Series of interpretive signs will tell Medina’s history

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Images courtesy of the Orleans Renaissance Group – Medina is planning to install nine interpretive panels that will provide a guide into the village’s history. One panel, the start of the nine-panel tour, provides a welcome message and introduction about the community.

Another panel features Grover Cleveland and his wife, the former Frances Folsom, a Medina native. Cleveland married Folsom while he was U.S. president.

MEDINA – The village’s history – its sandstone, Erie Canal and railroad prowess, and its many notable characters and community leaders – will be told on a series on nine interpretive panels that will be sprinkled throughout the downtown next spring.

The Orleans Renaissance Group is spearheading the project and is seeking $400 in donations to help pay for each steel sign.

“We’ve seen tourists walking around downtown, snapping photos and gazing at their surroundings,” said ORG Vice Chairman Chris Busch, who is coordinating the interpretive panel project. “We have one opportunity to make a lasting impression, an impression that will bring them back to visit again and again.”

Busch has designed nine panels that are numbered to encourage people to walk throughout the entire district. The panels include the following topics: Welcome to Medina, Historic Main Street, Robert H. Newell & Co. custom shirt manufacturers, Bent’s Opera House, Erie Canal, Grover Cleveland, Medina Sandstone, Immigrant Heritage, and the Railroad in Medina.

Busch said the signs define Medina business and historic districts “as a place that matters.”

The Orleans Renaissance Group is seeking donations to help pay for the signs, which will cost about $400 each for the metal bases.

The signs also create “the perception of importance – that this place is worth visiting historically, culturally, architecturally and economically.”

He expects the project will generate community pride and boost awareness for Medina’s historic, architectural and cultural resources. Businesses will benefit from visitors who stay in the community longer, Busch said.

The signs will need to be approved by the Village Planning Board, which also functions as Medina’s “Historic Review Board.”

Several sign sponsors have already stepped forward to support the project, but Busch and the ORG are seeking more financial support for the initiative. To help pay for a panel, send donations to “Interpretive Sign Initiative” c/o Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc., PO Box 543, Medina, NY 14103 or online at