By: Ishma’il Marcus Allgood
I am from a Rustbelt town called Elyria. It has a population between 53 to 55 thousand residents. Elyria was founded along the Black River (Ohio) in 1817 by Heman Ely, who built a log house, dam, gristmill, and sawmill on the site. The "ria" of Elyria was, according to...
[ www.yourdictionary.com/elyria ]
.... influenced by Maria, his father's wife: or perhaps influenced by "Illyria" the warrior tribe off the Balkan seas called " Illyrians". The later is doubtful due to the lack of evidence.
But what is the etymological meaning of the name "Elyria"? Some say Elyria is from Elysium which means paradise
( http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium ).
But an alternative etymology is that Elyria is a female variant of Ely or Eli which means "High" in the Hebrew. Since Heman Ely was the founder, this etymology is the most likely.
In Aramaic Ely or Eli is short for God. Jesus made reference to this in the Bible:
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
This phrase, shouted by Jesus from the cross, is given to us in these two versions.
The Markan version uses “Eloi” or ελωι (instead of “Eli” like Matthew) for "my god", which directly corresponds to the Aramaic form אלהי, elāhî. Which Corresponds to the Arabic name: Allah الله. It’s all the same name.
Thus the name Elyria possibly was influenced by both the name of it's founder and by the Freemason Shriners, that also influenced the surrounding towns like Sandusky (which was built based on Masonic designs), Toledo, or Medina (Corresponding to Muslim cities in Spain and Arabia). Clearly the name "Ely" has Middle Eastern origins. And Heman Ely himself was a Shriner. It is well known that the Shriners adopted Islamic, Middle Eastern, Arabic, or Hebrew names for their lodges.
In the year 1819 at the 11th annual Grand Communications, a dispensation establishing King Solomon Lodge was granted to Heman Ely Sr., Jabez Burrell, John Reading and others and the King Solomon Lodge was established. Two years later on Tuesday, December 11, 1821 King Solomon Lodge was chartered and Freemasonry was established in Elyria. The charter named Heman Ely Sr. as the first master of the fledgling Lodge. The Lodge along with masonry in Ohio grew, and on October 21, 1920 charter was granted to a second lodge named Frank S Harmon.
(Source: http://www.elyriamasons.com ).
I hope this was informative to you as it was for me. As-salaamu alaikum (The Peace be upon you all)