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Crowell Hilaka and the Richfield Heritage Preserve

Crowell Hilaka and the Richfield Heritage Preserve
  • Author: Lynn Scholle Richardson
  • Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781467107037
  • Page: 128
  • View: 413

Once known as Crowell Hilaka Girl Scout Camp, the history of Richfield Heritage Preserve begins in the early 19th century with the Oviatt family.

Once known as Crowell Hilaka Girl Scout Camp, the history of Richfield Heritage Preserve begins in the early 19th century with the Oviatt family. They farmed the land for three generations until selling to inventor James B. Kirby in 1919. With the fortune he made from vacuum cleaners and washing machines, Kirby built a home above his patented lake, powered it with electricity from his experimental mill, and invited friends to dance on his spring-loaded dance floor. Cleveland Girl Scouts turned the property into Camp Julia Crowell in 1937. In 1957, the Scouts purchased the adjoining remnant of the Neal estate, named the new addition Hilaka, and upgraded for the possibility of making Crowell Hilaka an international destination. The people of Richfield reclaimed the green space and the history when they voted to buy the former camp in 2014. The property is now a public park.


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