Concord Township - Where History Never Grows Old
Tempus fugit - time flies and with the march of time always comes change. Local history is no exception. During the last 50-100 years, the changes in Ohio’s smallest county are infinite. The roads we travel today, homes we pass, stores we frequent are often different than the same road, home or shop from just a generation ago. Names, people or places are often lost in the passing of time. This month we examine a little corner of Lake County in Concord Township known as Spear Road or long ago the Spear Road property.
Today Spear Road Road is a dead end road with several homes and Concord Woods, a Lake Metroparks property totaling 31 acres occupying the half-mile road . The park, administrative and maintenance building include a shelter, playground and hiking loop for county residents to enjoy. That is the ‘now.’
‘Then' dates back to before the construction of I-90 divided the property. Spear Road was then part of Concord-Hambden Road. The Lake County Atlas records mention the M.A. Murray family residing there in 1815. As late as 1915 mention of Murray Meadows can be documented in county archives. Currently Ohio has 76,000 registered farms and over 14 million acres set aside for agricultural purposes. The average size is 184 acres with nearly 45% of all farms in the 50 acre range. Murray Meadows or The Old Homestead as it was referred to was an average sized farm in its day. Between 1915 and 1925 the property changed hands three times. George W. Crile, for whom Crile Road is named obtained the property in 1925. Change did not occur again until the 1950s when the industry-to- agriculture pendulum of Concord Township swung back to commercialization.
The 1950s construction of I-90 reconfigured the Spear Road portion of Concord Township. Commercial use came into the mix. Builder and Realtor Ralph Cohen developed the site for a labeling business known as Primark. In 1975, The Diamond Shamrock Company purchased that site. It housed its research division there and named it Concord Woods Safety Center. Thirteen years later the Center closed. Vacant for two years, Cipriani Development purchased the former center and sold it to Lake Metroparks in mid-1988. History is about change and this little snippet of local lore is waiting for the next chapter to unfold.
Source - This is Lake County, 1964 & The Park Bench, November 2017.
Submitted by Dan Maxson
Local Lore by Max, 2010-2016 - Community Media Lab, The News-Herald
Volunteer Trustee / Curator - FHHS / Fairport Harbor Lighthouse & Marine Museum
Volunteer Curator/ Docent - The Old Stone School, Concord township