Inside the Museum

Concealed Shoes 

 Concealed shoes hidden in the fabric or wall of a building or home have been discovered in many European countries, as well as in other parts of the world, since at least the early modern period. Independent researcher Brian Hoggard has observed that the locations in which these shoes are typically found – in chimneys, under floors, above ceilings, around doors and windows, in the roof – suggest that some may have been concealed as magical charms to protect the occupants of the building against evil influences such as demons, ghosts and witches. Others may have been intended to bestow fertility on a female member of the household, or been an offering to a household deity.

Concealed shoes have been found in many types of building, including country houses, public houses, a Benedictine monastery and a Baptist church. The earliest yet reported was discovered behind the choirstalls in Winchester Cathedral, which were installed in 1308.

 This particular shoe was found in the wall in 1995 at the former home of Dr. Griste on Darrow road, almost across the street from the Museum. The current owner, Regis Brown found it in the wall while he and his wife were remodeling.  The actual shoe dates back to the early 1800’s.  Not sure if it worked since there have been sightings of paranormal activity within the home.

Generously donated by  Regis and Kellie Brown

History of Courting Candles

There was a time when a courting candle represented an important part of the household and family. But with time and changing cultures, its popularity faded. Today, courting candles serve more as a decorative piece. With their beautiful and intricate wrought iron coiled design, these collectibles of yesteryear are easily identifiable and coveted.

In the 1600’s to the 1800’s, courting candles were used by the man of the home to set boundaries for his daughter. When the daughter’s suitor came calling, the father lit the candle in a sitting room where the couple conversed. When the candles burnt to the metal at the top of the candle holder, it was time for the suitor to promptly leave. However, the father could change the height of the candle based on how comfortable he felt about the suitor. Also, the father could immediately snuff out the candle or add a second candle depending on what he deemed necessary. The courting candle served as a quiet, yet firm reminder to the suitor to end his date.

Rich or poor, the courting candle was used by fathers from all economic backgrounds. It taught daughters to respect their parents’ judgment. The candle also taught the suitor to defer to the father’s ability to judge a man. Although it may sound like a crazy notion by today’s standards, the courting candle served as an important boundary line in the family and social fabrics.

The Wrought Iron Courting Candle Holder and Drip Pan is constructed of wrought iron by talented and dedicated artisans. The candle holder resembles a loosely coiled spring, with a support that allows the candle to be raised or lowered. It is the wrought iron coiled look that makes a courting candle an identifiable and unique decorative piece.

Although the significance of courting candles has waned over the years, their stylish look still endures. So, whether your courting candle holder serves as a decorative piece or a collectible, you’ll always have a story to tell and a link to the past with a bold wrought iron courting candle holder.


We are please to have in our possession an original signed letter by the famous abolitionist John Brown. We have authenticated the letter by a John Brown authority.  If you would like to see more of John Brown’s work, please visit the Hudson Historical Society.

This letter is a summons penned by John Brown, an abolitionist written to the courts for a request that a cause of action be placed upon Erastus Warrel for a contract infraction of debt. Because Mr. Warrel did not live in Monroe County he could not be legally imprisoned for this crime according to the 81st section of the Act to Abolish Imprisonment. The summons requests

that Erastus Warrel be made by the court to make payment to John Brown. This was written and signed by John Brown on June 17, 1846.

John Brown was born on May 9, 1800 in Torrington, Connecticut. He fathered twenty children with eleven reaching adulthood. He traveled through the Northeastern area occasionally, using the alias Nelson Hawkins, as he had family that moved to nearby Hudson, Ohio.

He raised funds and recruited men to join him to fight slavery in the South. They lived and trained in a house  near Springdale,  Iowa from 1857- 1859. In 1859, John Brown led a raid on the  federal armory at Harpers Ferry to start a liberation movement among the slaves there. During the  raid, he seized the armory, seven people were killed and ten were injured. He was tried for treason for the murders’ a nd for inciting a major slave insurrection. The Commonwealth of Virginia, found him guilty and hanged him on December 2, 1859. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid escalated tensions that, a year later, led to the South’s secession and the Civil War.

A brief history of the U.S.S. COD

U.S.S. Cod (SS 224), named after the world’s most important food fish, is a World War II era GATO class fleet submarine. The 312-ft, (95-m) 1,525-ton submarine began her life on July 21, 1942 when her keel was laid at the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Connecticut. Cod was launched on March 21, 1943 under the sponsorship of Mrs. Grace M. Mahoney, wife of a veteran shipyard employee, and was placed in commission on June 21, 1943, under the command of CDR James C. Dempsey, USN. Dempsey had already won fame by sinking the first Japanese destroyer lost in the war while in command of a tiny, World War I-era submarine.

It was on Cod’s third patrol, Dempsey’s last in command, that Cod fought her biggest battle. Tracking a massive Japanese convoy heading for Subic Bay in the Philippines on the night of May 10, 1944, Cod maneuvered into firing position just after sunrise. Cod fired three of her four stern tubes at the Japanese destroyer Karukaya before unloading all six of her bow tubes at two columns of cargo ships and troop transports. Dempsey watched as the first torpedo exploded under the destroyer’s bridge after a short, 26 second run. Both smoke stacks collapsed and dozens of enemy sailors (watching for submarines) were tossed high into the air. The enemy ship started to sag in the middle, with both bow and stern rising, just as the second torpedo hit near the main mast causing the whole rear half of the Karukaya to disintegrate.

