The North Royalton Kiwanis Club celebrated the completion of its silver anniversary of service to the community in January of 1977. In the 25 years that Kiwanis had been making Royalton a better place to live. In 1976 the Kiwanis had supporting blood drives, bingo and social activities at the nursing homes, the annual Easter Egg hunt, Annual Scholarships to the graduating classes of North Royalton High School, the after prom, support for children with learning disabilities, and donated a total of $2,856 for the benefit of North Royalton residents backed by over 2,046 man hours of good works. Thank you North Royalton Kiwanis.
A hot breakfast tastes good on a cold winter morning. Open Pantry Food Mart on Bunker Road had a special of one dozen eggs and one pound of Wilson Corn King Bacon for $1.89 for both, with coupon in the Recorder.
February 2nd Recorder reported that the schools would stay open as long as the natural gas and fuel to heat them lasts. The crisis was precipitated by a shortage in natural gas and the long duration of biting cold that kept the daytime temps below zero for almost 20 days. The fuel situation became so bad that all classes were moved to the High School which was heated by fuel oil. Junior and senior high schoolers attended classes Monday – Wednesday and the elementary and middle school students attended Thursday through Saturday. All classes were held during the regular school day hours with all staff on board.
By March 18, a supply of natural gas was found and purchased to fuel the elementary and middle schools so everyone could return to regular classrooms. The month also brought warmer spring temperatures that further eased natural gas needs.
On April 12, the Cleveland Browns played against the NR Rotary Club in a basketball game at the High School gym. Tickets were $1.75; proceeds went to the Rotary’s scholarship fund.
Homecoming Festival planners announced a return to the Village Green and moved the date from the 4th of July weekend to August 25 – 28, just before school started.
St. Albert the Great School broke ground for a new gym in May. The gym was completed by September for the new school year.
Sunday, June 19, celebrated the ground breaking of the new, spacious Cuyahoga County Library North Royalton Branch. Phase One for the Memorial Park make-over began on August 26.
The October 19 issue of the Recorder introduced all the people running for office for North Royalton; nine men were running for four council seats of four wards, four men were running for mayor, three women and one man were running for school board.
Sumwalt’s Keyboard Music, Inc. at 10059 Royalton Road, opened its doors in October and advertised in the December issues. Sumwalt’s sold the finest organs and pianos in the area.
The opposite of the snowy Christmas of ’76, Christmas Day ’77 was cold but dry. A green Christmas was a disappointment to everyone getting sleds and skis, but Mother Nature would soon be changing her mind about snow.
On January 18, 1978 Mayor Loder reported the U.S. Federal Insurance Administration Flood Hazard Insurance Program was available to any North Royalton resident or business. Mayor Loder further encouraged residents to look at maps detailing flood prone areas, available at the City Hall, to assess their need for flood insurance.
Snow started falling December 26 making sled riding and skiing available for the Christmas Break. Winter had settled on Northern Ohio. January 25 was mild, temperatures in the mid 30s some fog, a bit of rain, nothing unusual. But, legendary weatherman Dick Goddard went out on a limb and forecasted treacherous driving conditions for Thursday the 26th. At 4 a.m. the barometric pressure dropped like a stone to 28.28, the lowest ever recorded. The blizzard hit like a white hurricane with wind speeds at 59 mph gusting to 80 mph at times. The wind chill was minus 60 degrees. Massive shifting snowdrifts were a hazard to all. Mayor Loder, along with hundreds of other city mayors, including new Cleveland mayor, Dennis Kucinich, was in Washington D. C. for a mayors’ convention. They couldn’t get back to Cleveland. The entire state was in a state of emergency.
North Royalton police and fire personnel performed beyond the call of duty assisting the stranded and aiding at accidents. The fire chief urged everyone to keep fire hydrants clear of snow. The city snow removal equipment was not adequate to clear the roads, guys called city hall to offer their services in running snow removal equipment. There were power failures in the city and about 40 people spent the night at the High School where custodians did their best to keep the heat going. Custodian Mike Drochak at Valley Vista worked for 25 hours to keep the pipes from freezing after the boilers at the school lost power. Neighbors helped neighbors and strangers. Downed trees, blown away shingles and other property damage was slowly repaired after the storm. The White Hurricane was indeed the storm of the century.
It’s all about US! The March 18th Plain Dealer Saturday Home Magazine featured North Royalton and all the advantages of living here. Royalton was poised for another housing boom.
