Mentor, Ohio

Coordinates: 41°41′28″N 81°20′31″W / 41.69111°N 81.34194°W / 41.69111; -81.34194
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mentor, Ohio
James A. Garfield National Historic Site
"The City of Choice"
Location in Greater Cleveland
Location in Greater Cleveland
Mentor, Ohio is located in Ohio
Mentor, Ohio
Mentor, Ohio
Location in Ohio
Coordinates: 41°41′28″N 81°20′31″W / 41.69111°N 81.34194°W / 41.69111; -81.34194
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • Council PresidentJanet A. Dowling[1]
 • Total27.99 sq mi (72.50 km2)
 • Land27.80 sq mi (71.99 km2)
 • Water0.20 sq mi (0.51 km2)
Elevation692 ft (211 m)
 • Total47,450
 • Density1,707.02/sq mi (659.09/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code440 436
FIPS code39-49056[4]
GNIS feature ID1085475[3]

Mentor (/ˈmɛntər/ MEN-tər) is the largest city in Lake County, Ohio, also a suburb around Northeast Cleveland United States. The population was 47,450 at the 2020 census. It is part of the Cleveland metropolitan area.

Mentor was first settled in 1797. In 1876, James A. Garfield purchased a home in Mentor, from which he conducted the first successful front porch campaign for the presidency; the house is now maintained as the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. The city is home to Headlands Beach State Park, the longest public swimming beach in Ohio. The city is a major center of retail stores, ranking sixth-largest in Ohio as of 2012,[5] and restaurants, ranking seventh-largest in the state as of 2012.[6] Mentor Avenue (US 20) is the major retail center, which includes the Great Lakes Mall, with additional shopping and strip malls found along most major roads. Convenient Food Mart is based in Mentor. Major products include medical related, polymers, plastics, electric boards and other peripherals that generally serve the computer and automation industries. Two major railroads pass through the city, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. Medical equipment company Steris is based in Mentor. In July 2010, ranked Mentor 37th in a list of the Top 100 Best Small Cities to Live in America.[7]


Mentor is named after the Greek figure Mentor, in keeping with the Connecticut Western Reserve settlers' tradition, as well as that of most other Americans at the time, of celebrating aspects of Greek classicism (nearby Solon, Macedonia, Euclid, and Akron also were named using that principle).[8]

The pronunciation of the city's name is a shibboleth, with many residents pronouncing it as "men-ner" and outsiders using the more conventional "men-tore", while in the media and among most residents, "men-ter" is prominent.[9][10] The city's former slogan, "It's better in Mentor," reflects this fact.


20th Century Limited derailment, 1905

Mentor was formally established in 1855 but founded in the late eighteenth century by Charles Parker who built the first settlement.[11] This settlement was established before Ohio became the 17th state in the Union in 1803. It earned the nickname "Rose Capital of the Nation" due to the abundant rosebushes that grew throughout the city. During the time this nickname developed, Mentor's tourist industry boomed due to Clevelanders trying to escape a dirty, industrial atmosphere. Post World War II, most Mentor dwellers had cars and could efficiently drive to work. This caused an increase in middle and working-class families and by 2000, about 50,000 people lived in Mentor.[12]


The "Official Flag of the City of Mentor" was designed by Brad Frost in 1988 for a contest by Mentor Headlands. The flag's appearance is similar to Ohio's flag in that they have similar shapes, a large blue triangle, and stripes. The blue triangle represents Ohio's hills while the stripes represent roads and waterways. There is a white circle, symbolizing Ohio, with a cardinal, the official bird of Ohio and Mentor, sitting in the middle. There are six stars surrounding the circle symbolizing the 6 original townships, including Mentor, surveyed in 1797.[13]


Mentor Marsh Nature Preserve

Mentor is a suburb of Cleveland and is located on the south shore of Lake Erie. The Mentor Headlands area of Mentor, located in the northeast portion of the city,[14] was settled in 1797 by Connecticut Land Company surveyors.[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.00 square miles (72.52 km2), of which 26.65 square miles (69.02 km2) is land and 1.35 square miles (3.50 km2) is water.[16]


The average temperature in Mentor is 49.90 °F which is comparable to the Ohio average temperature of 50.88 °F but lower than the national average of 54.45 °F. The annual average for precipitation is 42.87 inches which is higher than the national and state average, Mentor averages 93.4 days with more than .1 inches of rain. This is higher than Ohio's average of 80 days. Mentor expects about 61.25 days with 1 or more inches of snow. The wind average is 18.61 mph and humidity is 75.82%.[17]


Historical population

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[23] of 2010, there were 47,159 people, 19,166 households, and 13,339 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,769.6 inhabitants per square mile (683.2/km2). There were 20,218 housing units at an average density of 758.6 per square mile (292.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 1.0% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 19,166 households, of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.4% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.94.

