Jim Kirby's Birthday Party
James B. Kirby was born on September 28, 1884. FoCH takes the nearest weekend to celebrate Kirby's legacy - the creative link between engineering and and environment which became his home, a camp, and now Richfield Heritage Preserve.
2015: The first annual celebration of Kirby's Birthday
Celebrating Science and Nature in Richfield, Ohio
The Friends of Crowell/Hilaka (FoCH) hosts MR. KIRBY’S BIRTHDAY PARTY on Sunday, September 27 from 1-5PM at Crowell Hilaka, 4374 Broadview Road in Richfield, Ohio. This outdoor fun day, free to the public, honors a former owner of the Crowell Hilaka property, inventor Jim Kirby. The day includes hiking and science activities at one of Northeast Ohio’s newest and prettiest parks.
Family-friendly activities include the Bicycle of Power, Electron Toss, Crazy Construction and Letterboxing. There are also guided history hikes through the Kirby Estate at 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm. Guests should dress for the weather and bring a water bottle. There are free cupcakes and lemonade while supply lasts.
While known for Kirby vacuum cleaners, Jim Kirby (1884-1971) also invented improvements to electric dishwashers, irons and the first practical spin cycle for washing machines. He eventually amassed over 150 patents, most involving laundry or vacuum cleaners. Jim left numerous engineering wonders at his home (now Crowell Hilaka) including his workshop and hydroelectric mill, patented self-clarifying lake, and bridges. Kirby bought the former Oviatt farm in 1919 and sold the property to the local Girl Scout council in 1937.
The 336-acre Crowell Hilaka is now owned and managed by Richfield Joint Recreation District as a community park. It is currently open from dawn to dusk on Saturdays and Sundays for hikes and picnicking. For more information on the Richfield Joint Recreation District, visit www.rjrd.org