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!

5 Absurd Auto Insurance Claims You’ll Never Believe Were Real

It stands to reason that when you’re filing an insurance claim, something out of the ordinary has happened. That’s what insurance is for, after all. To be there when life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

The following real, verified cases are more than just unexpected, however. They are downright absurd. We’re sure you’ll agree!

This Is Not Santa’s Coal

Delaware’s Nicolas DiPuma thought he had a brilliant plan to commit insurance fraud: he’d toss buckets of burning coals into his car, claim it was an accident, and collect a payday.

Unfortunately for DiPuma, the police saw through his ridiculous plan almost immediately. It didn’t help that he concocted an absurd story that included tripping with his bucket of coals and accidentally tossing it into his open convertible, torching his car. He got five year’s probation for fraud.

Bumper Lickin’ Good

According to The National Underwriter magazine, a fisherman who had recently returned from a lengthy fishing trip to the coast filed a claim when his herd of cattle licked his vehicle so much they caused it damage, including chewing up the rubber.

As the story goes, the cows were attracted to salt buildup on the car from the ocean air. If true, that’s as absurd as they come!

… But You Can’t Hide

The northwest is known for being a bit quirky, but this was a little weird even for Seattle. In December 2011, a couple driving an SUV had strapped a mattress to the roof of their vehicle when (predictably) the mattress came flying loose and caused an accident.

After multiple cars stopped to help, the SUV driver fled the scene – without the passenger. The onlookers left the scene as well, but when one got a few miles down the road, they noticed someone in their back seat: the missing passenger from the SUV! Turns out the SUV was uninsured and both were trying to flee.

Yes, they were caught.

At Least The Tank Was Clean

According to British insurer Elephant, they once had a claim from a woman who said she mistook a large container of shampoo for gasoline. She proceeded to pour it into her tank and ruined her car.

Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em

Block and Hyland Inc. once got a pair of strange claims from one client that stretched credulity. First, after a hail storm, the client filed claiming that the auto had been damaged in the storm. The adjuster was skeptical, though, since all the dents were perfectly symmetrical and were all the same size – the same size as a ball peen hammer head.

Seemingly caught in the act of fraud, the client then filed a police report claiming an unknown man attacked his car with a ball peen hammer and, based on the report, filed a new claim!

Sure, the insurance industry is usually a pretty dry, by-the-book field devoted to giving people peace of mind, but as the above stories show, sometimes it gets a little weird.

10 Easy Summer Escapes Near Chagrin Falls

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to get out and have some adventures with your friends and family.

Thankfully, Chagrin Falls and the surrounding region offer plenty. Whether you’re getting out for the day with the little ones or are looking for a Saturday adventure with friends, these places should be on your list:

1. Chagrin Waterfalls

We couldn’t forget the namesake of Chagrin Falls! There are few nicer places to visit in the summer. This time of year you’ll love the gorgeous views of the falls, the mesmerizing sound of the water, and getting your fill at the concessions. Very nice place to bring the family!

2. Chagrin Valley Little Theatre

This quaint little theatre has been serving the community since 1930, offering a wealth of art and culture to the region. Here you’ll enjoy plays, musicals, dance, and more. And don’t forget their youth programs and murder mysteries!

3. Preston's Hope

If you have a family, this park should be high on your list of places to visit. Preston’s Hope features a miniature “town” that kids love, and with tons of room for romping your kids will be exhausted by the time they leave – which is great news for tired parents!

4. South Chagrin Reservation

With a lively river, forest full of places to explore, and the mysterious Squaw Rock carving, this huge park offers a perfect summer outing for adventurous residents. It’s s great place for group and family outings, too, with year-round educational programming year-round events like group bike rides and bird watching.

5. The Greenville Inn

Boasting a history that stretches back to the 1800s, The Greenville Inn is a good place to visit if you love music. They’ve been drawing the area’s best talent for as long as we can remember, and with so many locals making it a part of their Friday and Saturday night, you’ll always feel welcome.

6. Forest Ridge Preserve

This newly expanded preserve is an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors thanks to its wealth of trails, fishing ponds, and endless swaths of green. If you enjoy extended hikes, Forest Ridge connects with the South Chagrin Reservation, allowing you to put some miles on your shoes during the nice weather.

7. River Road Park

Boasting a large playground that is easily visible from anywhere in the park, this is one of the Chagrin Falls region’s most overlooked spots. There are trails for hikers and joggers, sports fields for getting together with the gang, and bathrooms with full plumbing. Great place to spend a spring afternoon!

8. Chagrin Falls Historical Society Museum

Open on Thursdays, the museum’s impressive collection of artifacts, photos, furniture, artwork, newspapers, and more will give you a window into the past that will make you appreciate the region even more than you already do.

9. The West Woods

A quick trip to Novelty will bring you to the West Woods, a park filled with well-maintained and secluded trails perfect for hikers. This is an excellent location for horseback riding, too.

10. Whitesburg Park

It’s not a big, sprawling nature preserve. Located near downtown Chagrin Falls, this is instead a cozy little park with approachable trails and nice water features. Perfect nature escape for the family.