Spring is right around the corner, and you’ll adore exploring these stunning local attractions.
It is no secret that the northern half of our county is home to some pretty fantastic places. When Scene 75 first opened its doors last year, the community hype was incredible, and many have found themselves returning to the coolest entertainment center around again and again. And, of course, when the snow finally melts, locals flock to Hinckley Reservation to enjoy the lake and ledges as they grow verdant and lush with new life. But, what is there to do in the southern portion of Medina County?
As it turns out, there is quite a bit worth exploring in the county’s southern half. As spring approaches and the region starts to warm up, you’ll definitely want to hit the roads and explore these unique attractions.
The Boy with the Leaking Boot
In 2014, Downtown Wadsworth unveiled an unusual statue beside its gazebo. The Victorian downtown district possesses the same charms as Medina Square, but unlike Medina, it is has a permanent resident with a bizarre story.
The Boy and the Boot is a replica of a statue in Sandusky. It depicts a young boy with one shoe held at about eye level, leaving one food cold and bare. The origins of the design are unknown, though similar examples exist throughout the world.
The Sandusky statue may actually be one of the earliest known example of this design in the United States, dating to circa 1876. The statue was zinc, like many of the same era. Wadsworth was previously a Boy with the Leaking Boot statue that dated back to about the same time frame, but it was purportedly used as scrap to further the war effort. Downtown, locals discovered, was never quite the same without him.
The statue that stands in Wadsworth today is cast in Everdur Silicon bronze. Though its original meaning has been lost to time, locals have adopted one of the most popular American interpretations of the statue: they say it depicts a boy bringing water to Civil War soldiers in a leaking boot. As such, it stands as a tribute to our community’s soldiers, past, present, and future.
Green Leaf Park
In 1818, brothers Abraham and Lysander Hard settled in Wadsworth. Around that time, the Hard family built a cabin on what we know today as Boneta Road.
Lysander was a preacher of the Methodist Church, and he is credited with preaching the first sermon in Wadsworth. On April 6, 1818, Lysander was voted as the Township Treasurer in the first election held after Wadsworth split off of Wolf Creek Township. One of his sons, Harlow Hard, studied medicine and served as the first physician in Marshall County, Indiana. Harlow was known as a “reluctant activist” in the antislavery movement.
Abraham, like his brother, was passionately involved in the church. Prior to leaving Vermont in 1816, Abraham married a woman named Rebecca Flagg, whose grandmother came to this country on the Mayflower. Abraham and Rebecca were described as active members of the Methodist Church of Wadsworth and River Styx that sacrificed time, labor, and money for the cause of their religion.
To put the Hard families’ date of settlement into perspective, Medina County was founded in 1812, but it wasn’t until 1818 that it was formally organized. In November of 1818, Medina was secured as the county seat when public square was deeded to Medina County by Elijah Boardman.
The Hard Family Log Cabin, which now stands in Green Leaf Park in Sharon Center, is the oldest standing structure in the county. As such, it is truly a sight to see.Beside this magnificent structure is a charming garden managed by the Medina County Herb Society. It is located at 1674 South Medina Line Road, just slightly past the Sharon-Copley intersection.`
Mound Hill Cemetery: Bates family grave
Martin and Anna Bates moved to Seville in 1873. The couple was known as the Seville Giants and, had you met them, it would have been plain to see why. Martin reached 7 feet 9 inches, whereas his wife towered over him at 7 feet 11 inches tall. How they met, and how they came to settle in Seville, is a story straight out of the movies.
Martin, a Kentucky native, was a normal sized baby. By age 6 he was said to be 300 lbs. As an adult, he must have been imposing when he fought with the Virginia State line troops in the Civil War. It was there that he gained the title of “Captain,” and there that he found a disdain for violence.
Repulsed by the Civil War, he left Kentucky and joined the circus. He he met Anna Haining Swan while working as a sideshow act traveling in California. Swan had gained fame working with P.T. Barnum. When they wed, they became an international sensation.They toured Europe, offering lectures and “teas,” even being received by European royal families.
Despite all their travels, it was the Ohio countryside that captured the couples’ heart. They purchased a farm of 130 acres and built a house of giant-proportions that allowed them to live comfortably. Shortly after they settled in, Anna birthed a baby that weighed in at an astonishing 18 lbs. The baby girl died at birth, weighing in at 2 lbs heavier than its mother when she was born. She would again give birth to a child in 1978, this one a boy. He weighed in at 23 pounds 9 ounces, making him the heaviest newborn on record. Though he lived only 11 hours, the Bates were awarded a Guinness World Record.
Anna died in her sleep unexpectedly in 1888, just one day before her 42nd birthday. Grief-stricken, Martin ordered his wife a statue of her likeness and mounted it on her grave in Mound Hill Cemetery, where she was buried with their two children.
Today, this giant love story is a bit of local lore, but you can still find artifacts from their life at local historical societies.
This stunning blue jewel is perhaps one of the most enchanting spots in the entire county. At 330 acres, it is the largest inland natural lake in Ohio.
Its shores have long been a site of human activity. Artifacts left behind by indigenous peoples have been found at the lake alongside fossils of megafauna (extinct mammals like the stag-moose and short-faced bear).
In the much more recent past, this lake attracted many of the county’s earliest residents. The beautiful site was selected as the home of Chippewa Lake Amusement Park, which officially opened its doors to locals in 1875. After more than a century of fun, it finally closed in 1978. Though ruins from its days as an amusement park remain, the site has been listed for sale as recently as the summer of 2017.
With such a rich history, it should come as no surprise that part of the lake is a public park today.
On the west side of the lake is Krabill Shelter, located at 7597 Ballash Road. From this lot it is easy to walk down to the waterfront to enjoy its majesty. You will walk along a wooded patch and field, which in the spring are vibrant with birdsong.