issues in our collection,” says Lombardi. “Malvern’s newspaper history dates back to 1890, so we are excited to see what may surface!”
“I have learned we can scan issues of the newspapers at the Cleveland Public Library. Once scanned, the copies will be recorded on a computer thumb drive and the information will be preserved for future generations. Also, the scanned data will be searchable. That means we will be able to enter a family name and quickly find any story where that name appears,” Lombardi says.
“Copies of these old papers will greatly enhance the historical society’s records. We need the public to search through old albums and cedar chests where keepsakes are often kept; to search their grandparents’ attics and to contact friends and relatives who might still have copies, ” Lombardi requests.
“We believe many issues are still out there and saved because they contain special stories about the owners’ lives — wedding announcements, births, academic and sports achievements, and other important life events. We will welcome all copies donated to our collection, or we will be glad to just borrow copies long enough to scan them. The papers will not leave our possession and in most cases we can return the originals in a week or two.
***Anyone who donates a pre-1970 Malvern newspaper or allows us to borrow and scan a copy will receive a $5 discount on a ticket for our August 19, 2017 luncheon and program, ” The Legacy of Frank Craig.” It will be held at the Malvern High School Cafetorium. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. The program will follow lunch.
Those who attend the event will be treated to a basket with a Red’s Coney Island hot dog, made with the secret sauce recipe used during the 1940s and 50s by Red Romano at Red’s Nite Club and Bowling Alley. The basket will also include a bag of hot potato chips, like those enjoyed by generations of school children at the “Bazaar Shop” run by Elsie Schmidt near the old school building on West Main Street. For dessert there will be a selection of cookies baked from recipes found in old Malvern family and church cookbooks from that time.
The price of the tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Malvern Historical Society on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. – 12 noon, or by calling Linda Faa at 330-863-1185, Linda Byrd at 330-863-1222, or Sonia Strock at 330-863-0149. See comments below for additional avenues to acquire your tickets!
Tickets for the Frank Craig Legacy Series premier are now on sale at Crowl Interiors and Furniture located at 403 North Reed Avenue. Their hours of business are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feel free to stop by their establishment and pick up your tickets for the August 19th presentation/luncheon. Many thanks to Crowl Interiors and Furniture for assisting us in the ticket sales!
The following highlights the premier of our legacy series:
1940s & 50s Malvern Comes to Life at Upcoming
August 19 Historical Society Event!
The sights, sounds, and tastes of Malvern during the 1940s and 50s will be recreated on Saturday, August 19th when the Malvern Historical Society kicks off the first of a series of programs designed to tell the stories of individuals who have left an enduring legacy to the village.
“We have had a tremendous response to the information we post each week on the Malvern Historical Society’s Facebook page,” says Jason Lombardi, society president. “Current and former residents join the weekly online Facebook conversations. Some folks raise questions about our history, others contribute missing facts, and many share warm memories. All the discussions remain on our page for those who would like to visit the social media resource.
“The program we are planning for August 19 will expand this kind of historical exploration to include a big screen program of old photos, music from the era, and some little known facts,” Lombardi says.
The focus of the first program will be the story of Frank Craig, editor and publisher of the Community News during the 40s and 50s. Craig moved to Malvern from Brookville, Pa. He became the publisher of the Community News following the 1941 death of Art Lewis. Craig became familiar with every corner of the village as he gathered the news, called on merchants to sell newspaper ads, wrote most of the stories, set the type for his old printing press, and printed weekly editions of the newspaper.
He and his wife, Beulah, loved this small town. They were caring and when they saw a need, they personally worked to make things better. Their daughter, Patricia Craig Schmidt, says her parents “collected used books to start the Malvern Library.” She also remembers her father “being very protective of children.” She says he advocated for both installing a railing along the sidewalk on the bridge and for establishing the Malvern Park so that “kids would have a safe place to play.”
While in Malvern, Frank Craig served on the Malvern School Board and drove a school bus. He also drove what was called “the youth bus.” It was used to take kids to pick strawberries in Augusta, to visit parks as far away as West Virginia, to out-of-town skating rinks, and to high school sports events. Frances (Thomas) Montella was a cheerleader at the time and says that she and Betty (Swisshelm) Zartman would not have been able to cheer at away games if Frank Craig had not taken them on his bus.
The Craigs had three children: Patricia who lives in Carmel, Indiana; Augusta, who lives near Lima, Ohio; and Frank, Jr., a writer and former editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune. Patricia and Augusta are planning to attend this event. They will share memories of their father and their time in Malvern. Frank Craig, Jr. is currently traveling the country conducting interviews for a new book and will attend if his schedule permits.
Jason Lombardi’s program will show how Frank Craig used his passion, influence, time, skills, interests, and intellect to leave an enduring legacy. It will be presented against a backdrop of the sights, sounds, and happenings in Malvern during those years.
The event will also include food from the era. The Red Romano family as given their approval for the Society to use Red’s secret sauce for the popular Coney Island hot dogs he served at Red’s Nite Club and Bowling Alley during that time period.
