One of Willoughby’s most recognizable features is the large flagpole in Pointe Park. The 110 foot pole has been in place for almost 114 years.
In the early months of 1901 a group of Willoughby citizens approached the village council with a proposal. They wanted to erect a large flagpole and dedicate it on July 4, 1901. The citizens committed to raising the funds ($500) to accomplish this. For the flagpole to be ready by July 4th, however, they needed the village to “front” the money. The village agreed and paid the five hundred dollars. Over the next year the citizens committee raised….twenty five dollars; the largest donation being five dollars.
I thought I’d share this story this month, because you’ll soon see this flagpole disappear, hopefully only for a short period of time. After 114 years its structural integrity has become a concern. In order to repair and refurbish the pole it must come down. Once the pole is dismantled, sand blasted and inspected in detail we will have a better handle on the cost to refurbish it and replace it in the park. As you can probably guess, the cost has increased somewhat from the original $500 price tag. In fact, one Northeast Ohio city recently completed a similar project, with the cost being over $100,000.
We’re working with the welding class from the Willoughby-Eastlake Career Academy to see if they can play a part in this project. Once the cost is known we’ll share this with city council and, hopefully, begin the process to repair and restore it.
I hope you’re having a great start to the summer and that I see many of you at our summer events. Have a great month.