“As I was lying on the couch tonight the thought quite suddenly came to me that I was leaving nothing behind me, that after I am gone there would be no record of my life and that my children & grandch[ildren] [in] the yrs to come might want to know some of the salient points of my life in the years gone by.”
So begins the handwritten, nine-page memoir of Josephine Della [Folger] Cushing, one of four daughters of Thomas and Della M. [Beswick] Folger, whose legacy includes the stately 1902 Victorian home that overlooks Lake Erie in Avon Lake.
Josephine’s grandson, Thomas Folger Cushing, and his wife, Diane, recently donated to the Avon Lake Public Library a copy of the memoirs, along with copies of old photographs, newspaper clippings, and Josephine’s passport, which bears the stamps of places she visited during 1927 and 1928 with one of her sons, including the United Kingdom, France, and Egypt.
Thomas Cushing, a son of Josephine’s son John, made a surprise visit to Avon Lake recently, attending a vintage reed pump organ concert at the Folger Home by Cushing’s “grandmother”, Josephine, portrayed by local musical theater performer Bernadette Ilg Hisey. Cushing and his wife had driven the day before from their home in Etowah, NC, to attend the concert and visit some of the old family home sites, as well as Ridgelawn Cemetery in Elyria, where many family members are buried.
Originally named Park Hall, Thomas Folger’s 1902 home served as a summer residence for family gatherings and social events. The land had been in the family since 1875, purchased by Thomas’s father, Henry. When Henry died in 1885, Thomas, as the only child, inherited the property where he had begun a successful vineyard in 1885 and had lived until 1889 with his wife and four daughters, Anna, Ida, Josephine, and Jennie.
The Cushing and Folger items are now a part of the Avon Lake Public Library local history collection and can be viewed at the Library during regular hours.
If you have items related to Avon Lake history that you would like to donate, please visit the Library or call 440.933.8127.