MEDINA — A large horseshoe placed in the sidewalk along East Smith Road 130 years ago, and then misplaced during road work this year, recently was recovered through the efforts of City Engineer Patrick Patton.
“We have been talking about what to do. There are a lot of different options and everyone seems to have their own opinion whether it should go to a museum, or maybe go to the historical society or maybe put it back in the sidewalk,” Patton said during the City Council meeting Monday night.
At-large Councilman Bill Lamb said when the horseshoe went missing, the city took action to retrieve it from the contractor doing work on the gas lines in the area.
“The city was aware that it was there (in the sidewalk). The city intended to keep it,” he said.
Patton said one plan would be to create an 18-by-18-inch concrete pad for the horseshoe so it is near its original location but out of the actual sidewalk.
Resident Doug McClure told council about history of the horseshoe, and his concerns for the preservation of historical artifacts in Medina.
McClure said his great uncle owned a blacksmith shop on East Smith Road near where the GetGo gas station is today, and that the shop eventually was purchased by Jabe Holben.
“Mr. Holben built five houses near the intersection of South Broadway and East Lafayette Road,” he said. “He placed a horseshoe in the sidewalk near one of those houses and another across the street from the blacksmith shop.”
McClure said that while he was glad to hear the horseshoe had been recovered, he was concerned about the preservation of artifacts, such as the recently unearthed interurban railroad ties along North Court Street and bricks from the foundation of the American Hotel.
“I understand there is a historical artifacts commission that is charged with retrieving and preserving items such as these,” McClure said. “Where were they?”
Roger Smalley, who sits on the Archive Commission and attended the council meeting, said afterward that he received an email from McClure with some concerns about the commission being inactive.
“I was copied on an email about the concerns and I sent out a lot of information to the people that were on the list,” Smalley said. “Then I clarified with Doug tonight that the commission is active.”
Smalley said there are eight people on the Archive Commission, but it has space for three more members.
“There are some very good people that are on the commission but we can always use more help,” Smalley said.
Lamb said that while some Medina history may have been lost over the years, the city is fortunate to have a dedicated group of individuals such as local historians Smalley and Bob Hyde who have worked to preserved as much of it as possible.
“I don’t know that I ever drive through the square and don’t realize how blessed I am that I live in a place where so much of our history has been saved,” he said.