4 Fantastic Volunteer & Charity Opportunities in Chagrin Falls

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Whether it’s through volunteering or via charitable contributions, assisting your local nonprofits aids them in making the Chagrin Valley a better place to live.

These are four organizations we think are worth your attention and support:

The Chagrin Valley Jaycees

Getting involved with the Jaycees is a great way to keep some of Chagrin Falls’ most enjoyable happenings alive.

Responsible for events like the Annual Blossom Time festival and the Blossom Time Road Race, as well as volunteering to help decorate the town for the Christmas season, helping the Chagrin Valley Jaycees helps ensure this remains one of the region’s most breathtaking destinations.

Valley Art Center

The visual arts and the cultural enrichment they provide are vital to any community, which is why the non-profit Valley Art Center works to provide classes, exhibits, and more to thousands of students in Northeast Ohio.

Thanks to their efforts, we enjoy the Valley Art Center Mural, the Art by the Falls outdoor show, and an appreciation for the arts throughout the region, while also helping create a new generation of people who love and create art.

Chagrin Falls Dads’ Club

Since 1996, this non-profit organization has worked to improve educational, recreational, and social opportunities for children of the area. Over the years, they have raised over $350,000 for our schools.

All Dads living in the Chagrin School District who want to help find ways to make our schools, family and community better are welcome. Their efforts have helped bring new playgrounds to children, smartboards into their classrooms, playing fields, and more.

Give! Chagrin Valley

Existing for nearly 60 years under several different names, Give! Chagrin Valley is devoted to making life throughout the Valley a little better. Give! identifies local organizations in need and reviews projects those organizations hope to accomplish.

Once beneficiaries have been selected, they work to raise funds, boost awareness, and help make the recipient’s goals a reality.

They are also involved with supporting the Annual Blossom Time festival and related events, and in supporting the efforts of the Chagrin Valley Jaycees. 

4 Bizarre Cleveland Crimes to Remember this Halloween

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Cleveland has some chilling, often creepy historical murders that not everyone knows about, or at least they don't know that they happened in our city.

October 31st being Halloween, right now seems the perfect time to dip a toe back into these unsettling cases...

The Franklin Castle Murders and Haunting

Franklin Castle, which you can see in Cleveland’s Ohio City at 4308 Franklin Boulevard, is often called Ohio’s most haunted house – and that should come as little surprise, considering four children died there in just a few short years in the 1890s.

We should first point out that Hannes and Luise Tiedemann, the parents of those ill-fated children, were never charged with killing their kids.

That did not stop the rumors from running rampant, though, especially when three of them died three years in a row. Afterwards, the Tiedemanns began adding gargoyles and turrets to the home, supposedly constructed secret passages, and generally turned it into Weirdsville. Neither parent lived much longer, though.

The house was sold in 1895, and over the decades many owners have tried to turn it into a home, only to move out shortly thereafter.

The Torso Murders

In the 1930s, a maniac sometimes called the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run tormented Cleveland by chopping up at least a dozen of the city’s residents.

And we do mean chopping up. All the victims were decapitated. Many were cut completely in half. Males were castrated.

Yes, it was a messy business, so messy that the famous Eliot Ness, the man who took down Al Capone, came to Cleveland to help with the investigation.

The killer, alas, was never caught. Maybe that reclusive old guy down the street has a dark past …

The Real Life Fugitive

Remember that awesome movie where Harrison Ford jumps off a dam while Tommy Lee Jones looks on in frustration?

Well, turns out it and the show it was adapted from was loosely based on the story of Dr. Sam Sheppard, a Cleveland surgeon wrongly convicted of killing his wife.

The real killer was (probably) Richard Eberling, Sheppard’s handyman and a killer convicted of another murder (Ethel May Durkin) and suspected in several others.

Most of the evidence against Eberling didn’t begin to surface until late in life, however, and when he died at 68, the cases he was tied to were unofficially closed.

John O’Mic, Cleveland’s First Execution

Native Americans in Ohio sided with the British during the War of 1812 in part because of the hanging of John O’Mic.

O’Mic was part of the Massasauga band of Chippewas, and in April 1812 he was accused of murdering two trappers, Buel and Gibbs. O’Mic became the first Cuyahoga County man found guilty of murder and was hanged in Cleveland’s Public Square before a crowd of excited onlookers – but not before causing a big scene and demanding to be given whiskey before his hanging.

His executioners obliged. He got his whiskey. And then he was hanged.

On that note...Happy Halloween!

10 Things You Might Not Know About Cleveland

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We don’t have to tell you that Cleveland is pretty cool, right? Because it is. Heck, it might be the most underrated city in America.

It’s also a pretty interesting city. As proof, here are 10 things you might now know about our gem on the lake:

  • Cleveland almost went to war. In 1836, the still young city was only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River. A conflict erupted with nearby Ohio City over a proposed bridge between the two cities, and it came close to turning into a violent conflict. Now, of course, Ohio City is part of Cleveland.
  • John D Rockefeller is perhaps the most famous rich guy in history, and his company, Standard Oil, was one of the world’s largest and most controversial. And Rockefeller founded the company right in Cleveland in 1870, before moving it to New York 15 years later.
  • Lots of American cities defaulted on their debt during the Great Depression, but that trend ended when the Depression ended ... until 1978, that is, when Cleveland became the first city since the Depression to default on its debt. D’oh!
  • For two straight decades, the Cleveland Clinic was the top heart program in the United States. A healthy Ohio is a great Ohio!
  • If you love shopping malls, you have Cleveland to thank for them. The first indoor shopping mall in the U.S. opened in Cleveland in 1890. The Cleveland Arcade, as it was called, is no longer a mall, but the building still stands today.
  • You might already know the first electric streetlights came from Cleveland, but did you also know that X-Ray machines and full-body scanners were also invented here?
  • Euclid Avenue was once called Millionaire’s Row and was considered one of the most elite, desirable places in the world. This was in no small part because Rockefeller called it his home.
  • Famed Olympian Jesse Owners, who won four gold medals in 1936 in Berlin right in front of the world’s biggest bigot, Adolph Hitler, was from Cleveland.
  • Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo! Arsenio Hall is from Cleveland, too. He’s not a big deal now, but for a time he changed the way talk shows worked.
  • Lake Erie is both the warmest of the Great Lakes and also the most shallow.

Naturally, we could go on and on and on. Maybe we will in a future article, too. But for now, we hope this helped you get to know the city a little better!