My name is Roberta Malbin Levenson. I am a lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio. Recently, I attended a talk Dan Ruminski presented on the Drury Mansion and the Francis Drury family/legacy. The former mansion is located on land now owned by the Gilmour Academy and is less than a mile from where I live in Gates Mills, Ohio.
Like many native Clevelanders, I knew the Drury name because of it’s’ connection to the Cleveland Playhouse. I’d passed by the Drury Mansion countless times but had no idea of its significance or history. I found Dan’s presentation fascinating and found myself “stepping up to the plate” when he requested the participation of any interested audience member(s) in an effort to change the way Cleveland is perceived and share its rich heritage.
As we delve into the history of Cleveland, we encounter people who have relocated to this area from elsewhere for a myriad of reasons. It is very interesting to talk to these individuals and learn about their preconceived impressions of this city and to discover how they came to view and experience Cleveland after residing here for some time.
Besides new Clevelanders’ experiences, future blogs will feature those of individuals who have left the area, yet have fond memories of life in this city. Other articles will feature native Clevelanders who have had experiences bearing a direct connection to people and events of the late 19th-early 20th century.
Our purpose here is to dispel the “mistake on the lake” impression that has sometimes been eluded to when people refer to Cleveland. By sharing some of the history of the Industrial Era in Cleveland along with anecdotal stories—both historical and current, we believe that followers of this blog will discover their impression of Cleveland evolve to a point where they will consider this city as the “gem on the lake” as we do.
We will connect events of the Industrial Era and those individuals who were responsible for it with the treasures we have in Cleveland one hundred plus years later. We are excited as we begin this unique journey into Cleveland history.
– Written by: Roberta Malbin Levenson