Mentor is just 30 minutes east of downtown Cleveland. This lakefront community boasts a 930 acre park system with 11 community parks, 3 swimming pools, an ice arena with 2 ice rinks, inline skating parks and miles of bike and jogging trails.
The name of Mentor came from Greek literature. Mentor was the tutor of Telemachus, who was the son of Odysseus. One of the first settlers was Charles Parker, a surveyor with the Connecticut Land Company, who came in 1797. In the east, rumors had it that the streets were almost paved in gold out in the "west." Pioneers came with all their earthly possessions to make a new life. People settled into their new homes and quickly built up their town, including churches, schools and libraries.
Today, Mentor is a thriving town of over 50,000 residents. Mentor was rated #68 in CNN Money's 2007 list of best places in live in the United States. Mentor is also home to the Great Lakes Mall, a collection of 110 stores. Mentor has a number of smaller shopping areas that have become an attractive shopping destination for Cleveland residents thanks to Lake County's lower sales tax.
Ohio State University Buckeye fans can thank Mentor for producing National Champion football coach James Patrick Tressel. Although Jim Tressel spent most of his youth in Berea and Massilon, Mentor can lay claim as his birth town where he was born Dec. 5, 1952.
Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina
The newest nature preserve in the state of Ohio is located in Mentor, on the shores of Lake Erie. The 450-acre Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina was purchased by the city of Mentor in 1997 and 1998. The preserve includes 1.5 miles of shoreline with rare dune plants, a riverine marsh, mature oak bluff and crescent-shaped open waterways. The preserve serves as an important breeding and nursery area for fish and waterfowl and provides a resting place for neo-tropical birds and butterflies as they migrate each year.
The Mentor Lagoons' wetlands are some of the few riverine marshes still surviving along Lake Erie's shore; the uplands support the largest unbroken bluff forest in northeast Ohio. Below the forest is a half mile stretch of one of the finest coastal dune communities in Ohio. Together, the dunes and beach support two species of plants listed on Ohio's threatened list and five potentially threatened species of plants, as well as a highly diverse wildlife community. Over 150 species of birds have been recorded, making this site one of the top birding locations in the region.
Mentor Marsh Visitor Center and Programs
Mentor Marsh is an interpretive nature preserve of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the State of Ohio (ODNR) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. Trails are open daily, year-round, dawn to dusk. The Nature Center is open to the public with seasonal hours: April through October, Sat & Sun, noon – 5 pm November through March, first Sunday of the month: 11 am to 4 pm. For more information, contact the Nature Center at: (440) 257-0777, by mail at 5185 Corduroy Rd., Mentor, OH 44060
In 1876 James A. Garfield purchased a home in Mentor, from which he conducted the first successful front porch campaign for the presidency. That home, called Lawnfield, is now maintained as the James A. Garfield National Historic Site.