Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Remember the Maine! Or Maybe Not – Part 2

Back in March 2010, I first noticed Lorain’s USS Maine memorial tablet in Veterans Park and grabbed the photo of it above.

Here’s a closeup of the tablet itself.

It was located towards the northern end of the park, near Wickens Place.  I have no knowledge of how long it had been there or how it got there.

Anyway, while visiting the park just before Christmas (to photograph the city’s Nativity scene), I noticed that the boulder containing the tablet was not where it was in 2010.

I walked around the park and found the boulder. It was lying on the ground at the southern end of the park, facing the former fire station – minus one tablet.
I put a call in to Lorain’s Park Dept. and spoke with an employee about the tablet. She was not aware of the tablet being missing, or of its possible removal for cleaning or repair. She took my name and number and I haven’t heard back since.
Here’s hoping that the USS Maine tablet is merely being prepared for proper reinstallation, and not on its way to the auction block (and a private collection) like so many others.

UPDATE (January 27, 2019)
It didn’t take long to get some answers as to what happened to the tablet.

I received an email yesterday from Loraine Ritchey. She explained that the Charleston Village Society, Inc. convinced the City of Lorain to remove the tablet after the group noticed that it has been vandalized (painted pink and attacked by scrappers). Apparently it was moved to City Hall where it was put on display for a time. (Loraine also posted a comment below.)

I also received an email from local historian Albert Doane, who passed along information that he received from Renee Dore. Renee confirmed that the tablet was removed a few years ago as a safety precaution against scrappers.

Today (Sunday), I paid a visit to Lorain City Hall, hoping to grab a photo of the tablet. The building was open, and I wandered around the lobby for about ten minutes without encountering anybody I could ask as to the tablet’s whereabouts. There was a display case full of student artwork, but no tablet.


Buster said...

Great articles and impressive sleuthing.

Dennis Thompson said...

You have got to be kidding me! Another bronze memorial missing along with the Harrison marker on Rt 511 west of Oberlin. On further inspection, and I hope I'm not just spoiling a part 3 surprise, but that looks like a different rock.


Dan Brady said...

Hi Dennis,
No part 3. It's the same rock. (I took lots of close-up photos in December and when I turned them upside down I was able to match the grooves and stains in the rock from the 2010 photo.)

Loraine Ritchey said...

OK the Remember the Main plaque which was painted pink was being attacked by scrappers .CVSI talked to the City 4 or 5 years ago and had it removed Because the plaque itself due to the sculpture etc according to the antique roadshow is worth between 2,500 dollars to 5,000 so it was taken to City hall and put in a display case and is still pink not sure why the rock was removed elsewhere maybe to do with the issue under the park all the wiring etc.