A minute later, all six of Cod’s bow shots hit targets among the columns of enemy ships. Cod submerged to her 300-foot test depth and ran at her top underwater speed of 8.5 knots for 10 minutes to clear the firing point, which was clearly marked by the white wakes of Cod’s steam-powered torpedoes. The high-speed run had to be kept to 10 minutes to preserve as much of the submarine’s electric battery as possible for later evasive maneuvers. The firing point was quickly saturated with aircraft bombs and depth charges dropped by enemy escort ships. Between the explosions of enemy depth charges, Cod’s sonar operators could hear the sounds of several Japanese ships breaking up and the distinct firecracker sound of an ammunition ship’s cargo exploding. Cod’s own firecracker show soon followed: a barrage of more than 70 Japanese depth charges shook Cod in less than 15 minutes. After 12 hours submerged Cod surfaced 25 miles away from the attack area in the midst of a heavy night thunderstorm.

It was on Cod’s seventh and final war patrol that she would carve a unique niche for herself, not for destroying enemy ships, but for performing the only international submarine-to-submarine rescue in history. On the morning of July 8, 1945 Cod arrived at Ladd Reef in the South China Sea to aid the Dutch Submarine O-19 which had grounded on the coral outcropping. After two days of attempts at pulling O-19free, the captains of both vessels agreed that there was no hope of freeing the Dutch sub from the grip of the reef. After removing the 56 Dutch sailors to safety, Cod destroyed the O-19 with two scuttling charges, two torpedoes, and 16 rounds from Cod’s 5-inch deck gun. The Cod was home to 153 men for the two and a half-day run to the recently liberated Subic Bay naval base.

After delivering the O-19 crew, Cod returned to her patrol area off the coast of Vietnam where she resumed boarding and sinking Junks carrying enemy supplies. During one of these “pirate-like” operations, a five-man boarding party was stranded on a junk after Cod was strafed by a Japanese plane and forced to crash dive. It was several hours before Cod could surface to retrieve her boarding party. When she did, the horizon was littered with Junks.

After a two-day search involving several U.S. submarines, the lost crewmen were recovered by the submarine Blenny. Highlights of the patrol, including the O-19 rescue and return of the lost boarding party, were recorded in color movies made by Norman Jensen, a Navy photographer, who was assigned to film Cod’s war patrol. The films were discovered in the National Archives in 1992.

Cod returned to her Perth, Australia base on August 13, 1945, and was met at the dock by the men of the O-19 who invited their rescuers to a thank-you party. It was during the party that word of the Japanese surrender was received. Today, Cod’s battleflag and conning tower both carry a cocktail glass above the name “O-19” to commemorate the rescue and the party.

Mothballed in 1946, Cod was recommissioned in 1951 to participate in NATO anti-submarine training exercises. Her Cold War voyages took Cod to St. John’s Newfoundland, as well as ports in Cuba and South America. During LANTFLEX’ 52 fleet exercise, Cod was credited with “sinking” a U.S. aircraft carrier.

Cod was decommissioned in 1954 and placed in reserve. In 1959 she was towed through the newly opened St. Lawrence Seaway to serve as a naval reserve training vessel in Cleveland, Ohio. The veteran submarine was an instant hit with school children who visited her on field trips. In 1971, no longer useful as a training ship, Cod was stricken from the register of Navy ships.

A handful of Clevelanders formed the Cleveland Coordinating Committee to Save Cod, Inc., to preserve her as a memorial on the city’s lakefront. In January, 1976, the Navy gave guardianship of the submarine to the group. Cod began her career as a floating memorial in May of 1976 when she opened for public tours and quickly established herself as a popular tourist attraction. In 1986, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Cod a National Historic Landmark.

Today, Cod is one of the finest restored submarines on display and is the only U.S. submarine that has not had stairways and doors cut into her pressure hull for public access. Visitors to this proud ship use the same vertical ladders and hatches that were used by her crew. Cleveland can claim partial credit as Cod’s birthplace, since the submarine’s five massive diesel engines were built by General Motors’ Cleveland Diesel plant on Cleveland’s west side.

Cod is credited with sinking more than 12 enemy vessels totaling more than 37,000 tons, and damaging another 36,000 tons of enemy shipping. All seven of her war patrols were considered successful and Cod was awarded seven battle stars. Patrols 1, 2, and 3 were under the command of CDR James C. Dempsey, USN; patrols 4, 5, and 6 were under the command of CDR James “Caddy” Adkins, USN; and patrol 7 was under the command of LCDR Edwin M. Westbrook, Jr., USN. When recommissioned in 1951, Cod was under the command of CAPT. Francis E. Rich, USN, and was placed out of commission by CAPT. Joseph Adelman, USN.

During WW II, U.S. submarines sank more than 55% of the Japanese ships lost, including more than 70% of her merchant fleet and more than 220 warships. They also conducted secret intelligence gathering missions and rescued more than 550 aviators who were forced to ditch at sea in enemy waters, including former President George Bush. The U.S. Navy lost 52 submarines with a loss of more than 3,500 men, or 22% of the submarine force.

Our long resident, Stan Jewell, was a WW II Machinist First class and worked on the USS Cod as well as other submarines during the war.  We are pleased to have his picture of him in uniform as well as one of his uniforms on display in the museum.  Mr. Jewell lived in Twinsburg until his recent passing and is a long time friend and member of The Twinsburg Historical Society.