Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Admiral's Birthplace Gets Its Due

This Plain Dealer article from April 12, 1942 features Admiral King's birthplace
It was great to read last week in the Morning Journal (here) that Admiral Ernest J. King's birthplace on Hamilton Street will finally get some sort of official recognition, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Charleston Village Society Inc. (CVSI) and the Black River Historical Society.

Photo from King's autobiography
You might remember the newspaper editorial from 1966 (which I reprinted here) in which his house was referred to as "an insignificant old frame dwelling".

Happily, times – and opinions – have changed.

It is finally apparent that while buildings named for Admiral Ernest J. King may come and go, the building that he was born in is special – and worth recognizing.

But the process of trying to get landmark status for the house as King's birthplace has resulted in a 'birther' controversy!

According to Loraine Ritchey of the CVSI, there was not enough positive, documented proof that King was actually born there for the house to have landmark status. Local researchers even found a copy of his birth certificate, but the Hamilton Street address was not on it.

May 27, 1949 clipping
However, King's own autobiography confirmed the house as his birthplace, and the sentimental old salt continued to visit it almost every time he came to Lorain. A short article (at left) from the Lorain Journal of May 27, 1949 shows that even during a brief visit to his hometown, he found time to stop by the old homestead.

Nevertheless, it is a great solution to create a park opposite the house with a memorial honoring King, and the Charleston Village Society and the Black River Historical Society are launching a campaign to raise money for it.

For more information, call the Charleston Village Society at (440) 246-6046. Or, to simply make a tax-deductible donation, make out a check (earmarked with "Admiral King Tribute") to Charleston Village Society, 1127 W. Fourth Street, Lorain, Ohio 44052.

1 comment:

Loraine Ritchey said...

Thanks we are trying and the publicity is much appreciated , we will be calling on you :) Loraine