As we all know, Cleveland has a rich history of industry, go-getters and small businesses. What we want to uncover with this new history blog at the Keep It Local Project is how Cleveland's small businesses today can carry on this history and open our eyes to aspects of our city we never would have known about. Enjoy our first installment, and look out for more!
Skidmark Garage in the Old Osborn Building
Before the warehouse building on Hamilton Ave housed Skidmark Garage and several other inventive businesses, it was home to manufacturing giant the Osborn Manufacturing Company. Started in 1887 by John J. Osborn in Cleveland, the company started out selling horse and butcher block brushes and street cleaning brooms. They moved to Hamilton Avenue in 1902 when they expanded and spent 100 years there growing there business, eventually expanding to 350,000 sq ft! It was from there that they grew further first with a second office in Indiana and eventually to a multinational company. Once it was bought by global conglomerate Jason Industries, it closed its original Cleveland home in 2004.
Since then, the old Osborn building has experienced a revitalization of sorts, thanks in part to Ingenuity Cleveland. As a founding partner of the Hamilton Collaborative, they have re-purposed the since unused space to be community hub of creativity and entrepreneurship, encouraging local artisans and innovators to set up shop in the building. Skidmark Garage, started in 2015, was one of these founding partners — their community motorcycle garage has been thriving there ever since in the growing quirky community of creators. Once a symbol of Cleveland as the hub of industry, the Osborn manufacturing complex now represents a great cross section of small businesses, local creators and artists that make up Cleveland’s new thriving business scene.
Camp Cleveland In Tremont
Most know Anthony Salem of Big Creek Massotherapy for his massage therapy skills, but a lesser known fact is that he is a big Civil War Buff, interested in the Civil War’s history in Cleveland! He let us know that the largest of seven Civil War training camps in Cleveland, called Camp Cleveland, is located in the neighborhood now known as Tremont. Made in July of 1862, the Camp trained over 15,000 soldiers by the end of the war. Camp Cleveland was an especially good spot because it was on an elevated yet flat expanse of land, and could accommodate traveling federal troops and Confederate prisoners before they were transported somewhere else.
In 1865, the Ohio Veteran Reserve Corps left for Camp Chase in Columbus, leaving the camp deserted. All that is left now is a historical marker established in 2003. Now the Tremont neighborhood is home to several unique Cleveland small businesses and Keep It Local Members, such as Beviamo Cafe. Camp Cleveland is just a sliver of the extent of Civil War history in Cleveland, and we’re lucky to have an expert in our network! Enjoy photos from Anthony Salem’s reenactments and studies of the Civil War below.
Heidi Fearing, “Camp Cleveland,” Cleveland Historical, accessed April 4, 2018, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/314.
Note: We didn't come up with this stuff ourselves! Please notice our source links that we used for our research, provided for us by our KILP member submitters!
This show ain't over yet! STAY TUNED for future installments, featuring submissions from members Cedar Lee SID, Your Bean Counters, Amy Roth & Co, Everarbor Co, Mr. Chicken, Greater Cleveland Volunteers, Silver Dolphin Solutions, CPD Homes, Once Upon a Time Toys, and others!