I attended the Ohio Museums Association’s annual conference on behalf of the Cowan Pottery Museum this past weekend. This year’s conference took place right here in Cleveland and both Sunday’s museum tours and Monday’s conference sessions were wonderful. I am excited to have returned chock full of some new ideas to bring to the Museum!
We capped our conference experience with a special treat—a private tour of the Great Lakes Brewing Company facilities in Ohio City. Though they were much appreciated, my enthusiasm to go on the tour did not rest solely upon the promise of free samples of beer. Additionally, I was excited to visit a place with an important connection to Rocky River Public Library’s history. The building that now houses GLBC once housed the operations of the Schlather Brewing Company. Leonard Schlather did business in Ohio City, but he relaxed at the lavish country estate he built in Rocky River (originally on Wooster Road). It is because of the bequest of Leonard and Sophia Schlather that the library was able to complete its first major expansion in the 1956 (familiar to you as the “Schlather Room”). Much of the fine art collection that graces the Library’s walls (given in 1954) is also part of the bequest that Sophia Schlather made in honor of her husband.
It was very neat to see that GLBC has some artifacts of Schlather Brewing in their building. They even have a large piece of the building’s old parapet bearing the Schlather name that was unearthed during construction work years ago and put on display in their tap room. What a great slice of local history to be enjoyed by museum professionals and beer drinkers alike!