The median age in the city was 44.8 years. 21.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.3% were from 25 to 44; 33.2% were from 45 to 64; and 16.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 50,278 people, 18,797 households, and 14,229 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,878.2 inhabitants per square mile (725.2/km2). There were 19,301 housing units at an average density of 721.0 per square mile (278.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.30% Caucasian, 0.64% African American, 0.05% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population. 19.8% were of German, 15.1% Italian, 13.1% Irish, 8.8% English, 6.5% Polish, 5.5% Slovene and 5.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 18,797 households, out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.6% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city the population was spread out, with 25.9% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $57,230, and the median income for a family was $65,322. Males had a median income of $44,021 versus $31,025 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,592. About 1.8% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.


Mentor Public Schools[edit]

President Barack Obama at Mentor High School in 2012

Mentor Exempted Village School District operates the public schools in the community. Mentor's school system consists of eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and Mentor High School. Like many school systems in Ohio, Mentor Schools suffered a financial crisis in the early 2000s, but passed a large levy and is now largely on solid footing.[24] It is one of the fastest Ohio school systems ever to emerge from fiscal emergency.[25] The financial difficulties were due in part to years of accounting fraud.[26][failed verification]

Elementary schools:

  • Bellflower Elementary
  • Fairfax Elementary
  • Hopkins Elementary
  • Lake Elementary (in Mentor-on-the-Lake)
  • Orchard Hollow Elementary
  • Ridge Elementary (Formerly Ridge Middle School)
  • Sterling Morton Elementary

Middle schools:

  • Memorial Middle School
  • Shore Middle School

High school:

Special needs schools:

  • CARES (Formerly Headlands Elementary)
  • Re-Education Services Inc. (Formerly Reynolds Elementary)


Private schools[edit]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Headlands Beach State Park

Many bike paths have been built in Mentor in recent years.[11] The parks in the city include:[30]

  • Bellflower Skatepark
    • Located at Bellflower Elementary School. During daylight hours, skateboarders can use the park's ¼ pipe, launch ramp and grind box.
  • Civic Center Park
    • Site of many festivals, day camps, and annual Fourth of July Fireworks. Includes the Civic Center water park with an Olympic sized pool, waterslide, children's play area, and Civic Arena. There is also a skate park featuring two different areas, one for experienced and for non experienced skaters.
  • Commemorative Rose Garden
    • This garden was constructed in 1988 and commemorates Mentor's 25th year as a city[11]
  • Donald E Krueger Park
    • Features a pavilion, four soccer fields, and indoor or outdoor seating.
  • Edward R. Walsh Park
    • Formerly known as Bellflower park, it includes a playground, rentable pavilion, fishing pond, skatepark, fitness course, basketball courts, baseball and soccer fields.
  • Eleanor B Garfield Park
    • One of the largest parks including a Community Recreation Center, outdoor pool, All People's Playground, baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, fishing pond, and wildlife area
  • Headlands Beach State Park
    • The longest beach in the State of Ohio.
  • Mentor Beach Park
    • Scenic park overlooking Lake Erie with a playground, lake front pavilion, and soccer field.
  • Mentor Dog Park
    • Separated fenced in areas for large or small dogs with a dog water fountain and benches.
  • Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina
    • Located on the shores of Lake Erie with multiple hiking and biking trails giving views to the Mentor Marsh, marina, shoreline, and rare dune plants.
  • Morton Community Park
    • Easily access to walking trails, wildlife, and scenery since it is next to the Mentor Marsh Nature Preserve. Additionally, it houses Morton Pool and Spray park, a pavilion, skatepark, and basketball courts.
  • Presidents Park
    • Neighborhood park with a pavilion, playground, basketball and tennis courts.
  • Tiefenbach Park
    • Provides ramps to skaters and bikers.
  • Veteran's Memorial
    • Designed and built by city employees and dedicated as a tribute to veterans in 2006. Features 5 flags representing the 5 divisions of the armed forces and 5 benches facing a brick wall to represent the circle of life. The opportunity to purchase a brick in memoriam of a fallen veteran and placed in the Memorial Walkway is available.
  • Veteran's Park
    • Mentor's first neighborhood park offers fishing piers, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing area


In 2014, Amazon published a documentary about severe bullying and harassment in Mentor High School which led to at least four suicides starting in 2010.[31] The filmmaker received ten violent threats after the release of the film's trailer.[32] CBS News also published a story about the bully-related suicides that Mentor High School has become known for.[33] The Boston Globe wrote about the documentary, saying "This is a problem of not just one town, but of the entire culture of conformity. It’s much bigger than just one bad kid or bad teacher. In my films I'm interested in looking at the whole problem rather than the easy answers."[34] The Daily Beast called Mentor High School "Suicide High."[35]

