In 1968, North Royalton was still a farm based community. The January 11 Recorder reported that Royal Ridge Poultry Farm, 14638 Ridge Road, added a Frozen Egg Division. Three trucks from Royal Ridge collected eggs from 20 surrounding farms for preparation and sale. Extra eggs would be pasteurized, frozen, then sold to bakeries, egg nog makers, and other businesses.
Agriculture is not even a second thought today. Royalton Farms, an orchard on State Road, produces apples available from late August until sold out. Grace Brothers Nursery, Ridge Road, offers farm produce shares through a Community Sustainable Agriculture program; fresh organic brown eggs are available.
February notes that U.S.N. Engineman 2nd class, Michael Dolezal, was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery under fire in rescue of several seriously wounded soldiers during the Mekong Delta River Assault.
Lester Edgerton was mayor for thirty eight of North Royalton’s 150 years. The recently retired mayor was feted at a dinner in his honor on March 23. The new mayor, Leonard Hlavin, greeted all those in attendance. Mr. Louis Seltzer, chief of the Cleveland Press, was the main speaker. Mayor Edgerton had the distinction of being the longest serving mayor in the U.S. at that time.
The 84th annual homecoming was a great success. People were encouraged to dress in clothing styled from the 1800s. In contrast to the 19th century garb, NASA displayed a 20th century Centaur Rocket. The upper stage launch vehicle was 42 feet long and 10 feet in diameter. The Recorder said it would be a, “thrill for the ‘younger set’,” and everyone else to be sure.
The advertising for Gene’s North Royalton Hardware’s grand opening on July 11 was bigger than the Recorder. Eight full pages advertised dozens of items on sale at the 10,000 sq. ft. store with a 200-space parking lot.
The August Sesquicentennial (1818 – 1968) went off without a hitch. Celebrations included: a parade with bands, baton twirlers, and costumed participants riding vintage conveyances; a dance, baking contests, an auction that included a log cabin towed, for free, to any place in North Royalton, a promenade around the green, a heritage home tour, and a ‘White Elephant Emporium,’ sponsored by the PTA.
In October the Recorder noted that Rose Tylicki was the only girl in her 1949 Western Reserve University, School of Pharmacy graduating class. Rose, a registered pharmacist at Rauschkolb-Dyke drug store, was a true pioneer in the world of work for women “on the job.”
In November Royalton got its first and only coin-op dry cleaning and laundry. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., anyone could do all the family’s dry cleaning and the laundry at one time; an attendant was there to help.
The year wound down with Christmas Greetings from all the churches, schools, businesses, city council members, the mayor(s), and many folks who lived and worked in North Royalton. A Christmas Dance was held at the high school with Lou “King” Kirby, from WIXY 1260 as MC for a live band.
North Royalton’s Bicentennial is two years away. Check your closets now for 20th Century vintage clothing that will include ten decades of styles; everything from flapper dresses to go-go boots, WWI and II uniforms and styles, 50s, 60s, 70s, and the awful 80s.

The Chamber of Commerce tried for years to transfer title of Memorial Park to the City. In February 1969, the city and school board agreed to use the land for educational purposes and recreation.
Back to the Front: Broadcast Specialist 5 Len Anthony Archdeacon, correspondent for American Armed Forces Radio, Saigon, was due for discharge by the end of March, 1969. Archdeacon had toured with the Bob Hope Show in 1968. Don T. Ebersole, Medic, 9th Division, was awarded the Silver Star for bravery. Don risked his own life and saved three men in his platoon. Don was attached to the Riverene Forces Mekong Delta.
Honored for their work in North Royalton, the Kiwanis were notified that they were the Best of the Best of the 2963 Kiwanis organizations world-wide, for 1968. They sponsored the after prom, “continuing an evening of Jade.” The after prom party included swimming, dancing, games, Chinese dragons and a Chinese Buffet at the Southwest Y. The Kiwanis know how to throw a party.
Mrs. George House and her daughter traveled from Riverdale, Michigan, to donate a family heirloom to North Royalton. The heirloom was the 1859 – 1860 journal of John D. Stewart, a deaf mute who lived in North Royalton. In his journal he wrote, “Today I have attained my majority (21st birthday); tomorrow will be our township fair. (Farmers’ picnic),” Mr. Stewart wrote with an elegant hand and an eloquent voice; prose, poetry and prayers for his day.
In August, and new company, Data Dynamics, set down roots in North Royalton. Data Dynamics did payroll, accounting, distribution and cost, and profit and loss statements for contracting companies. Data Dynamics used the Univac 9200 Key Punch card system. The computer languages used to write programs for the data system were COBOL and FORTRAN. The computers were the sizes of small walk in closets and did 1/50th of the work done by an android or iPhone.
Spectro Equipment, 6021 Royalton Road, had a substantial contribution to the July moon landing. Spectro Equipment constructed an 80-thousand Multifocus Defraction Unit. The x-ray machine was installed at the United States Geological Survey headquarters in Washington D.C.; the unit will analyze moon rock samples from Neil Armstrong’s walk. The work should put to rest any nonsense about the moon walk as a hoax.
The Sesquicentennial was history but the time capsule buried, September 23, in front of the G.A.R. memorial on Royalton Road was the current news. The capsule, a burial urn, contained mementoes from the celebration: a commentary on fashions, a Recorder from August 15, Cleveland Press from August 10, and the Moon Landing issue of the Cleveland Plain Dealer July 29, and the Recorder from August 7, with the story about the Spectro Equipment.
Former Mayor, Lester Edgerton, died on October 28, after a short illness. Lester Edgerton (1892 – 1969) served as mayor for 38 years. He is interred at North Royalton Cemetery.