May 16 was “Ohio Senior Citizens Day” and the NR Office on Aging was open for business. Anyone 60 and older can register. The Office on Aging helps with Medicare forms, transportation, recreation, and neighbor-to-neighbor contact.
Mr. Divots’ Driving Range, York Road, offers a free golf clinic every other Saturday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. “The driving range used to be a form of amusement,” says Mike Mural, manager and golf pro, “but that has been changing as serious golfer(s) come to practice and improve his (her) game.”
The brand new North Royalton Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library was dedicated August 27 during the Homecoming Weekend. The new library was located at 14600 State Road.
St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox held their second annual Greek Festival October 5 thru 8. The extremely popular festival is now held in July. OPA!
North Royalton Volunteer Firemen’s Association sponsored a Turkey Shoot on Sundays, October 29 and November 5. The prizes were 10 – 14 lb. frozen turkeys. No one actually shot a turkey.
Fishers Big Wheel discount department store opened November 30 on Wallings and State Road. Fishers Big Wheel was the best little big box store; over 80 departments with everything from fashion to automotives. They had free layaway, charge plans and many more customer services. Just in time for Christmas Shopping.
Royalton prepares for a white Christmas.
John M. Walko, a ’69 graduate of Royalton High School, brought good luck. In his top hat and tails he dressed the part of a real London sweep, cleaning chimneys and bringing luck to those who would shake his hand. John established Hearthside Chimney Sweep to help homeowners prevent the 15,000 chimney fires caused by built-up creosote. A fire in the chimney could burn down the house around it.
February 21, 1979 Recorder reported on the turf wars. A proposed state law would provide for automatic redistricting for State House, Senate and Congressional districts. As a result, Royalton’s six wards were established amid rancor and accusations. The ward boundaries were established to have as near equal populations as possible. The measure was approved by a majority vote 4/3 for the new and current number of wards (6).
April 29 was designated Super Sundae Sunday by Valley Vista PTA. The fun day featured 75 gallons of ice cream and toppings from Barnhills of Berea to make the biggest sundae you ever saw. The sundae would then be made to disappear – not by the Burger King Magician but by everyone who bought a ticket and came for the fun. Special guests included Big Chuck and Hoolihan, Cleveland Browns’ Gerald Irons. The Super Sunday included clowns, a balloonologist, a bake sale, and a plant sale. The Super Funday Sundae Sunday was just 50 cents for kids and a buck for adults.
The July 4th Recorder reported on a family right at home in the 1860s. John and Beth Raiter and their children are Civil War re-enactors. The Raiter family research and find or construct their clothing and living items that are as close as possible to those worn by folks in the 1860s. The Raiters join others from around the state and country to re-enact skirmishes and military camps; it’s not just a hobby, it’s being a part of living history.
The E. E. Root High School class of ’29 celebrated their 50th reunion. The class of ’29 had fourteen members and was the largest graduating class ever for the High School. Five of the class members met class member Clarice Monhart at her home in Royalton for a day of reminiscing and nostalgia. Two class members sent letters.
During the Concert on the Green, Sunday July 22, The Rotary Club honored the Royalton Recorder for its 40-year service to North Royalton. The Rotary Club provided a huge cake that was cut by Recorder founder Dr. J. G. Rosenbaum and shared with the attending crowd.
Thunderstorms and downpours didn’t dampen the fun for the 95th Homecoming August 23 – 26. A few puddles can’t drown a good time.
The North Royalton Christian Church held a two-day celebration to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
The Chamber of Commerce held a Meet Your Candidates Night on October 28. Moderator for the program was WKYC TV’s Doug Adair. Royalton had reapportioned the city which, for the first time, has six wards. The office of Council President had three candidates, Ward 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 all had two candidates. Ward 3 candidate, Gary Skorepa, ran unopposed. Three candidates vied for the mayor’s seat including former mayoral secretary Lucille M. Heasley. A field of six candidates tried for seats on the school board.
Mrs. Lucille M. Heasley was elected Mayor.
A cause for much larger celebrations was the North Royalton Bears High School Soccer team won the Division 1 state championship defeating Cincinnati St. Xavier by a score of 5–1. The Bears rolled over every opponent that year with a regular season tally of 20 wins 0 losses.
North Royalton – City of Champions!
December rolled around and as the temperatures mean snow, Breyley’s Yamaha on State and Wallings Road offered snowmobiles for fast fun in the winter sun.
By LINDA KWARCIANY