Saturday, November 5th is the last regular meeting of the Cleveland Natural Science Club for 2016. It will be held at Look About Lodge. For the program, which starts at 7:30 and is open to the public, members will present their favorite show and tell about Club activities and Look About Lodge. Come and learn about some of the Club’s activities since its founding in 1924.
But better yet, start your holiday season out by coming to the Cleveland Natural Science Club’s Christmas Tea. It’s a tradition that has been going on for at least 78 years. This year the tea will be held on Sunday, December 11th from 2:00 to 4:00. You’ll get finger foods, sweets, and punch.
I expect to be there, so you can buy an autographed copy of Lodge Spirit for your coffee table to have out over the holidays. And if you buy additional copies for gifts, you get discounts on the additional copies.
The Lodge’s history is covered in words and pictures in the second half of the book. The first half covers the history of nature appreciation in America, including short bios on six of America’s early naturalists.
Those who have read it say it’s an interesting insight into an important part of Greater Cleveland’s history.
As you know, the sub-title of this book is: “A Brief History Of Nature Appreciation In America”. In the chapters dealing with nature appreciation, which comprise half of the book, the history of the national parks in America is covered. Yellowstone, the nation’s first national park, achieved that status in 1872 when the National Parks Act was passed.
But it wasn’t until 1916, some 44 years later, that congress got around to establishing the National Parks Service to manage the parks. So in 2016, the National Parks Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary, with a variety of special programs.
A list of Cuyahoga Valley National Park special events can be fund at: http://ohioanderiecanalway.com/Main/News/Cuyahoga_Valley_National_Park_Celebrates_100th_Ann_110.aspx.
For a brief description on how this country’s national parks were started, and what was unique about the concept, get yourself a copy of Lodge Spirit. You may order it on this website, or get a copy from Fireside Books in Chagrin Falls, The Chagrin Falls Historical Society, or the Bedford Historical Society.
People are surprised when I tell them today’s Look About Lodge is the second Look About Lodge. If you’ll read the book, you’ll learn how the Cleveland Natural Science Club got their first Look About Lodge, and how the first Lodge lead to the second.
And while you’re about it, remember the big media splashes about Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River burning. That was a non-story. The book will tell you why.
And did you ever hear of the Washburn-Landford-Doane Expidation that first explored Yellowstone and initiated the national park system? The book tells you about that as well, while debunking a myth about how the parks were originated.
There’s a lot to learn in this book, and most who have read it are impressed. Don’t remain ignorant. This book belongs on your coffee table!
It is about 100 feet by 40 feet. It is totally dedicated to nature education. It is called Look About Lodge. (No record of why they came up with that name.)
Look About Lodge
The building is a significant part of Northeast Ohio’s history. Built by the Cleveland Natural Science Club from 309 American chestnut logs, Look About Lodge was completed and dedicated on June 5, 1938. 2013 was its 75th anniversary year. It is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
It houses educational programs about nature, and entertainment programs. It adds a unique rustic atmosphere to the programs it houses. The building makes each program more meaningful – and memorable!
A 176 page book with 71 pictures has been written about this unique building’s history. In coffee table format, it includes pictures from 1936 and 1937 of the Lodge being built. The book is titled Lodge Spirit, and contains chapters that provide A Brief History of Nature Appreciation in America. It also contains the only currently available written history of Cleveland Metroparks. The retail price is $24.95.
The book answers a number of intriguing questions about Look About Lodge and about the history of nature appreciation in America. For specific examples, go to the Lodge Spirit Contents section of this website.
As a coffee table book with numerous photographs, this book makes an excellent gift. Think how someone who was impressed by Look About Lodge when they visited for a program or entertainment would appreciate knowing more about this unique building. Give a copy for a birthday, graduation, Valentines Day or Easter. Buy a copy for yourself, plus one for a friend or relative – and save 20% on the second one!
The author is Ralph M. Kneale, Jr., whose career includes extensive writing experience. During the 1940s, Ralph and his parents would spend a week or two during the summer and weekends during the spring and fall living at Look About Lodge. As Science Club members, they functioned as a host family to keep the Lodge open to the public. It was living in this rustic and educational atmosphere that helped Ralph develop his life-long love of nature.
The story of this special part of Northeast Ohio’s natural history is now available to the general public in a unique coffee table book. Each year, well over 17,000 people visit the Lodge for a variety of educational programs and entertainment. If this has included you, you’ll want your own copy of this unique book. If you have not been a Lodge visitor, you’ll still be fascinated with the interesting story behind this special part of Northeast Ohio’s history.
And of course, you’ll want to visit the Lodge as soon as possible. It is currently open to the public on Sundays in May through September from 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM. Come in and look around. Meditate in a natural setting. Or, attend a scheduled program. To determine what programs are available, go to the website www.clevelandmetroparks.com, select Events Calendar, and go to Look About Lodge.
The Cleveland Natural Science Club, which built Look About Lodge, still meets at the Lodge on the first Saturday of the month from January through November. An educational program on the natural sciences is presented at their meeting at 7:30 PM. These programs are open to the public. The subjects are listed on the Club’s website at www.clevelandnaturalscienceclub.org.
