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Cuyahoga Falls Library celebrates bicentennial with local authors

By M.A. Ferguson-Rich Published: August 8, 2012
Library celebration
Mary McClure discusses her book, High Bridge Glens & Caves of Cuyahoga Falls, during Wednesday's literature arts and culture day celebration at Cuyahoga Falls Library. (M.A. Ferguson-Rich/

The Cuyahoga Falls Library, celebrating 100 years of existence, also joined the city’s bicentennial festivities on Wednesday with the Literature Arts & Culture Day.

A dozen local authors were at the library from 1-5 p.m., to sign books and share their literary perspectives on Cuyahoga Falls and beyond.

Local historian, Mary L. McClure was there with her photo essay on High Bridge Glens and Caves, a Victorian amusement park open in the city from 1879 to 1895.

Once located near the current site of the Sheraton Suites, the park spanned both sides of the river, and was a travel sensation that attracted 8,000 visitors a day during the summer season, according to McClure.

At the time, population in the city was only a little more than 2,000.

Described as the "Niagara of Ohio" by newspapers of the time, the park featured one of the very first rollercoasters, known as the "Circular Gravity Railway."

Unlike modern rides, the cars on the coasters were similar to a church pew.  Workers pushed the cars down hill to get started and momentum carried it back up to the finish. 

The ride lasted about 10 seconds and cost a nickel, McClure said.  Local youth referred to it as the "Hold Me Closer", because that's what happened between couples during the ride.

Haunted tales

Author Jeri Holland was present representing her book, Haunted Akron, which features stories about the haunted areas around Cuyahoga Falls.

Holland's book has several chapters with Cuyahoga Falls locations, including a tale of an unfortunate accident and death at High Bridge Glens. 

She also plans an upcoming appearance on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in October and those interested in the book can contact her at               

Poet’s Nook

Those interested in poetry were offered selections from authors, all members of the "Poet's Nook", a group of around 20 that meets at the Cuyahoga Falls library each month.

Poet's Nook member Shirley Securro, was present with her book of patriotic poems, and said that she does poetry readings at weddings and funerals.

Mark his words

Former Akron Beacon Journal writer Mark Dawidziak has been a Cuyahoga Falls resident since the 1980's.

He was there with mulitple books, including Mark My Words: Mark Twain on Writing, and The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Dracula.

The bicentennial celebration continues with Family Day on Thursday at Water Works Aquatic Center with free admission for Cuyahoga Falls residents from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.