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Local Medina County News

Tour offers peek at Medina's past

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    Pat Morgan, president of the Medina County Genealogical Society, is one of the tour guides Saturday in Old Town Graveyard in Medina. She stopped by the grave of George Sillett, who lived from 1800-88.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Henry M. and Sarah Boardman gave the land for Old Town Graveyard to the town of Medina in 1836.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Dottie Nemec, spokesperson for Friends of the Cemetery, prepares the audience Saturday for a tour of Old Town Graveyard in Medina.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Paul Wood, a Friends of the Cemetery board member, cautions the audience to walk carefully over uneven terrain Saturday before the Old Town Graveyard tour in Medina.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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    Cynthia Szunyog, a Friends of the Cemetery board member, is one of the tour guides Saturday in Old Town Graveyard in Medina.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — About 100 people caught a glimpse of Medina history Saturday afternoon as they toured Old Town Graveyard on East Liberty Street.

The tour, organized by Friends of the Cemetery, featured the headstones and stories of Medina’s early settlers. The first burials in Old Town Graveyard were in 1810, according to the Friends of the Cemetery website.

“It’s important that we remember the history of all these people, regardless of whether they’re featured on the tour, because they have stories that brought us to where we are now,” Dottie Nemec, Friends of the Cemetery spokeswoman, said.

The Old Town Graveyard tour was the latest in a series of events celebrating Medina’s bicentennial this year.

The tour stopped at the grave of Olney Bradway, for whom Bradway Street in Medina was named. He was born in Massachusetts in 1807, and in 1857 he and his wife, Harriet, and their children moved to Hinckley. They eventually settled in the village of Medina in 1865.

Bradway, a surveyor, was also one of the first milkmen in Medina, delivering buckets of milk to farmers.

In 1867, he bought a home that stood on 20 acres, bounded by West Union Street to the south, West Homestead Street on the north, North Huntington Street on the west and North Court Street on the east.

“Bradway Street, which now runs through the center of that property, was once the home’s driveway,” said tour guide Paul Wood, a member of the Friends of the Cemetery board.

Bradway died in 1874. His grandson Herbert Bradway was Medina’s town marshal for 15 years near the turn of the 20th century, Wood said.

Cynthia Szunyog, another member of the Friends of the Cemetery board, told the story of Harmon Munson, one of three Revolutionary War veterans buried in Old Town Graveyard. Munson was born in 1738 in New Haven, Conn.

At first, Munson fought with the Loyalists, alongside the British, in the Revolutionary War. But because the British treated him so badly, he switched sides and joined the 8th Connecticut Regiment in the Continental Army.

Munson and his wife, Anne Bronson, didn’t move to Medina until he was 82, in 1820. He attracted attention among Medina residents because few people lived to that age.

After arriving here, Munson wanted to meet the judge and lawyers in town, so one day he attended court, which at the time was held in a tavern. He started talking to a man he didn’t realize was the judge.

“I hear the judge is a pretty smart man,” Munson said.

“Smart enough,” the judge replied.

“But they say he drinks,” Munson said.

Szunyog said there’s no record of how the judge responded to that remark.

Messages may be left for Bob Sandrick at (330) 721-4060.


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