Cozad Bates House Timeline of Events
- 1974 The Cozad-Bates House, 11508 Mayfield Rd. is designated a National Landmark. (This does not protect against demolition.)
- 1975 Landmark Commission’s first attempt, under leadership of John Cimperman, to have Cozad-Bates designated Cleveland Landmark. Discussions, but no serious negotiations, regarding its use as a guest house for University Hospital Auxiliary.
- February 17, 2000 Landmark commission report given by Director of City Planning, Hunter Morrison. (Report gives detail of attempts to have house land marked and of research into history of University Circle as site of vibrant Underground Railroad activity. RCH has copies of this report, available on request.)
- In May 2003 The present owner, University Hospital, is notified to rehabilitate or raze the property.
- May 2003: Janice Garthrite, Cleveland Restoration Society; Bob Keiser, Cleveland Landmark Commission and Joan Southgate, IN THEIR PATH! met with Councilman Kevin Conwell to ask that Landmark legislation to be introduced. Conwell interested in learning more about house and process to save it.
- May 12, 2003: Joan Southgate began last leg of IN THEIR PATH! walk to St. Catharines, Canada with a send–off ceremony from the Cozad-Bates House. ( A short video tape is available)
- June 1, 2003 Return to Cleveland from St. Catharines, Canada.
- July 9, 2003: Initial gathering, six women invited to Joan’s dining room table to talk about saving the Cozad house: Virginia Mook, Binnie Eiger, Binne` Douglas, Nicki Gubranson, Fran Stewart, Nishani Frazier, and Joan
- August 26, 2003: 23 people attended meeting at Western Reserve Historical Society. In tribute to Cleveland’s Underground Railroad code name ‘Hope,’ our newly formed coalition takes name Restore Cleveland Hope.
- September 16, 2003: 44 people attended meeting at Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. Terri Hamilton Brown, president of University Circle Inc. recently had toured the house and felt it was in pretty good condition for a house that has been unoccupied for about fifteen years. She understands that the new leadership at University Hospital is considering a facility analysis with the option of leasing or selling the house.
- September 28, 2003: 31 signed Thank You forms were mailed to Councilman Conwell with request for help in arranging a tour of the house.
- September 20, 2003: Kevin Conwell’s office called to give contact information for tour.
- October 13, 2003 : RCH tour of Cozad-Bates: architects Robert Madison, Dale Cerne and Bob Gaede, Nishani Frazier WRHS; Janice Garthrite Restoration Society; Ford family descendants, Virginia Mook and Fran Stewart; area businesswoman, Mittie Jordan; Stephen Kahnert, RCH fundraising chair; Kathy Smith and Joan Southgate
- October 16, 2003: Thank you letter to University Hospital president, Thomas Zenty, with second request for a meeting to talk of plans for Cozad-Bates.
- October 17, 2003: Thomas Zenty, left message saying Janet Miller will be his representative in meeting about Cozad.
- October 17, 2003: Kevin Conwell called, will be at October 28th RCH meeting.
- October 28, 2003 Kevin Conwell assures us of his determination to save Cozad-Bates, but makes no commitment to landmark home. He has been meeting and negotiating with the University Hospital and will arrange meeting to include RCH and CRS.
- November 25, 2003: Cleveland Restoration Society 31st Annual Community Luncheon with Spencer Crew, CEO of Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center as guest speaker. Joan Southgate honored for founding RCH with preserving Cozad-Bates as mission.
- January 29, 2004: Meeting with Kathleen Crowther (CRS), Joan Southgate and James Lubetkin (UH) Lubetkin offering no promises but wanted to express hospital’s willingness to talk rather than stonewall. Master plan still not complete
- February 24, 2004: 100 people attend RCH successful 1st Community Meeting.
- February 26, 2004: Plain Dealer columnist Sam Fulwood III writes about Cozad-Bates, our meeting and urges UH to work with RCH and CRS to “demonstrate its sensitivity to the community. In the right hands , the house could become a museum or reception hall that informs future generations about Ohio’s history of helping runaway slaves.”
- February 11. 2004: Southgate meeting with Evelyn Hayes, professional fundraiser who had been to our Community Meeting and expressed interest in helping when RCH is ready for major und raising drive.
