In 1945, Pathfinder magazine selected the village of Medina as a “shining example of small town living” and, with the film company RKO Pathe, produced a 15-minute movie about Medina called Home Town USA. The film focused on the Victorian square and on the nearby tree-shaded streets lined with century homes. But the film did not tell the dramatic story behind the picturesque facade. Medina was hewn out of the Ohio wilderness by Connecticut Yankees, many of them Revolutionary War veterans who brought with them a tradition of democracy and strong community spirit. In 1848, a fire devastated the public square. The citizens rallied, and it was quickly rebuilt. In 1870, another fire wiped out most of the business district. Over the next decade, the square once again rose from the ashes, and the result was a village center filled with handsome Eastlake Victorian–style buildings. That public square sits at the heart of the community whose history this book puts on display.