On July 23rd, the Cleveland Metroparks turns 100 years old. Let’s turn back the clock so we can put everything into perspective, shall we? In 1917 the US had officially entered WWI, Babe Ruth was still pitching for the Red Sox, and the Terminal Tower wasn’t built yet. But the Cleveland Metroparks – Ohio’s largest park district – was breaking ground.
The idea for a metropolitan park district in Cleveland was actually conceived 12 years earlier, in 1905, by William Stinchcomb. Born on the near west side of Cleveland in 1878, Stinchcomb was a self-taught engineer and avid conservationist.
In 1902 Mayor Tom Johnson (there’s a big statue of him in Public Square) put Stinchcomb in charge of parks. Well, there weren’t a lot of parks in Cleveland back then. But Stinchcomb set out to change that. He drew up his idea for “an outer system of parks and boulevards” and presented it to City Council.
His project didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of deliberating at the State Legislature, but his work finally paid off. It started with 3.4 acres of land in Rocky River and has since grown to 23,000 acres with 18 reservations, 300 miles of trails, 8 golf courses, 8 lakefront parks and a well-known zoo!
This leads us to believe things that are good start somewhere and last a long time. Take us for instance. We started with one store 37 years ago with a goal of making high quality food. We’ve grown to multiple stores because we’ve never lost sight of our purpose. When you’re out there enjoying the Metroparks, take a minute to remember that all good things start somewhere and spread. And if your stomach starts growling, Rascal House is closer than you think.