Steve Hambley has a strong affinity for history.
Hambley, who has a Ph.D from the University of Akron, taught history courses at Akron and Lorain County Community College. The Brunswick Republican, serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives, has recently reissued his book “Timeline of Medina County History.”
It’s being sold in four locations in Medina County, Miss Molly’s Tea Room, 140 W. Washington St., Medina, and three Project: LEARN Book Shelf locations in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth.
All the proceeds go to Project: LEARN’s adult literacy program.
Hardcover copies are $25.99 and paperbacks are $15.99.
One of his favorite sections is the notable gazebos in Medina, Litchfield Township, Sharon Center and Wadsworth.
“They are the focal point of the communities,” he said “The presence of these gazebos plays such a role, with band concerts and many different events.”
Medina’s gazebo was built in 1972 and was modeled after one in Bellville, Ohio. It replaced the fountain in Public Square Park.
Hambley, who lives in Brunswick, wishes his hometown had a town center like Medina. He said there is a gazebo at Westview Cemetery where it does host Memorial Day services.
He said any chance for a town center in Brunswick was altered when the Ohio Department of Transportation “destroyed our traffic circle” at the intersection of state Route 303 and U.S. Route 42.
“There were draining problems,” Hambley said. “It was in the late 1930s or ‘40s.”
He said a town center can be created.
“If you can, it’s a treasure.”
He said he’s gotten a lot of feedback from the 1800s section about the state’s first tax loophole. Trees were so dense in the state, it was said a squirrel could climb a tree in Cincinnati on the banks of the Ohio River and jump tree to tree all the way to Lake Erie. That might have been an exaggeration, but trees were that dense and there were millions of gray squirrels.
“The squirrels were a menace to farms,” Hambley said.
Members of the Ohio General Assembly passed a law in 1807 for all males of military age to kill at least 100 squirrels a year and deliver the hides to the township clerks when they paid their property taxes. If he delivered 100 hides, he got a tax credit of $3.
They had to repeal the law to restore enough ready cash in the treasury to pay the state’s bills.
“It created a tax incentive,” Hambley said. “It was the first tax abatement.”
That’s just a few tidbits from the bicentennial edition of the 104-page book.
“There’s some noteworthy stuff,” Hambley said.
“Items are short, sweet and informative. It’s not meant to be a narrative history of Medina County. It serves a purpose.”
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.