Friday, July 20, 2018

REMEMBERING "THE TOE"


On many levels we enjoyed a most enlightening and memorable trip to Cleveland, Ohio, and its historical surroundings, and discovered some amazing information.


It happened that we were staying in the same Berea, Ohio, neighborhood of a larger-than-life hometown Cleveland hero, Louis Roy Groza, nicknamed and forever to be remembered in Cleveland as  "The Toe" (1/25/24 - 11/29/2000).

We stayed at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in our motorhome in the City of Berea, Ohio.  Lou Groza returned to again call this area his family's home after his retirement.  He was honored in numerous ways, almost too many to count!


Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
Berea, Ohio

Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
Berea, Ohio

Home of the Cleveland Browns
National Football League

Lou Groza Field
Berea, Ohio

In 2016 Groza was honored with a statue
in front of Lou Groza Field

In 2012, Lou Groza Field was built in Berea, Ohio.  The Lou Groza Field is the home of the Lou Groza Youth Football Program.
Lou Groza Field - No mistake this is a
honored football hero
Lou Groza played his entire career for the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League (NFL).  Groza was professional football's kicking and points leader when he retired after the 1967 season.  Upon retiring from the Browns, Gorza's number 76 was retired.  He played in 21 seasons for the Brown's, helping the team win 8 League championships.  He set numerous records for distance and number of field goals kicked during his career.  He is recognized for the following:
  • 4 times AAFC Champion
  • 4 times NFL Championship
  • Selected 9 times for the Pro Bowl
  • NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • 1974 Inducted into Professional Football Hall of Fame
#76 is honored on the Lou Garza Field
in Berea, Ohio
Groza set NFL records for field goals made in 1950, 1952 and1953.  Sporting News Magazine
named him the League's "Most Valuable Player" (MVP) in 1954 when the Browns won another championship.  In 1974 he was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Cleveland Browns Training Facility
Berea, Ohio

Lou Groza Boulevard
Berea, Ohio

The street the Cleveland Browns Training Facility is located was renamed "Lou Groza Boulevard".

Groza enrolled at Ohio State University on a football scholarship in 1942, but after 1 year in college, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to serve in World War II.  He was deployed as an army surgical technician in the Pacific theatre, where he stayed until returning in 1946 to play for the Cleveland Browns.  

In 1992, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, named the Lou Groza Award after him.  The award is given annually to the country's best college place kicker.  

Lou Groza suffered an apparent heart attack on 11/29/2000.  He was survived by his wife, Jackie, 3 sons, Jeff, Jon and Judd, and 1 daughter, Jill.  He is buried in Sunset Memorial Park in North Olmsted, Ohio.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

CELEBRATING THE PAST.....Inspiring The Future!!


Welcome To The Ohio Turnpike!

We enjoyed all that southern Michigan (around Kalamazoo and Battle Creek) had to offer, especially our visit to The Gilmore Museum, but now we were ready to move on toward our next destination.  We found the perfect campground for our short stay in Northwest Ohio, located in the Great Black Swamp.  Archbold, Ohio, is the home of Sauder Village, also known as Ohio's largest living history destination.
Welcome to Sauder Village
Archbold, Ohio

98 Room Sauder Heritage Inn

In 1976, Erie Sauder built a living history village to depict the pioneering, entrepreneurial spirit of Ohio's ancestors to honor the history and values that shaped our country.  The 235 acre Sauder Village is a large complex. Within the complex there is a living history farm and craft village preserving more than 75 historic structures and nearly 50,000 artifacts.  Sauder Village has a very highly rated 350 seat Barn Restaurant as well as banquet seating for 750 in Founders Hall.

Living History Village
Sauder Village
Living History Village
Sauder Village

Living History Village
Sauder Village
Costumed guides and working craftsmen in historic homes
and shops - Sauder Village
87 Site Sauder Village Campground
with Full Hook Ups

87 Site Sauder Village Campground
with Full Hook ups

Sauder Village
Archbold, Ohio

Doughbox Bakery

Doughbox Bakery at
Sauder Village
The founder of Sauder Village, Erie J. Sauder (1904-1997), was born on his family's farm south of Archbold, Ohio.  Woodworking was his true love and his reputation in woodworking was so well known that neighbors would often bring woodworking jobs to him.  Through the years Sauder was encouraged and supported by all who knew him to continue his business.  Today Sauder Woodworking is the largest maker of ready-to-assemble furniture in the United States.

Northwest Ohio Farms

Northwest Ohio - Large Old Farm Buildings
Erie Sauder's generosity extended beyond the local community.  He was one of eleven businessmen who formed the Mennonite Economic Development Association in 1953.  After World War II Russian Mennonites fled to Paraguay.  Sauder worked with the natives in Paraguay to teach basic skills that could lead them to self sufficiency and felt his work in this area was the most fulfilling in his entire life.

Sauder continued to build Sauder Village well into his 90's.  Sauder Village is the living legacy for the community and this region of Ohio.

Sauder Village
A Living Legacy for All
Since we had never been to this area before, we were pleasantly surprised to see all Sauder Village offered.  The atmosphere of Sauder Village allows everyone a place to slow down, spend quality time together and enjoy fun with a purpose. 


Monday, July 9, 2018

MUSCLE CARS AND MORE!

After spending an enjoyable month in Shipshewana, IN we departed to revisit one of our favorite all time  places.  The famous Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, MI is Michigan's #1 tourist attraction.  It is also one of the top 5 car museums in America and is located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.
The famous Gilmore Car Museum
Hickory Corners, MI

Once you arrive on a 2 lane road with several signs directing you to the entrance, your attention and curiosity is immediately drawn to the beautiful barns and vast brick buildings situated on 90 acres of meticulously manicured lawns and flower gardens.

The Classic Car Club Museum of America
The Gilmore Car Museum

Gilmore Car Museum
Barn Filled with Classic Cars

Barn Filled With Vintage Cabs
The Gilmore Car Museum

The person who brought all these collections together was the former CEO of Upjohn Pharmaceuticals, Donald S. Gilmore, and his wife, Genevieve.  In 1963, she gave him a 1920 Pierce Arrow (project car) as a birthday gift and the hobby soon grew into a collection of over 30 autos (which is now 400 automobiles).  Many are on loan from exclusive collections.

Barn Filled With Collectable Vintage Cars
The Gilmore Car Museum

Today, the site includes 3 historic barns, a recreated 1930 service station, a small town train station, an original historic roadside diner, and nearly 3 miles of paved roads.

1930's Service Station
The Gilmore Car Museum

Diner at The Gilmore Auto Museum

Good food with good friends!

  Several museums within the campground are the Classic Car Club of America Museum, Pierce Arrow Museum, Franklin Collection, Cadillac-LaSalle Club Museum, Model A Ford Museum, Tucker Historical Museum and Checkers Motors Archives.



  
There is plenty of room to freely roam around at your own pace, not to mention Fords, Cadillacs, Duesenbergs and Packards, muscle cars, motorcycles and even a Tucker. 
 
Vintage Cadillac Grill

Vintage Stutz hood ornament

Before we knew it we had spent over 3 unforgettable hours, and it really didn't matter that we had seen it all before!