Joseph Keough

By Jackie Pacholke

Joseph Keough

Joseph Keough has lived in the city of Eastlake since the mid-fifties. His family first settled on Beachpark Road near Lakeshore Boulevard. After a few years they moved to 354th Street where they resided for over 40 years. Their home was not far from Eastlake's first city hall. This was located in the building currently occupied by H. Bergers. This is where Roberts Road, Beachpark and Lakeshore Boulevard all come together. At one time this location was known as Steve's Barber Shop. For the last three years, the family has resided on 331st Street near the corner of Waverly Road.

Joesph Keough was born July 17, 1925 in Cleveland to John and Florence (Caldwell) Keough. He had five brothers and sisters.

During World War II he attended Cleveland Heights High School, but before graduation he had joined the U.S. Navy. His company was stationed on the Admiralty Islands. This was located near the equator north of New Guinea. His job involved transporting men to and from various ships so that they could be serviced. Most of the servicing being done involved radar and sonar. He liked being out in the sun and on the sea.

After returning home he purchased his first car, a tan Oldsmobile. One of the things he likes that has improved in his lifetime is power steering. His memory of Eastlake also included streets with big potholes. He is happy to see that most of the streets are now paved.

His sister Mary introduced him to Rose Murphy and they were married on September 4, 1954 at St. Philomena Church in Cleveland. To them were born five children: Joseph, Drew, Marge, Mary Beth and Matthew. Marge still resides in Eastlake.

For many years Joseph worked as a furniture delivery man for Sterling Lindner in Cleveland. If you remember, this is the Cleveland store that used to decorate for Christmas with an inside Christmas tree over 54 feet tall, with all the trimmings.

Joseph was a Boy Scout Scoutmaster for many years. Their troop would meet every week in the cabin located behind City Hall. He remembers one time in the winter sleeping out in a tent at Mentor Marsh in temperatures below 15 degrees. Brrr. He especially enjoys watching birds and would help the boys to earn a merit badge in this category. He now attracts birds to his front porch with food. During the course of the interview, a redheaded woodpecker visited his suet patch. What a treat! He keeps a bird identification book next to his chair, as he has been visited by many varieties.

Early on, Joe taught religion classes for St. Justin Martyr. These were known as PSR classes. He also belonged to a Parks and Shade Tree organization for the City of Eastlake. This group was responsible for planting the many trees that line our city streets.

A fond memory he has of the early city is taking his family down to the shore of Lake Erie. The beach was much larger than it is currently. They especially liked the sand down on the mouth of the Chagrin. Before the Eastlake Yacht Club took over this area, the public would gather here to watch the Fourth of July fireworks.

Joseph Keough thinks that the Eastlake police do an excellent job. He knows what it takes to do this job, as his son Joseph has just retired as a sheriff for Geauga County.

This article is brought to you courtesy of the Eastlake Historical Society.


Guinaeth Fritsch

By Jackie Pacholke

Guinaeth Fritsch

When Guinaeth Toon's friends decided they were going to Warren, Ohio to elope, she and her fiancé, Edward Fritsch, decided they would join them. Both couples were married Aug 24, 1939. Looking back on it now it was a silly thing to do. Although the couple had already been engaged, Guin knew her parents would be angry. When they returned home they both went back to stay at their prospective parent's home. One day at work someone told Guin that her mother knew the truth. She was afraid to go home because she knew that she had hurt her, but at the same time she was glad that the truth was out. Edward had lived in Garfield Heights. Now he moved into the Toon's family home in East Cleveland.

Guin's parents were Thomas Toon and Alice Lily Irene Ridsdale. She was an only child, born July 6, 1921, in Pleasant Unity, Pennsylvania. It was a coal mining town in a suburb of Pittsburgh. Her father had served in both World Wars. He moved the family around a bit. When they came to Cleveland, his wife Alice told him she had had enough and that is where the family stayed.

