"Success is a journey; not a destination," Jack Miner said. Westlake residents pass the Ohio Historical Marker on Dover Center Road every day, but may know little about the man this marker commemorates. Jack Miner, noted naturalist, author, and lecturer, was born in Dover Village in 1865. He lived in a small weather-beaten house with a leaky roof just south of the area where Jenkins Funeral Chapel now stands.
Jack had ten brothers and sisters born of English parents who made a living in the brickyard across from their home. The creek that ran near Dover Center became both Jackâ€™s play-yard and his laboratory. He studied the creatures that inhabited the area and learned the lessons of bird life that formed a foundation for his lifeâ€™s work.
When Jack was thirteen years old, his family moved to Canada and settled in Kingsville, Ontario. Jack studied the wildlife in his new surroundings and began sharing his knowledge with others.
"Never take advice from a failure,â€ he said, â€œbut watch a success so you don't have to do much experimenting."
His concern for wildlife led him to build a bird sanctuary. He studied the migration habits of Canadian Geese, and began banding waterfowl in 1909. In 1931 his friends established the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation to ensure the continuation of his work.
"Get all the education you can; then add the learning," Jack advised. His reputation thrived as he lectured about conservation, methods of banding, research, and habitat preservation. National Wildlife Week was created in his honor.
From humble beginnings in Dover Village to greatness recognized by the world, Jack Miner was a true visionary.