Monday, May 23, 2016

Avon Lake/Sheffield Lake G.A.R. Highway Rededication Ceremonies

The new G.A.R. Highway sign at the Avon Lake western border
(previously masked in my earlier post)
The weather cooperated nicely on Saturday morning for the ceremonies celebrating the rededication of U. S. Route 6 through our area as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway. The newly installed G.A.R. Highway signs were unveiled in official ceremonies in which Peter Hritsko of the James A. Garfield Camp No. 142, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War shared unveiling duties with the Mayors of Avon Lake and Sheffield Lake.

It’s important to remember that the designation of U.S. Route 6 as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway was first proposed in 1934. It took all fourteen U.S. 6 states a while to pass official legislation, with the formal, national coast-to-coast dedication taking place in May 1953.

Anyway, first up Saturday morning was the Avon Lake ceremony. Strangely, there were no representatives from the media there (unless you count one bumbling blogger who kept getting in the way).

Here are some of my shots from that ceremony, which featured some members of the organization dressed in Civil War costumes.

Peter Hritsko and Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka
About an hour later, the ceremony for Sheffield Lake’s rededication of its portion of the highway took place. Sheffield Lake now has three G.A.R. Highway signs: one at the eastern end of town, one at the western border and the one near the Boat Launch.
The ceremony was held at the new sign near the eastern border of Sheffield Lake, located just a few hundred feet from the 103rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry compound.
Here are some of my shots.
Peter Hritsko with Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring 
The Morning Journal has a nice article by Carol Harper about the new G.A.R. Highway signs that you can read here. It includes some video, and also identifies some of the people dressed in period costume shown in my photos.
There was also a ceremony for Bay Village on Saturday which I was unable to attend.
So now there is a brand new G.A.R. Highway sign just two hundred feet from my house (below).
And there is the newly installed sign at the eastern end of town, located approximately in the same spot where Sheffield Lake’s original G. A. R. Highway sign stood (and I first noticed back in the 1970s).
What more could a history lover and old road junkie ask for?

1 comment:

KoHoSo said...

It's a shame nobody but you showed up to document this event. In addition to remembering the Grand Army of the Republic, taking an old school driving trip continues to become more popular...which brings in money! Driving old U.S. 6 is probably an even better journey than its more famous sister, Route 66, as it is much less commercial and was by far the most rural of the coast-to-coast highways. I'm always glad to see this road honored and remembered here in California even though it hasn't officially run past Bishop since 1964.