For 200 years the Tribune Chronicle and its predecessor newspapers have been providing area residents with opportunities to "read all about it." This weekend, Gaige Armstrong realized firsthand how important the news is to area residents as he marched through Courthouse Square downtown, beckoning folks with classic catch phrases such as "Extra, extra ... get your news here."
The 11-year-old realized some success each day, nearly emptying his newspaper tote bag and handing off current editions of the Tribune Chronicle to folks at the newspaper's Founders Festival, all while reciting the newspaper's headlines.
"I've done OK," he said as he was finishing up his second day on the job Saturday. "It's been fun."
Gaige worked Courthouse Square for the festival's two days, serving as a newsy or newsboy. Traditionally, newsboys delivered newspapers, often selling them on the streets to passersby. Armstrong played the part authentically, sporting a newsy, or flat cap, vest and knickers, with a newspaper bag strapped across his shoulder.
The Founders Festival is part of a yearlong calendar of events the Tribune Chronicle has been hosting in celebration of the bicentennial of newspaper publishing here. On June 9, 1812, the first newspaper was published in the Western Reserve. It evolved through the years into today's Tribune Chronicle.
Attendees took part in free activities including live entertainment at the gazebo, children's games, displays, readings, re-enactments and demonstrations, self -guided walking tours of downtown historic sites, lectures and an opportunity to meet the newspaper's editors.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael SempleMackenzie Leskovec, 19, portrays former Tribune Chronicle publisher Zell Hart Deming during the festival Saturday.
John and Esther Infante of Niles said the opportunity to see their favorite columnist, Burton Cole, who also serves as an assistant metro editor for the Tribune Chronicle, is what drew them to the festival on Saturday.
"We love Burt Cole," said Esther Infante. "He always gives us a chuckle. We've been looking forward to hearing him and seeing him."
The Infantes said they've been getting the paper every day for about 59 years.
Subscriber Pauline Williamson said she's enjoyed reading the Tribune Chronicle's articles chronicling the last 200 years of newspaper publishing and wanted to experience the events at the Founders Festival.
"It's a beautiful day and this is the place to be," she said. "It's nice to be part of all of this. We enjoy our paper every day. We've been reading it for 50 years, and 200 years of publishing is quite a record. I hope it continues. I'd hate to lose it."
At the log cabin, visitors could see copies of old Tribune Chronicles and its predecessor, Trump of Fame, on display.
Donna Allen of Warren, who worked at the switchboard for the classified department of the paper from 1958 to 1963, said she saw a photo of some of the women she worked with at that time in that department
''Today's event was fabulous and interesting. I came to hear about Mrs. (Zell Hart) Deming and was so surprised to see that photo,'' Allen said.
Layes Wood of Warren said the fire truck displayed at the event brought back memories of when she was 6 and her father, a firefighter, drove the truck around Leavittsburg to show it off and she rode with him.
''I came to hear Mike Wilson's presentation as President McKinley and then I saw the fire truck among the displays,'' she said.
Camille Hunter and Jennifer Mills of the Tribune, who organized the display in the cabin, said they had a steady flow of people.
Mills said one women who survived the 1985 tornado saw her name in several stories in the newspaper and another saw one of her recipes in a cookbook.
The Trumbull Art Gallery had a display of historic tools from the 1800s and early 1900s and said the event helped in publicizing their upcoming Summerfest for children.
Jacki Mountain with TAG said the Founders Festival allowed for the gallery to show many historic items from that time period.
Nancy Heiser of Howland said she came to the event to hear the different speakers including Sally Thomas, who spoke on the Sutliff family.
''I enjoyed the many speakers and what they had to say. The displays brought back a lot of memories and nostalgia. I loved seeing the antique cars and the Packards from the 1930s. I learned to how drive in a similar model, a Chevrolet,'' she said.
Tribune Chronicle columnist Burton Cole generated one of the largest crowds of the day as he shared how he comes up with ideas for his weekly Sunday column, ''Burt's Eye View.''
Cole, who joked he was the warm-up act for Mike Wilson portraying William McKinley, said when he was 9 years old he raised a Jersey cow that he took to the county fair.
''The thing with cows is not to show any fear of them. When you show fear the cow thinks it's the boss,'' Cole said, noting that the cow took off, with him as a 9 year old running behind it.
Cole said he learned to braid a cow's hair and later used this skill when he braided his daughter's hair.
Cole, who raised two children, said it takes someone special to be a dad, sharing his many comical experiences of fatherhood.
Guido Delgarbino of Warren said the first thing he reads each week in the Sunday paper, aside from the obituaries, is Burt Cole's column.
''I always read what he has to say. I enjoy his humor,'' he said.
Delgarbino is also a fan of Tribune editorial cartoonist Rick Muccio, who was set up with his work at the festival.
A Meet the Editors session was held under the tents at the festival, where the public could meet different staff members and management of the paper.
At the event Tribune Chronicle publisher Charles Jarvis said the two-day Founders Festival provided an opportunity to thank readers.
"It's been rewarding to celebrate this bicentennial of newspapers in Trumbull County with our readers," he remarked. "People have been so kind and supportive. The last few days have been wonderful."