In honor of their 150th anniversary, the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) recently opened the Cleveland Starts Here® exhibit at the Cleveland History Center. This celebratory exhibit is sponsored by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and walks visitors through The Land’s stories from the 1790s to present-day. I was fortunate to attend the grand opening and eager to learn more about my hometown’s history. From Lebron James’ championship winning shoes to videos of diverse Clevelanders sharing their love for the city, I was able to walk away feeling excitement and pride in saying “Yeah, I’m from Cleveland”. Whether you’re visiting Cleveland for the first time or have called Northeast Ohio home for your entire life, here’s three reasons why you should visit the Cleveland Starts Here® exhibit.
Three Reasons to Visit the Cleveland Starts Here® Exhibit
- You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. Did you hear the exciting news that Cleveland made National Geographic’s places you need to visit in 2018 list? That’s amazing and this accomplishment needs to be celebrated…but you also need to understand the past to fully appreciate how far Cleveland has come! Through images, artifacts and film, you’ll be able to see, touch and hear about Cleveland’s failures and successes throughout the years. Once you’ve fully understood the past, you’ll be able to envision the positive future that the 216 beholds.
- It’s interactive and appeals to diverse ages & interests. Sports fan? Check out the old Chief Wahoo sign from Municipal Stadium. History enthusiast? Be sure to spend time reading through the timeline wall. Lover of stories? Stop by the theater to hear Clevelander’s share personal accounts of innovation, immigration, entrepreneurship and more!
3. This is your one-stop shop to to discover Cleveland and Northeast Ohio’s history! One of my favorite parts of attending this grand opening was sitting with strangers while nibbling on delicious appetizers themed after Cleveland’s prominent neighbors (think Tremont + pierogies; Little Italy + chicken marsala). While I’m in my late-twenties, my new-found friends were a bit older (& wiser) than me and shared countless stories of their memories of Cleveland “when they were young”. It’s important to remember and honor the past and this is the perfect place to do so!
I think that we honor ourselves by honoring our past. -Jimi Hendrix
I hope that these three reasons encourage you to visit the Cleveland Starts Here® exhibit so that you can understand our city’s history and help create a vibrant and hopeful future.