- February 12: Councilman Conwell, Kathleen Crowther and Joan Southgate meeting at City Hall
- February 17: Meeting; Spencer Crew, Fran Stewart, Joan Southgate at WRHS re: In Their Path book will be placed in Freedom center’s gift shop.
- May 8: RCH information table at Deuteronomy 8 Bookstore’s weekend fest.
- June 2: Meeting of government officials at Sarah Benedict House; agenda The Cozad-Bates house; Preserving Cleveland’s Underground Railroad History. Participants Councilman Conwell, Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, Ohio Rep. Claudette J. Woodward, Beverly Charles and Michael Taylor from Stephanie Tubbs Jones office, Martha Kitchell president board of trustees CRS, Bracy Lewis, immediate past president CRS, Kathleen Crowther exec. Dir CRS, Deanna Bremer director of Marketing CRS, Janice Garthrite Radl Diversity Fellow CRS and Joan Southgate RCH.
- June 7: Out of the meeting a strong letter was sent to Mr. Zenty:
Dear Mr., Zenty,
It is of utmost importance that we meet with you before the completion of the hospital’ Master Plan to discuss the future of the historic Cozad-Bates home on Mayfield Road. We are aware of the historic significance of the property to our constituents and we are committed to its preservation for future generations. We will deeply appreciate your interest in helping to safeguard this precious sacred ground.
Ms. Beverly Charles of my office will call you to coordinate a time that works for our respective schedules. Thank you in advance.
Signed by Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Mayor Jane Campbell, State Rep. Claudette Woodard, County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, Councilman Kevin Conwell and Councilwoman Patricia Britt
- September 2004 In Their Path published; first book signing at Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. EACC was started by the Cozad family and the book has a section about RCH and the importance of Cozad-Bates preserved on this sacred ground.
- October 16; Friends of Freedom Summit in Cleveland; Cozad Bates display and talk given by Joan Southgate at historic west side St. John Church as part of weekend workshops
- October 23; Candlelight Vigil at Cozad bates house
- October 24: Under a headline PRESERVATIONISTS HOPE TO SAVE LANDMARK and a picture of Ginger Mook, Sally Tatnall and others huddled under umbrellas, Angela Chatman Plain Dealer reporter describes “50 people braved the cold, rain and wind Saturday …prayed, sang, held signs and struggled to keep their candles lighted as they gathered in support of preserving the red brick house”
- October 29; June Antoine presents an In Their Path Book Signing Program at Cleveland Museum of Art with speeches, Cozad-Bates video, music: Heritage Chorale (just back from their European Tour) and the Joe de Jarnette Quintet at the reception following program.
- November 17; Meeting at UH president’s office. Tom Zenty, Dr. Jackson, George Forbes and law partner daughter representing University Hospital and Beverly Charles from Tubbs Jones office, Gary Norton from Peter Lawson Jones office, Kathleen Crowther CRS, Councilman Conwell, John Baker and Joan Southgate from RCH. We also delivered a letter signed by Gilbert Doho, Assoc. Prof. of French and Francophone Studies, Rhonda Williams Assoc Prof. of History and Kurt Koenigsberger Assistant Professor of English with the endorsement of the Women’s Studies Program of Case outlining a proposal they were circulating to purchase and restore Cozad Bates
“…1) an interpretive space open to the public and devoted to the history of abolitionist activity and the Underground Railroad in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. 2) A space for University and community programming that foregrounds matters of cultural diversity , especially those impacting members of the University and Cleveland communities. The second floor might provide space for the administration of the University’s diversity programs and for smaller meetings, including classroom and seminar space.”
Mr. Zenty was pleasant and attentive to each person’s presentation and patiently sat with us for over an hour. Though Zenty stated that the Master Plan was not complete there were no plans for Cozad Bates in the near future. Dr. Jackson strongly stated that from the “medical perspective…it is just my personal opinion” but UH cannot lock itself into giving up essential space when down the line there is no doubt in his mind that the space will be needed for medical care, teaching or research. However both Zenty and Jackson left the door open for more listening and talking.
- March 30, 2005 Meeting with architect Robert Madison discussed possible feasibility study.
- April 6: Organizational meeting with help of Case Law Department
- May 18: Southgate invites Fran Stewart and Hunter Morrison to give Cozad Bates talk as part of WVIZ’ s Freedom Quest educational project, six week across Ohio revisiting In Their Path UGRR sites, schools and safe houses.