In 1939, Guin graduated from East High School. Her principal had been a military man who believed in locking the students in at school time. In this way they couldn't skip school. This could have been dangerous for the students. Fortunately, no one was harmed and his rule was repealed the following year. Today people are locked out of the school, so they can't wander in during school time. Schools have even revised their yearly school schedules so as to have election days off. This helps to keep children safe and away from people who might try to do them harm.

Edward was drafted into the Army and served overseas in the infantry during World War II. After he returned the family decided to settle in Eastlake on 337th Street. This was in 1952. They purchased a William's House and financed it through Andrews School for Girls. A William's House was one that only contained the frame for the structure. These were quite popular during this time. Family and friends helped them to finish off the inside. The woods located across the street from their home were soon dotted with William's homes.

Edward worked for the Reynolds Company in Cleveland making pop cans. Guin got a job working for Wayside Gardens Nursery in Mentor. This was located where the old Sawyer Restaurant would later be built. They raised two children: Sally, who was in the second graduation class of North High School and Thomas, who still resides in Eastlake. Sally has been a good helpmate for Guin now that she is getting on in years.

Living on this street caused Thomas to attend many schools. He went to Longfellow Elementary for first grade, Royalview Elementary for second grade, Shoregate Elementary for third, fourth and fifth grade, and then his sixth grade elementary class met at the Nike Site. This location later became known as the J.F. K. Senior Center. Tom explained to me that during the Cold War missile launchers had been stored there. The controls for the missiles had been kept at Manry Park. The rooms that the sixth graders met in had originally been built as barracks. After the site was dismantled it was turned over to the City of Eastlake. School buses had earlier been stored on the west side of North High School. Vandalism and the need to use this space for other parking led to the buses now being stored inside the fenced in property of the Nike Site.

For a few years the Fourth of July parade started at K-Mart and traveled down 337th Street to the Nike Site. Here it culminated into a carnival with rides, games and food. This was quite convenient for the Fritsch family.

Although 337th was one of the first streets in the city to have sidewalks, the street had the same muddy mess as the rest of the city. Friends of the Fritsch children would tease them and taunt that they lived in the "Mud Flats." Tar and gravel helped to fill in some of the holes in the street but the tar was messy, especially on the shoes. The gravel gravitated to the sides of the road. In the winter it would even hinder and cause drivers to get stuck as they tried to back out of their driveways. At one time a stop sign was located at the corner of Morris and 337th St. This was placed there to help slow down the speed of the traffic. State requirements for such signage caused it to be removed.

The children would play in the woods where factories would later be built. Grapes and blackberries were always great fun to pick. There was a good size creek located in the area where K-Mart would later be built. Tom remembered a one-ring circus tent that once came to town and put their show on in the same field that would latter become the K-Mart parking lot. It was complete with wild animals, clowns and trapeze.

For a number of years the family attended the white Congregational Church located on the corner of Vine St. and 337th. This would be where the Charter One Bank is located today.

The couple were instrumental in developing the Eastlake Little League. Edward helped to build the backstops and Guin and Sally always helped out in the concession.

For many years Mr. Fritsch would give Guin chocolate-covered cherries for Valentine's Day. The children would laugh. Guin didn't like chocolate-covered cherries. She gave them to the kids to eat. Finally the children told Edward the truth. He couldn't believe that after all of those years he didn't realize the truth of the matter. Edward passed away in 1994.

This article is brought to you courtesy of the Eastlake Historical Society.


Bernard Madeya

By Jackie Pacholke

Bernard Madeya
Bernard H. Madeya, whose last name is pronounced "ma-DI-a," is affectionately called "Bernie" by his family and friends. He doesn't have a lot of money but the love that surrounds him by his family makes him a very rich man.

He was born on Silver Street in Wickliffe, Ohio, August 20, 1930 to Gustave and Frieda Madeya. He had two brothers and two sisters. He served in the Army during the Korean War in the 1st Armored Infantry Division. He dealt will all facets of the armored tank, and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. His name is recorded, as a memory of his service, on a flagpole on the Eastlake Boulevard of Flags.

