Berea - The Grindstone City  LbNA # 44378

Placed DateNov 4 2008
LocationBerea, OH
Found By Shicksters
Last Found Dec 1 2012
Hike Distance?

You will be looking for a two cup (5x3x3˝”) lock & lock container that is covered with camouflage duct tape.


MATERIALS NEEDED: The box contains only a logbook and a stamp. Please bring your own Stamp-pad or Inking pens as well as a writing instrument.


DIFFICULTY: Recovery of this box will require travel on a concrete walkway and a gravel path with minimal elevation changes. The path is wheelchair accessible however actual recovery of the box will require a short walk through the woods.
Hike Length: 1.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 10 feet


Our family has resided in Berea since 1980, but we have only recently developed an interest in letterboxing.

Although we are very fortunate that the area is rich in letterboxing opportunities, I find that few of them have themes that are specific to the Berea area.

I am now planning a number of letterboxes featuring local culture, points of interest and history.

Berea is known as “The Grindstone City” therefore this, my first Berea box, reflects that title and has been placed near one of the old quarries.


John Baldwin
, an educator from New England, picked what is now Berea as the site for a Methodist Lyceum community. The site was selected for the availability of fertile soil, abundant natural gas, water, and building materials. Berea got its name back in 1836 when Reverend Henry O. Sheldon, a circuit rider and later Berea's first postmaster, chose the town’s name over another biblical locale: Tabor (Mount Tabor) by the flip of a coin. Mr. Baldwin called "heads" and the rest is history. John Baldwin is also known as a founder of the Baldwin institute, which later became Baldwin-Wallace College.

John Baldwin prospered in Berea by transforming the sandstone along the banks of the Rocky River into a successful industry beginning in the early 1840s and lasting nearly a century. His invention, a lathe to cut slabs of stone into grindstones, would make "Berea sandstone" world famous. The grindstones were used to sharpen tools for farm, home and industry. Building stone from Berea quarries was used in prestigious buildings in the United States and abroad. A festival named for the grindstones that were synonymous with Berea is held each July 4th weekend.

Quarry workers in mid-1800s were of English, Scottish and German ancestry. As time passed, German, Irish and Polish immigrants arrived to work in the quarries. In the 1940s, Carborundum grinding wheels replaced grindstones, and cement was being used more extensively in construction. Berea's industrial greatness had ended.



To recover this box park in the Berea municipal parking lot located behind the Berea Commons off of Rocky River Drive just south of the city center.

Approach the city municipal complex from Bagley Road by traveling south on Front Street. The triangle which serves as the city "Square" will be on your left just before West Bridge St. Cross over Bridge Street and continue straight on what has now become Rocky River Drive. Drive past the city offices and police station. Turn left Just beyond the police parking into the municipal lot.

Park at the far right (SE) corner of the lot nearest to the gazebo on the edge of Coe lake.

You will be starting out on the concrete walkway which runs from the corner of the parking lot and passes to the right of the gazebo. Just beyond the gazebo the path becomes gravel and follows along the edge of the lake.

Follow the gravel path around the edge of the lake staying to the left each time that it branches. You will cross over a bridge at one point as you pass several benches and slabs of rock which serve as benches. Stop and rest or enjoy the scenery if you have the time.

Continue on your quest keeping the lake on your left after crossing the bridge, soon you will see several podiums on the right of the path bearing educational information which are identified as “Outdoor Classrooms”.

When you arrive at Classroom 3 (The Chemistry of the Lake) walk up and put both of your hands on it. Now look over your right shoulder. You should see a medium sized tree with 6 main trunks about 12 paces from where you are standing. I thought it was a red oak but my wife said it is a maple - tell me what you think! Either way you will find the grindstone there in the crotch of all of those trunks with a broken branch lying over the top of it.

This is a busy area and you can be seen from many directions. Please exercise caution not to be observed while getting and placing the box. This tree crotch holds water; therefore I have deliberately not placed the box all the way down in the bottom of it to minimize the chance of drowning it. Please replace it in a similar manner hiding it well.

Please let me know the status of this box when you find it.
It is helpful if you log your find both here and on Atlas Quest
I hope that you enjoy this adventure.