- July 13: Southgate took Jifunza Page’s Cleveland History Detectives, summer program for teens, to Cozad Bates House. J By happenstance, Charlene Higginbotham, RCH member who lives next door to Cozad Bates, saw the gathering and lowered refreshing bottles of water to the kids from her second floor balcony. They thought it was like conductors refreshing weary freedom seekers at a safe house.
- August 13: RCH members Charlene Higginbotham, Judy Scwhabe, Joan Southgate, Kathy and John Baker dressed in period costumes to draw attention to Cozad Bates during the Feast of Assumption in Little Italy. The group passed out informational flyers (and lemonade) and signed up 75 interested passersby.
- November 28: Billie St. Angelo arranged a tour through Cleveland Clinic’s beautifully restored Crittendon Home. The Clinic uses it for in-house conferences and meeting. This restoration on a hospital campus offers another talking point in our win-win approach with University Hospital.
- November 30: Meeting with Hilary S. Taylor a lawyer friend of Billie’s to discuss his interest in RCH and ways to show his support.
- November: Fundraising goal set $2500
Planning begins for community meeting to be held March 25, 2006
- January 2006 With help of Case Law School we applied for and received our 501c3
- 2005-2006 Speaker’s Bureau: As a result of continuing interest in her The IN THEIR PATH educational project, Joan has become almost a one woman speaker’s bureau. Southgate has averaged 3-4 appearances every month since the walk ended May 30,2003
- February 2006 Southgate had 11invitations to speak: ranging from churches, historical organizations, book clubs, social service clubs, seniors groups, professional organization, and libraries. Fran Stewart and Joan were invited to a Solon book club and took Cozad brochures and flyers with them. All board and steering committee members carry the message of RCH into their churches, clubs and neighborhoods. This gives an important opportunity to spread the word about Cozad-Bates, and our work to restore it as an Underground Railroad teaching center.
- March 25, 06 Community Meeting: Reverend Alison Phillips keynote “Restoring Hope”; Chris Ronayne UCI history including Little Italy’s UGRR history ; Sylvia Perry’s Heritage Chorale; Demetrius Falconer and Barbara Wilson, storytellers. Children’s UGRR workshop with an ‘escape’ into simulated safe house deep in EACC’s basement. This was an inspiring and successful session (over 250 in attendance) and over 30 signing up for specific volunteer committees. The meeting was promoted and reviewed on NPR by Karen Schaefer.
- 4-5-06 A huge Press Conference: ON FRONT LAWN OF THE HOUSE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL ANNOUNCES DONATION OF THE COZAD-BATES HOUSE AND LAND TO UNIVERSITY CIRCLE INC.. In attendance: Cleveland Restoration Society; University Hospital. University Circle Inc., Restore Cleveland Hope, the Councilman, Abington Arms seniors, and lots of other friends.
- 4-7-06 Landmark commission: The City Hall room was packed with well-wishers as Cozad-Bates was landmarked
- 4-15-06 30 First Cozad-Bates UGRR Center Tour: Freemont, Ohio Middle Schoolers meet with Joan Southgate, Chris Ronayne, Professor Gilbert Doho for virtual tour of Cozad-Bates and real visit to St. John’s Church in Cleveland and to Hubbard House and Giddings Law Office in Ashtabula.
- 4-24-06 TV Channel 5 Sunday Morning program: Kaleidoscope with Leon Bibb Southgate appeared to update and celebrate donation of Cozad-Bates and outline the next steps for Restore Cleveland Hope in establishing an UGRR education center.
- 5-3-06 UCI/RCH/CRS Collaboration begins Building Committee meetings every week at University Circle office.
- August 2006 Ohio Magazine Article LARGER THAN LIFE by Jennifer Haliburton about Cozad-Bates and Southgate, also shorter article about Springfield, Ohio UGRR and Jonathon Wright House where Southgate stayed during walk
- 10-28-06 Strategic Planning begins Twenty committee members with help of Trust Consultants: Eric Dicken, Nada Di Franco, Shelley Greene and Stephanie Raufman from the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations
- 10-23-06 Meeting at City Hall with Councilman Conwell to plan Celebration: Street to be renamed to honor John Malvin and Historical marker erected at Cozad-Bates House. CRS, RCH plus several network and cable TV and other people in attendance.