Historical Highlights

Cleveland Natural Science Club

  • Early 1920s: Professor Ellis C. Persing of the Education College of Western Reserve University, taught a class on how to teach the natural sciences to grade school students. The students were so excited  about the subject that after class and on weekends they would meet with Professor Persing to further discuss and explore the natural sciences.
  • May 21, 1924: The Cleveland Nature Club was organized by the Natural Science class teacher, Ellis Persing, and his students in the School of Education.
  • September 26, 1925: The Nature Club’s name was changed to, “The Cleveland Natural Science Club.”
  • February 7, 1928: The first Annual Dinner of the Science Club was held.
  • April, 1931: The old “Winslow Farmhouse” was obtained  from Cleveland Metroparks to use as a clubhouse in exchange for providing building maintenance plus educational services to the public.  The Club members named their new clubhouse Look About Lodge.
  • 1935: The Club membership had grown significantly, so a new “Look About Lodge” was designed, financed by Science Club members, and built with WPA labor..
  • June 5, 1938 : The new Look About Lodge is dedicated, and opened to members and the public.
  • 1940s and 1950s: Members would come to the South Chagrin Reservation for breakfasts and holiday picnics, and to “Look About Lodge” for educational programs and social events.
  • 1960s through 1980s: The Club continued to provide educational programs, and to hold fund raisers where plants, food, and other nature related products were sold.
  • 1993:  Members were getting old, and the building was in need of expensive repairs, so the Lodge was turned over to Cleveland Metroparks  to use as a unique nature education center.
  • Throughout the Club’s history, the focus has been on learning and teaching about wild plants and animals, plus conserving natural resources.
  • Today, the Cleveland Natural Science Club meets in the Lodge from February through November on the first Saturday of each month.  A program on a natural science subject is held at 7:30 PM.  It is open to the public. The program subjects are listed on this website and in the Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace.  In
    Dccember, a Christmas tea and open house is held, and is open to the public.  It has been held since 1938,

 

Look About Lodge

  • April, 1931: The old “Winslow Farmhouse” was obtained from Cleveland Metroparks as a clubhouse.   The facility was used as a base from which to learn more about the natural sciences, and from which to provide educational programs to members and the public.  It was named “Look About Lodge.”
  • 1935: Professor Persing had a new “Look About Lodge” designed to serve the expanded membership (of over 200).  The prototype was Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park, which a number of members had visited.
  • 1936 – 1937: The new/current Look About Lodge was built from 309 American chestnut logs for an investment of $26,500 raised by Club members.  The chestnut trees, from the Loudonville area, had been killed by a fungus blight.  The labor to build the Lodge was provided by WPA (Works Progress Administration) craftsmen.
  • June 5, 1938: The current Look About Lodge was dedicated, and formally opened for use by members and public guests. Members were scheduled to live at the Lodge for a week at a time during the summer and on weekends during the spring and fall to keep the Lodge open to the public.
  • An amphitheater & four-sided stone fireplace were built west of the Lodge.  Weather permitting, educational programs and (occasionally) church services were held in the amphitheater. Bench seating was logs, with a speaker rostrum/pulpit at the east end.  However, due to a mosquito problem, and fungi growth on the log seats, the facility was dismantled.
  • .During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, members and their families would take turns spending weekends at the Lodge in the Spring and Fall, and a week or two throughout the summer months, keeping it open for the public.
  • 1993: Due to high maintenance costs and a changing membership, the Science Club chose to relinquish Lodge operation to the Cleveland Metroparks.  This has enabled significantly more people to benefit from the natural beauty and inspiring atmosphere of Look About Lodge.

 

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