The gazebo, Medina’s visual symbol and best loved landmark, is not as old as the Victorian buildings that surround it.  The Community Design Committee (CDC) placed it in the center of the park in 1976 as a finishing touch to its nationally lauded restoration of Public Square. It is a copy of an 1879 structure from Belleville, Ohio, but it fits so seamlessly with the surrounding architecture, that the casual visitor is hard pressed to believe it hasn’t stood there since the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes.

"Gazebo in the snow"

The gazebo is actually the last of a series of structures to occupy the center of Public Square Park — the three acre plot donated to the village in 1817 by Medina’s founder, Elijah Boardman.  The park has served as the community’s gathering place for close to 200 years.

Here is what came before the gazebo.  These photos are from the collection of the Medina CDC.

historical collections of ohio edited

This first picture is an 1846 sketch of Medina as depicted in Henry Howe's book , "Historical Collections of Ohio". It shows a simple flagpole planted in the center of the village green. Originally, the park was surrounded by a fence to keep out livestock. It was the setting for the first Medina County Fair and for regularly scheduled military musters.

1868 band concert

The second photograph dates from 1868. It shows an early band concert in progress on a crudely erected platform in the center of the park. The popular Medina tradition of summer band concerts dates back to the 1850's.

1890 fountain

In the 1890's, this classically elegant fountain, surrounded by a fishpond, graced the center of Public Square park. Note that the fencing around the park had disappeared. Presumably wandering livestock no longer presented a problem.

1914 fountain

In 1914, for reasons unknown, the classic fountain was replaced by this rather fanciful creation. It was constructed of local rocks gathered by the pupils of Garfield School at the request of the Medina Improvement Association.

Many Medina residents still remember this fishpond equipped with revolving colored lights which at one time stood in the center of the park. It was donated by the civic minded Freda Snyder, owner of Medina Farmers' Exchange and was removed in 1976 to make way for the gazebo.

Many Medina residents still remember this fishpond equipped with revolving colored lights which at one time stood in the center of the park. It was donated in 1951 by the civic minded Freda Snyder, owner of Medina Farmers' Exchange, and was removed in 1976 to make way for the gazebo.

3 Responses to “The Heart of Medina”

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