Several members of Founders Way North stand in front of their new sign that was unveiled Thursday on North Broadway Street. It's the fifth historic neighborhood in the city. PHOTO PROVIDED
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MEDINA — The Founders Way North Historic Neighborhood was officially dedicated Thursday evening on North Broadway Street.
The Founders Way Association unveiled two signs to bookend the neighborhood. They are at each end of North Broadway Street — one near Friendship Street and the other near Homestead Street.
“Now, we’re on the map,” said George “Skip” Baran, association president.
Founders Way is the fifth neighborhood association in the city, joining Bankers Row, South Court Street, Water Tower District and East Liberty Street.
“We got the signs done,” Baran said. “It’s a big step. We are now visible.”
There are about 60 members in the nonprofit neighborhood association, all within the boundaries of Friendship to Harding streets on North Broadway Street, east to Jefferson Street and west to North Court Street, Baran said.
About 25 people showed up for Thursday’s unveiling including At-Large Councilman Bill Lamb, Ward 2 Councilman Dennie Simpson and Ward 1 Councilwoman Laura Parnell-Cavey.
Lamb, who is also the executive director of the Community Design Committee, said the organization purchased the two signs for about $800 apiece.
“The CDC was kind enough to pay for them,” Baran said.
The association got its name from the fact that three of the city’s founders had houses on North Broadway Street — Lathrop Seymour, Rufus Ferris and David King.
Seymour built Baran’s house, 536 N. Broadway St., in 1834. Seymour was a director of the county lands for the town of Medina and also was the first county sheriff in 1818.
Jim and Nancy Gowe’s home, 506 N. Broadway St., was owned by King.
Both of houses were moved from their original location on Public Square. Gowe’s mansion was located where Medina Library is today.
The third house, built by Ferris in 1825, remains at 325 N. Broadway St. Ferris is one of the first land agents for Elijah Boardman, who is credited with discovering Medina County in the 1700s. Ferris purchased 227 acres for $1 to create the county seat in what was Medina Township.
The house was a stop on the stage coach line.
The Laribee & Hertrick, LLP, law offices occupy the house now.
Baran, also a board member of the CDC, said North Broadway is the widest street in town at 100 feet.
It was originally named Broad Way because a wagon could turn around without having to back up.
The dates on the Founders Way signs read 1825 to 2017.
Ferris’ house was built in 1825 and Laura Gowe’s house — on East Union Street — is located behind the Gowe mansion.
That’s the last house built in the Founders Way North area.
Baran’s wife, Janet, designed the artwork for the plaque. Jim Briola of North Coast Sign and Lighting produced and installed the signs.
Baran said the association is starting to build a sense of community by creating a strong social network.
It also wants to promote the preservation of historic homes.
Other officers for Founders Way are Brittany Troyer and Kerry Kelley, vice presidents; Janet Baran, secretary; and Linda Potter, treasurer.