Growth is the key word. Chamber members, council members, builders and local bankers all looked forward to a growing prosperity for North Royalton in the 1970s. One of the mortgage bankers suggested that Royalton take another look at the 100’ x 200’ lot size and suggested it be made smaller, more like a Parma. The people decided; the current lot size is just fine.
April 13, 1970, all eyes were to the skies. Fifty-five hours and 46 minutes into their flight, Astronaut James Lovell, native of Parma and commander of lunar exploration expedition, reported to Johnston Space Center, “Houston, we have a problem.” During the next four days the entire world watched and prayed as three astronauts, 200,000 miles from earth worked with engineers in Houston to bring that mission home. After five days, twenty-two hours and fifty-five minutes, the crew of Apollo 13 successfully splashed in the Pacific Ocean and was picked up by the USS Iwo Jima, April 17.
The voters were begged to renew a 12.4 mil levy for the schools and add a 9.8 mil for increased operating costs. The Royalton Schools were in such dire straits that there would be no Graduation class of 1971 because the schools would not be open until the fall of 1971. Everyone would have to repeat the present grade. The Chamber of Commerce, school board and businesses alike stated that home values will go down without viable schools. A bit of good news; in the spring competition, the sixty-one member Junior High School Band took top honors in The Ohio Music Education Association sponsored band competition.
The St. Thomas Woods Subdivision was under construction. The average new home cost in 1970 was usually between twenty three and twenty five thousand dollars. Mortgage rates were a solid 8.5% with 20% down. Monthly mortgage payments were around $200. Most mortgages were done by savings and loans like, Third Federal, Citizens Federal, and United Savings and Loan. All these banks were called “Thrifts.” Banks like, Chase Manhattan, Union Commerce, and Society National Bank handled large corporate accounts.
Plans for a new South Central Vocational Education District building were unveiled. The New Building would be on the east side of Brecksville Road near Wallings Road. It is currently known as Cuyahoga Valley Career Center offering classes for high school and adult vocational programs.
The May school levies were passed. In June test results for NR kindergarten program showed that 69% of the children attending kindergarten ranked excellent in reading readiness. Mark Bissell, school psychologist reported, “These special programs have been a good investment of time, money and effort.”
The 1970-71 school year kicked off to a good start for 3,254 plus students. Royalton Music Center offered trial instruments for band for $1 per week.
In October the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools found E. E. Root High School meeting the bare minimum standards. A sorry lack of facilities and equipment existed; over 1400 students attended a school that was intended to support barely 950 students. The accrediting association noted the teachers and students were doing a good job despite trying circumstances. A new high school would be needed. North Royalton was no longer a farming community.
September 24 Recorder Reconnaissance reported the addresses of 97 service men, 23 discharges and the note that holiday parcels should be in the mail by November 7.
St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church and Hellenic Center was officially dedicated Sunday, October 25. Come, enjoy; St. Paul’s Greek festival every July. Opa!
The year ended with the Apricot Message Net, public service minded amateur (HAM) radio operators offered to send holiday greetings to service men and women stationed all over the world. The deadline for submitting greetings was December 20.
Looking back, the more things change; the more they remain the same.

Contributing Writer