In 2016, Mentor's rate of 1.1 violent crimes per 1,000 residents was equal to the average (median) among Ohio cities. However, its rate of 22.1 property crimes per 1,000 residents was higher than the state median of 18.3 per 1,000 people. The property crime rate was high primarily due to the incidence of theft (larceny) in the city.[36]

Mentor's crime rating is 152 which is in the "high" range and 139.8 points lower than the national average.[37]


Primarily receiving the Cleveland-area television market, Mentor residents (being so much further east of Cleveland) can also receive Youngstown-area television reception from WFMJ-TV with a good antenna.[38] This allowed access to NBC programming pre-empted by KYW-TV from 1956 until 1965, when Cleveland's channel 3 was owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting, before the sale was undone and it returned to NBC ownership as WKYC.[39]


Mentor is served by Laketran, which provides bus service throughout Lake County, as well as by Willoughby's Lake County Executive Airport, whose runways enter Mentor. Interstate 90, US Route 20, and State Route 2 all traverse the city.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "City of Mentor, OH". City Council & Commissions. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ Scott, Betsy (August 19, 2015). "Mentor now sixth-largest retail center in Ohio". The News-Herald. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Scott, Betsy (August 7, 2015). "Mentor's rank rises in food, drinking places among Ohio cities". The News-Herald. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "37. Mentor OH". CNN. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  8. ^ History Archived September 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. The City of Mentor website.
  9. ^ "A Pronunciation Guide to places in Ohio -- E.W.Scripps School of". Archived from the original on July 25, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  10. ^ Feran, Tom (February 6, 2004). "If men are on lake, they aren't from here". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  11. ^ a b c City of Mentor. "1796-2022 History of Mentor Timeline" (PDF). City of Mentor. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2023. Retrieved November 8, 2023.
  12. ^ "Mentor, OH". Ohio History Central. Ohio History Connection. November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  13. ^ "History of Mentor Flag". City of Mentor. November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  14. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mentor Headlands
  15. ^ Podolak, Janet (July 24, 2011). "Largely Impenetrable Mentor Marsh is Lake County's Own Natural Wonder". The News-Herald. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  16. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  17. ^ "44060 Zip Code Weather". Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  18. ^ "Population of Civil Divisions Less than Counties" (PDF). Statistics of the Population of the United States at the Tenth Census. U.S. Census Bureau. 1880. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  19. ^ "Population: Ohio" (PDF). 1910 U.S. Census. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  20. ^ "Population: Ohio" (PDF). 1930 US Census. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  21. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. 1960. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  22. ^ "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  23. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  24. ^ Scott, Mark (February 4, 2005). "Release by state bittersweet". The News-Herald. Retrieved January 31, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Archived August 22, 2017, at the Wayback Machine Mentor Public Schools
  26. ^ "Mentor voters must approve levy now". Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  27. ^ Mentor Public Schools District. "List of Mentor Schools". Mentor Public Schools District. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  28. ^ "Mentor Christian School". Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  29. ^ [ (K-8)] Assumption Prep Archived June 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ City of Mentor. "Mentor Parks". City of Mentor. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  31. ^ "Watch Mentor (English Subtitled) | Prime Video".
  32. ^ Krouse, Peter (April 13, 2012). "Mentor High students fear planned bullying documentary will mislead (video and poll)". Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  33. ^ "Sladjana Vidovic: Four Bullied Teens Dead by Their Own Hands at Ohio School". CBS News. October 8, 2010.
  34. ^ Keough, Peter (December 26, 2014). "Learning lessons from 'Mentor'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  35. ^ Franks, Lucinda (March 31, 2010). "Life and Death at Suicide High". Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  36. ^ "FBI - Ohio - Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by City, 2016". FBI 2016 Crime in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  37. ^ "Crime Rate in Mentor, Oh". City-data. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  38. ^ Channel Master contributors (November 14, 2023). "Broadcast Tower Map and Technical Info" (Map). Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  39. ^ "WKYC (Channel 3)". Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  40. ^ Mascitti, Carly (October 17, 2023). "Cleveland native Matt Kata's unique MLB postseason tie: 'It's pretty cool to be part of that history'". WEWS-TV. Retrieved October 18, 2023.

Further reading[edit]

  • Habinski, Janice Anthony; Ronald L. Prosek (1988). Mentor – a retrospective. Mentor, Ohio: Old Mentor Foundation.
  • Kapsch, Joan; Sue Muehlhauser; Kathie Pohl (1997). Mentor: The First 200 Years. Mentor, Ohio: Mentor Bicentennial Committee/Old Mentor Foundation.

External links[edit]