January 21, 2020 —Our friends at the Oberlin Heritage Center are here often, as the Kendal auditorium is frequently the site for their presentations about the history of our region. And many Kendal residents are members of OHC, helping them continue their mission, “to preserve and share Oberlin’s unique heritage and to make our community a better place to live, learn, work and visit.”
The August 2014 issue of the OHC e-Gazette includes two brief news stories relating to Kendal residents. The excerpt below tells how the Kendal Woodshop Committee helped with a special “building,” Oberlin’s Little Free Library.
Little Free Library Up and Running at OHC
Don’t miss the delightful mini-replica of the Little Red Schoolhouse on the OHC grounds, which is one of Lorain County’s newest Little Free Library locations. The Little Free Library initiative offers a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors can share their favorite literature and stories. The Heritage Center’s “mini-schoolhouse” library was built to scale by the great Kendal woodworking team of Bud S., Jim S. and Ed W. (you’ll just LOVE the shingled roof “miniaturized” from a few of the Schoolhouse’s full-size shingles!). This charming little library has already seen a lot of activity with plenty of positive feedback inscribed in the visitor journal tucked inside. Stop by and “check it out.”
The second excerpt tells how a Kendal resident and OHC member saved a little bit of Oberlin’s past by repurposing the sandstone pavers that were once made up the city sidewalks.
Re-Use from the Past is a Gift to the Present
Thank you to OHC Endowed Life Member Demmie C. for sharing this heartwarming story about the journey – through time and across town – that has been made by some beautiful old Oberlin sandstone pavers. As you may know, early sidewalks in Oberlin were made of sandstone, most likely acquired from nearby quarries. In 1995, when Demmie and husband Jep were planning a move to the new retirement community Kendal at Oberlin, Jep noticed a nice pile of large sandstone pavers curbside at the corner of Union and North Main Streets where local residents were upgrading neighborhood sidewalks. Jep purchased the pavers from one of the homeowners and had them installed in a patio at their new Kendal cottage. For years, they enjoyed having a piece of Oberlin history right outside their new door. After Jep passed away, Demmie eventually moved to a Kendal apartment. Around this same time her old cottage neighborhood underwent a major re-design and renovation, so Demmie asked that the sandstone pavers be kept and stored so that they might someday be re-used and enjoyed again. Not long ago, Kendal volunteers began sprucing up the wetlands area at the entrance to the Heiser Community Center at Kendal. The group approached Demmie to see if they might incorporate the saved sandstone in their project. Demmie liked the idea, and today, you’ll see an inviting sandstone patio gracing the wetland’s northern rim. There’s even a bench for relaxing, bird-watching, or simply enjoying the view. What a wonderful tribute to Jep, a longtime trustee of the Oberlin Heritage Center, and his original vision to hold on to the sandstone, re-use it, and preserve a lovely bit of Oberlin history.
As you can see, Kendal at Oberlin residents appreciate the history of their greater community. They continue to be actively engaged in efforts to preserve and share the wonderful history of Oberlin.