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Saturday, May 25, 2013


The other day I passed the new “Welcome to Eastlake” sign. Let me clarify, as I had passed the new sign scores of times. I should say “the other day I was able to take a moment to actually look at the new 'Welcome to Eastlake' sign”.

The new sign stands at the corner of Vine Street and S.O.M. Center Road. The former Welcome sign and plantings had succumbed to injuries sustained when a car crashed into it. It is my understanding the remains were interred in a private, non-disclosed location. A brief memorial service for the former sign was held at the time of interment.

 The new one is a bright blue, white, green and brown affair. White space, lots of white space, is apparent. A nice font welcomes one and all to the city. There is a rendering of a river, bordered by Lodge Pole Pines, cascading over a waterfall, and forming either a wider river, or a lake; depending upon one’s perspective.

Huh…. A waterfall. I was somewhat puzzled by this being part of the sign. Having lived in Eastlake for 3 decades now, I have yet to see any magnificent waterfalls. The nearest “waterfall” I could recall was the Daniels Park dam. Yet, that was washed out in January of 2005 during heavy rains and flooding. Besides; can a man-made “low head” dam be called a waterfall?  Yes, water spilled over it, creating a falls. Regardless, the dam was located up-stream of Eastlake, in the City of Willoughby. 

Having grown up in Mayfield Village, the Chagrin River has been a constant in my life. I cannot recall any natural falls upon the Chagrin, save for the ones located in Chagrin Falls. The nearest natural falls to the Chagrin I am aware of are Buttermilk Falls. It is important to note that “Buttermilk Falls” are NOT made of buttermilk. If they were buttermilk, come around July, a more apt name would be Yogurt Falls.

Two rather significant points however; these falls (they are captivating to observe, exciting to traverse) are located on a tributary stream to the river. Secondly, Buttermilk Falls are located in Cuyahoga County. A pretty far stretch to suggest Buttermilk Falls would be represented on a City of Eastlake sign wouldn’t you say?

Thoughts of the waterfalls raised further questions regarding the Lodge Pole pines.  Here again, stretching my memory, I could not for the life of me recall stands of Lodge Pole pines. White pines, larch, juniper… yes. Stately Lodge Poles??? Not so much.  

Again, the only Lodge Poles I can recall are located in the Chagrin Reservation Park, and the Holden Arboretum. 

The Chagrin is bordered by cottonwoods, maples, oaks, ash, hickories, and the above mentioned conifers. Not a Lodge Pole to be found along her banks.

Surely, one can appreciate my puzzlement over these seeming inaccuracies on the welcome sign.

Maybe someone found it in a Bargain Basement sale.

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