As we near the close of 2018, I look back on a year filled with parades, concerts, historical programs, re-enactments, occasions of remembrance and times of festivity, during which the City of Medina came together to celebrate its Bicentennial.

Chaired by Roger Smalley, former councilman and now the curator of the Town Hall and Engine House Museum, every month featured a different segment of the community’s history. Smalley worked with a Bicentennial Committee and many community groups to bring us a year to remember.

With the help of Medina County Show Biz Company, we heard personal accounts of the life and times from many of our founding fathers and historic figures. Politicians, business owners, soldiers, slaves, educators, women of mystery and philanthropists told tales of early Medina. The Friends of the Cemetery under the leadership of Teresa Merkle brought the Civil War to life with re-enactors, including President Lincoln, and their daylong encampment.

Homecoming Week featured the Fourth of July Parade, with historian Bob Hyde as the Grand Marshall. Marchers, floats, a NASA space capsule and antique vehicles, kicked off the week which included a picnic in the park with birthday cake, fireworks, historic movies, a visit from an astronaut and old fashioned games for kids organized by Main Street Medina. The Friends of Memorial Pool honored those who built the pool and park with a day-long party, free swim and Frisbee tournament.

Our own Medina Community Band that dates back to 1859 played a series of summer concerts that featured many historic eras of music, while the Medina American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Miss Molly’s Tea Room brought us the Mystery Women of Medina.

Author Gloria Brown shared her research on the Medina City Schools and Dr. James Banks gave us the difficult history of World War I. We heard from Miles Reed and the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce about the businessmen and women that built our city. The Community Design Committee reminded us that the restoration of the Medina Square is one of the things that makes us unique.

We owe this wonderful celebration to the abounding spirit of Medina, from the generosity of numerous sponsors who stepped up to underwrite these experiences, to the hundreds of hours of volunteer time that went into the planning and execution of the events, we honored a community that appreciates its rich history. Thanks to all for a Bicentennial to remember.


Mayor Dennis Hanwell