The return of Leonard Porter
Greetings to all my friends in Dover – oops, Westlake – from the Great Beyond. As great as the Beyond is – and it is, except for golf since everyone always gets holes in one – I always look forward to getting back to my home town every year for the Westlake Historical Society’s Evergreen Cemetery Walk.
I enjoy coming back, meeting with some of my former neighbors and fellow founding families above ground and meeting with the good folks who live in Westlake now. Someone once said, “It’s hard to know where you are if you don’t know where you’ve been.” That’s what history is all about – letting people know where their families have been, letting people know where their country has been and letting people know where the area they live in came to be and how it advanced.
Little did I ever imagine all those years ago, when I left that $1,000 and my collection of books to help start a library, that it would someday become the world class library it is today – I’m proud that it bears my name. How all that happened is a story I love telling on the cemetery walk. No, I don’t haunt the library, but I do like to read its books and I may even offer a quiet suggestion in your ear as you walk its aisles.
Evergreen Cemetery is land donated by Leverett Johnson and his wife, Abigail. They are the first settlers of Westlake – both coming to what was then Dover with their families – meeting and marrying young. An inspiration to today’s young folks. Jed Crocker and his family didn’t donate the land that is now Crocker Park but that is where they had their farm. Jed often tells me how he loves to walk the streets of Crocker Park, proud of all that is there. The Johnson, Crocker and Porter stories are just a few of the founding stories of Westlake.
Our visit to Evergreen is Saturday, May 20, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Earth time. The event begins with the laying of a wreath at the Evergreen arch. We look forward to seeing you there.
Mel Maurer lives in Westlake