Monday, March 14, 2011

Cleveland Disaster Expert John Stark Bellamy Returns

Press release received:

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Cleveland crime and disaster expert John Stark Bellamy II returns to town April 4-16, 2011 for a series of talks based in part on his newest book, "The Last Days of Cleveland" (Gray & Co., Publishers).

Bellamy will share stories about some of the gruesome crimes and scandalous events from Cleveland's past including: the suicide of two West Park girls (ages 10 and 11) who died after eating rat poison in their grandmother’s basement; the wild prophecies of the Rowenites who announced the apocalypse would take place at midnight on February 6, 1925 then gathered on rooftops in Garfield Heights to wait for the end; and the murder of George Saxton, playboy brother of President William McKinley whose sensational death and the murder trial of his mistress riveted an entire nation.

The author of six story collections and two anthologies and the former history specialist for the Cuyahoga County Library system, John Stark Bellamy retired to Vermont in 2004. He visits Cleveland periodically to speak about his work.

Bellamy’s library talks will take place at the following dates, times, and locations. All events are free and open to the public.

For another online version of this schedule, visit:

For more information, call the listed libraries, or call Gray & Company, Publishers at 1-800-915-3609. Contact: Jane Lassar; 1-800-708-2819;


Monday, March 07, 2011

S.J. Kelly and Nathan Ambler

A researcher just reminded me that S.J. Kelly did a large number of columns on early Cleveland history for the Plain Dealer about 80 years ago. George Condon has given me a quite a few of them he'd collected, to promote the memory of a fellow PD columnist whose work he respected, and I've thought about mounting them to the web. Meanwhile, here's a sample of one by Kelly, about dentist Nathan Ambler, whose home was a landmark on the promontory near what's now the Baldwin Filtration Plant, and whose name now graces Ambler Park. The home was surrounded by his artificial "ruins" and is pictured above, from the 1874 Cleveland atlas by Titus.

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