Upon returning from the service he met Margaret "Peggy" Nadock while at a bar. Peggy worked as a barmaid for many years. In 1953 they were married by the justice of the peace in Brecksville, Ohio. Peggy passed away May 26 of this year. The couple had been married for 25 years and then divorced, but Bernie and Peggy remained very close friends for over 32 years. She had never learned to drive a car and Bernie continued to help her in any way that he could.

To them were born five children: Karen Sabol, Mark, Patty Tenney, Diana Ropos and Michelle Paris. Karen, Diana and Michelle are still Eastlake residents. Michelle was in the first group of babies to be born in the West End Hospital in Willoughby. Bernie has 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. While the Madeyas were busy raising their own children, Peggy's sister and husband died leaving two small children to be cared for. Bernie never hesitated to become the guardians of Helen and Elliot "Frank" Jones. The house that they acquired on Parkway in 1960 had only ONE bathroom for nine people, but the Madeyas made do. Bernie was handy around the house and made all feel comfortable. He spent many long hours at work to be able to support such a crew, but many of his children present during the interview had nothing but love and praise for the way that they were raised.

Most of Bernie's occupations involved his working in a machine shop. He had worked for Markett Metal and Eaton Axel. He also worked for a time for his son Mark, who runs a construction company called Mark Rite Construction. They are well known for their cement work.

Bernie always took great care of his yard and made it look like a park. Once Mayor Dan Diliberto stopped to give him a compliment on how well it looked.

When Mr. Madeya first moved to Parkway the street was a dead end. Woods were around the surrounding area. There was a multitude of raccoons that were forever getting into their garbage. Garbage had to be burned in the back yard to get rid of it. The street was considered a private road that was ignored by the city for services. The street did not go all the way through to Hillcrest until the Surfside development was built. People used it as the drop-off place for all of the dogs and cats that they no longer wanted. The Madeya children were forever trying to talk their parents into adopting another one. The sewer went into a septic tank that often smelled. The house was heated by oil that was expensive and had to be delivered. The holding tan had to be filled before the snow came because the oil truck might not be able to make it down the street to replenish it. In 1977, the snow left eight-foot snow drifts at the family's front door. Many people used this kind of service to heat their home. You couldn't afford for the heat to go out because one might freeze before the service truck could get around to your home again

To get to their school, Thomas Jefferson, the Madeya children would always cut through the field. Their shoes would often be full of mud. One winter someone from the school took the children to the mall and bought all of them boots. The school also helped the seven children to get dental assistance. One thing about so many children was that when one got chicken pox, they all got chicken pox. When one got measles, they all got measles. This was hard on Mrs. Madeya. Not only were they all at home at the same time, but they were all ill.

A special treat for the children was when their father worked third shift on the weekends . He would bring home a box of Biagio donuts for breakfast. The children also liked it when they filled up their yellow station wagon and attended the Eastlake Drive-In. Popcorn was made by the kettleful to take with them. They could go and play on the swings, located in front of the movie screen , until the movie began. They seldom had the stamina to stay awake for the second feature.

Michelle recanted that when she and her father were the only two left at home they would often go to the Ponderosa Steak House for dinner. This was a restaurant that was located in the K-Mart parking lot.

Dynamite explosions could be heard from their home. This meant that the city engineers were trying to break loose the ice on the Chagrin River. Flooding caused from thawing snow was backing up the water on the river. The ice needed to be broken up so that the river could flow more freely into the lake.
Bernie knew that when he heard this sound that the bridge going over the river would be closed. He worked on the west side of the river, so this meant more time was involved for him to get to work, because now he had to find an alternate route. The freeways had not yet been built.

For New Year's celebrations Bernie and Peggy would often go out to a community bar to celebrate with their neighbors and friends. Best Wishes for a Happy New Year are forwarded to all Eastlake residents from the Madeya family.

This article is presented courtesy of the Eastlake Historical Society.

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