You’ll learn that 19 students from the Education College of Western Reserve University, and their professor, started a nature club in 1924. Then, you’ll discover how their desire for a clubhouse led to today’s Look About Lodge. And, you’ll find out what the Lodge was used for in its early days, and why.
You’ll also learn what presumably motivated these students to teach the natural sciences, and why they were so interested in the subject. And you will discover what brought about the nature appreciation movement in America. Then, you’ll find out how the nature appreciation concept has changed over the years.
You will discover how John Bartram became America’s first famous natural scientist and how he gained his reputation.
You will find out why John Audubon came to the United States, why he had to re-draw all his outstanding wildlife illustrations, and how he became world famous.
You’ll also learn how John Burroughs became a writer, and how he used a little shack in the woods to gain inspiration, write inspiring nature essays, and to entertain a number of famous people.
The book reveals how John Muir got to the United States, and what life-changing experience caused him to pursue a life promoting nature appreciation.
You’ll also learn what brought Ernest Thompson Seton to America, and what prompted him to change from wolf bounty hunter into an ardent nature conservationist.
And then, you will discover what led Theodore Roosevelt to become a nature lover, and how he used one piece of legislation to preserve thousands of acres of wilderness.
But what TR, and successive presidents after him, have accomplished in natural resource set-asides is all being threatened. For more information, and to help, go to https://secure.wilderness.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2605
Look About Lodge
Then, of course, you will learn how today’s Look About Lodge came to be, how it was financed and built, and see pictures of its construction in the 1930s. And, you will learn many interesting facts about the building.
Then, you will discover how the early Science Club members contributed to nature education in Northeast Ohio.
For more details, go to the Lodge Spirit Contents page of this website.
After reading this fascinating book, you will be better prepared to argue for and promote nature appreciation and conservation.
Lodge Spirit is in coffee table format. That is, it has numerous photos and drawings, which makes it good for displaying on a coffee table. Look About Lodge is an important part of Northeast Ohio’s history. It has broad interest, because over 17,000 people visit the Lodge every year. Yet few of them know its history.
Give Lodge Spirit as a gift, to yourself and/or to someone else! Think how much someone who has been to the Lodge for an educational or entertainment program would appreciate knowing more about the building. Display it on your coffee table. Visitors can pick it up and quickly learn plus see the history of this unique building.
The book contains the history of both Look About Lodges, which is an important part of Northeast Ohio’s history. It also contains a brief history of nature appreciation in America. In fact, half the book is devoted to this subject. Lodge Spirit is an excellent reference book for Northeast Ohio history buffs.
If you buy one for yourself and one for a friend or relative, you get 20% off the second copy. What a wonderful gift that would be!
Since Look About Lodge is a relatively narrow interest subject, we have added other books on nature appreciation to this site. These books will give you perspective on how to promote nature appreciation.
You may order these books from this site by clicking on the link. You will be taken to the seller’s website where ordering information will be found.
We will add books on nature appreciation, or a subject closely related to it, to this site as we find them. If you find a good book on the subject, please let us know.
When John Muir was a young man, he worked in a carriage shop. One day, a file he was working with slipped and went into his eye. He quickly lost sight in his other eye. But miraculously, his sight returned. From then on, he dedicated his life to seeing “America’s Natural Wonders.”
Muir walked the 1,000 miles from Louisville, Kentucky to Savanna, Georgia. He then ended up in San Francisco, California from which he traveled to Yosemite. From Yosemite, he made a trip to Alaska, and then back to his native Scotland.
You should travel to Yosemite and Yellowstone, and as many of our other National Parks as you can. But until you do, if you’re a Greater Clevelander check out Sulphur Springs gorge behind Look About Lodge, and the Chagrin River gorge below Squaw Rock, both in the South Chagrin Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks.
Then hike around the Tinkers Creek gorge in the Bedford Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks, and through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
If you want to go a little farther, check out Letchworth State Park in New York, just outside of East Aurora. Billed as the Grand Canyon of the East, it’s spectacular, just not as spectacular as the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Or, travel to Central Ohio and see Hocking Hills State Park. It also has some spectacular scenery.
There are plenty of “natural wonders” close to home. Get out and see them.
It was promoted and passed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The Antiquities Act allowed the president to set aside major tracts of land, protecting them from development until Congress could make them national parks or some other set-aside.
It was also used by presidents Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Bush. The National Park Service has responsibility for administering most of the national monuments, but some are managed by other federal agencies. In any case, invaluable national treasures have been protected.
Sometimes Congress gets huffy and objects, but usually the lands ultimately get protected. Recently,however, some members of Congress have attempted to create controversy with an anonymous leak of an “Internal Draft — NOT FOR RELEASE” memo within the Department of Interior.
To learn what you can do to fight this movement, go to: http://wilderness.org/blog/controversy-over-antiquities-act-and-national-monuments-makes-little-sense#sthash.5XsXwfEB.dpuf
Natural resource protection adds value to our country.
To learn more about TR’s initiation of and use of the Antiquities Act, read Lodge Spirit, chapter 9, Theodore Roosevelt.