Crowell Hilaka and the Richfield Heritage Preserve

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Once known as Crowell Hilaka Girl Scout Camp, the history of Richfield Heritage Preserve begins in the early 19th century with the Oviatt family. They farmed the land for three generations until selling to inventor James B. Kirby in 1919. With the fortune he made from vacuum cleaners and washing machines, Kirby built a home above his patented lake, powered it with electricity from his experimental mill, and invited friends to dance on his spring-loaded dance floor. Cleveland Girl Scouts turned the property into Camp Julia Crowell in 1937. In 1957, the Scouts purchased the adjoining remnant of the Neal estate, named the new addition Hilaka, and upgraded for the possibility of making Crowell Hilaka an international destination. The people of Richfield reclaimed the green space and the history when they voted to buy the former camp in 2014. The property is now a public park.
ISBN: 9781467107037
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Ohio
Series: Images of America
Images: 212
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Author Lynn Scholle Richardson is the historian for Friends of Crowell Hilaka, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Richfield Heritage Preserve. She has drawn from the archives of the Richfield Historical Society; Girl Scouts of North East Ohio; Cleveland State University; the Oviatt, Neal, and Kirby families; and scores of camp alumni to tell the story of this beloved place.
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