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Historic figures reincarnate to tell tales of Medina's past

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    Medina County Show Biz Company actor Manuel Aguiar portrays H.G. Blake, who founded Old Phoenix Bank on Public Square in Medina, during the 22nd annual Spirits of the Past tour last year. BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE FILE

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    Medina County Show Biz Company actors Ron Svoboda, left, and Mike McClintock, portray Edward Welling and Charlie Iper, respectively, as part of Spirits of the Past last year. They were discussing the founding of the Medina Community Band. BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE FILE

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23508291

Medina County Show Biz Company actor Manuel Aguiar portrays H.G. Blake, who founded Old Phoenix Bank on Public Square in Medina, during the 22nd annual Spirits of the Past tour last year. BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE FILE

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MEDINA — Historical figures from the city’s past once again will walk among the living to tell their stories.

The 23rd annual Walk with Spirits of the Past will be Thursday through Sept. 9 on Public Square. It’s a joint effort of Medina County Show Biz Co., Medina County Historical Society and Medina County Arts Council.

“All the stories are true Medina history about the people and events,” said director Donna Bica of Show Biz. “This year, since we’re celebrating the (city’s) bicentennial, we’ve put all the stories together to help people understand the history of coming here.”

Bica said they have more than 50 stories to pick from and can go eight years without repeating any of them, if they wish.

“That’s why people can come back every year,” she said. “This year we have three older stories and three new stories to celebrate the bicentennial year.”

The walk will concentrate on six stories from Medina’s earliest times in 1816-18:

  • Rufus Ferris (new), land agent for the Connecticut Land Co. who sold lots to settlers, played by Nick North;
  • Zenus Hamilton and his wife, the first permanent settlers, played by Charlie Richard and Germaine Wilson;
  • Lathrop Seymour (new), director of the city, played by Eric Smith;
  • Eliza Northrop, the first school teacher, played by current Northrop teacher Cyndi McClintock and four students — Mary McClintock, Josephine Robinson, Piper Hadad and Madeleine Rogers;
  • Austin Badger, cleared the woods for the city’s square, played by Charles Ramer;
  • First Fourth of July, re-enacted by Zen Kotori, Carolyn Robinson, Vickie Jackson and Chadwick Sunday, and child actors Ben Jackson and Tyler Skilskyj.

The tour ticket-taker, Stefanie Plymale, will portray Mrs. Rufus Ferris.

Bica’s co-director for Spirits of the Past is Marcia Aguiar.

The idea for the walk began 23 years ago, Bica said.

She said she visited a ghost walk in Warren and wanted to try something like that here, but with a focus on the history of Medina.

“Besides history, there were a lot of interesting events that happened,” Bica said. “It’s a great learning experience to learn about Medina’s history.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Ormandy’s Trains and Toys, 10 Public Square. Adult tickets are $5 in advance and $6 on the night of the walks, and $2 and $3, respectively, for children younger than 12.

The walks will start at the Medina County Administration Building, 144 N. Broadway St. — 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday and 7-9 p.m. Sept. 7 and 8.

There will be a special production at 4 p.m. Sept. 9 at Miss Molly’s Tea Room, 140 W. Washington St., and reservations are required. Tickets are $23 and include a meal.

In case of rain, the event will be moved indoors at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 317 E. Liberty St.

For more information, call (330) 722-5502.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.

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