Those who attend the event will be treated to a basket with a Red’s Coney Island hot dog, a bag of hot potato chips, like those enjoyed by generations of school children at the Bazaar shop run by Elsie Schmidt near the old school building on West Main Street. For dessert there will be a selection of cookies baked from recipes found in old Malvern family and church cookbooks from that time. Program committee chairwoman Linda (Cinson) Faa is pictured here (left) looking over a vintage Malvern cookbook brought in by society follower Lorraine (Galay) Baldwin.
As guests arrive for the luncheon and program, they will hear songs from the era played on the piano by Linda Byrd.
Tickets for the event are $10 per person and all proceeds will be used by the historical society to buy materials to preserve its collection of rare and one-of-a-kind photos and documents. Space is limited and we will need to have an accurate luncheon count, so tickets will not be sold at the door. Tickets can also be purchased at the Malvern Historical Society building, 108 E. Porter Street, on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. – noon or by calling Linda Faa at 330-863-1185, Linda Byrd at 330-863-1222, or Sonia Strock at 330-863-0149. Also, the option is available to mail a check made payable to Malvern Historical Society, P.O. Box 80, Malvern, OH 44644 for purchasing tickets.
The event will be held at the new Malvern School Cafetorium located at 3242 Coral Road NW. The doors will open at 11:30 and lunch will be served from noon to 1 p.m. The program will follow lunch.
Thanks to dedicated members of the Malvern Historical Society such as Stew Benedict, a significant reminder of Malvern’s past is coming to life once again.
The historical corporation limit markers acknowledging Malvern was the birthplace of Theodore Newton Vail will soon be re-erected at their sentinel posts at the east and west ends of the village along Canal Street. The signs, badly weathered by time, were last restored in late 1997 by historical society member Donald Eick. Stew is shown here sandblasting the historical corporation limit markers in prep for continued restoration. Photo credit: Pam Benedict.
The signs read: Father of Railway Mail and Long Distance Telephone Services. They were initially installed in 1973 with grand celebration.
We purposely chose today to feature Stew’s efforts in commemoration of the birth anniversary of Malvern’s own Theodore Vail who was born July 16, 1845.
A son of Dr. Davis and Phebe (Quinby) Vail, Theodore was born in downtown Malvern. The Vail home still stands, but not on its original location. It was first situated at 100 East Porter Street where now stands the Victoria Building, home of the Contini Insurance Agency. The Vail home (built by Dr. Davis Vail around 1840) was built on this site and was moved to its present location (119 Second Street) in 1903 when the three-story, brick Victoria Building was constructed.
An interesting fact: when the Vail home was situated on Malvern’s square, the family installed a water pump on their front porch which furnished the village with drinking water. Keep in mind, the home also served as the medical office for Dr. Vail, so it was a busy spot.
The historic birthplace of Vail suffered significant fire damage last year, however, the property owners have rescued the dwelling and remodeled, saving the structure from total loss.
Theodore only spent the first few years of his life in Malvern before the family relocated. Known as “Doe” and “Theo” by friends and family, Vail went on to make a memorable name for himself within the communication industry.
Some of Vail’s accomplishments include:
• Assistant General Superintendent of the Railway Postal Service in 1874. While in a position of leadership, Vail was responsible for inaugurating this faster delivery of mail service for the American people. Train service was initiated for the sole purpose of mail delivery with little stopping between destinations. He later became general superintendent of this service.
• In 1878, Vail was persuaded to leave his post at the governmental mail service and explore a professional career with Mr. Alexander Graham Bell.
• Under Vail’s leadership a nationwide campaign of telephone service was launched with local companies multiplying; telephones could not be constructed fast enough!
• Vail was the first general manager of the Bell Telephone Company.
• He significantly assisted with establishing the Western Electric Company which was organized to manufacture the Bell telephone.
• President of AT&T.
• Vail’s dream of transcontinental telephone service came to fruition in 1915.
Theodore Vail’s ideas were decades ahead of his time as other financiers of the day focused on maximizing profit with rapid expansion; Vail wanted focus on integration and quality of service.
The panic of 1907: Up until this point (Vail had resigned by this time due to frustration with the developing industry’s business practices), Bell Telephone was borrowing tremendous amounts of money to keep up and lenders were getting hard to find. The banking systems of the U.S. demanded management invite Vail back to run things…Vail returned. His reputation alone restored the financial community’s confidence in the Bell Telephone Company. Vail then was determined to buy out rival telephone companies or sell out if that was his only option for the advancement of one nationwide system.
Vail’s focus on quality of service helped coin the phrase: “Theodore Newton Vail – he made neighbors of 100 million people.”
Other quotes of unknown origin have surfaced which lend credence to his reputation:
“Thanks to Alexander Graham Bell, all nations have telephones; thanks to Theodore Newton Vail, the U.S. has the best telephone system.”
Thank you to dedicated Malvern Historical Society members Charm Woods (left) and Sonia Strock (right) for lending a hand at the Field of Honor. We are privileged to have such leading, community-minded citizens represent us at this historic event.