Summit County Historical Society

Summit County Historical Society Learn about local history, events and programs by following the Summit County Historical Society of Akron, OH.

Inventory Update

We hope that you enjoyed Episode 7 of Artifacts with Edie today.

At the end of the program, we mentioned the importance of food for helping your brain work. No person should go hungry because there are agencies ready to help.

If you NEED food, please see the link in our comments for Episode 7 of Artifacts with Edie to find the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and notes about how Akron Public Schools students can get lunches from their neighborhood school (but not specialty schools) Monday through Friday from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. (Thank you, APS Board Member Lisa Mansfield for providing locations and times.)

If you CAN help, please donate to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Thank you to Foodbank CEO Dan Flowers for sharing this video today. Their supplies are getting low.

Donations can be made by going to their website at

We need our historically amazing scholars and their families to be happy and healthy learners!

Foodbank Inventory Update - Last Full Week of April 2020

Summit County residents are again stepping up to the challenge in the fight against COVID-19!Akron's Bhutanese community...
Akron's Bhutanese community sews 5,000 masks for hospitals

Summit County residents are again stepping up to the challenge in the fight against COVID-19!

Akron's Bhutanese community is working together to help local residents while they assist front line workers.

Read more here about their work sewing masks that are being donated to local hospitals:

In the idle hands of a coronavirus-crippled economy, Hindus in North Akron found a way to protect hospital workers.These thousands of Bhutanese Americans

Meet the Scroggy Sisters….When journalists talk about the “Akron sound,” chances are they are talking about Devo, Waitre...

Meet the Scroggy Sisters….

When journalists talk about the “Akron sound,” chances are they are talking about Devo, Waitresses, Bizarros and Tin Huey. The Summit County Historical Society prefers to point to an earlier “Akron sound,” when East Market Gardens swung with the Colleens and the Co-eds. The “Scroggy Sisters” were central to that generation of the “Akron sound.”

Meet Evelyn Scroggy, one of the saxophone players for the Colleens, and big sister Aileen, pianist for the 10-piece orchestra deemed “one of Akron’s most promising orchestras” by the Beacon Journal.

The Scroggy sisters started their musical careers well before the Colleens. The two came from a musical family that included dad James A. Scroggy, musician/city employee, and brother James, a well-known Akron trombone player. But it was the sisters that really rocked the Akron music scene and grabbed the headlines.

They started their careers as “Two Little Girls in Blue,” a piano-sax-song act, at the Syrian Social Club. As the Scroggy Sisters, they were a “femme team” on radio. In the 1930s they had a 15-minute afternoon gig on WJW. According to the Beacon, the sisters were so popular they turned down stage offers, preferring radio and staying at home with their parents on Crosby Ave.

The Scroggy sisters were probably the organizers of the Colleens. Newspaper accounts certainly suggest as much and the photo of the Colleens, which appear in this post, is stamped with the Scroggy family address on Crosby. None of the Colleen pictures has identifications but here they are, courtesy of the Beacon in the 1930s: Marcella Koerber, drums; Alberta Long, saxophone; Aline Scroggy, piano; Edna Vanica, violin; Eileen France, banjo; Evelyn Scroggy, saxophone; Dorothy Wohlwend, trumpet; Lucille Witwer, saxophone: Ruth Petley, trumpet; and Maxine Phiney, bass viol.

It’s difficult to say what happened to these talented women after the Colleens broke up in the 1940s. Perhaps some readers can update us. But Aline Scroggy Miller, who always used Scroggy as her middle name, played the piano and taught dancing at Browne’s Dance Studio in the 1950s. She specialized in fox trot, waltz, rhumba, samba, tango, polka and jitterbug. According to the dance studio ad, Aline knew “the dancer’s needs.” For those of you who may have taken dance lessons at the Browne studio on West Exchange, you may have learned your moves from one of the famous Scroggy sisters.

Evelyn is more difficult to trace. If anyone knows what became of Evelyn Postle from Cuyahoga Falls, please let us know.

Akron Public Schools

Akron Public Schools

Check out today's COVID-19 update for information on a remote tutoring program through The University of Akron, a fun program from the Summit County Historical Society and more:

All daily briefs and additional information can be found at



Play anytime!

1. Go to KAHOOT.IT
2. Code 0518711
3. Select a nickname
4. Have fun!

If your birthday was April 23, you shared it with Dr. Parke R. Kolbe.Thank you to Society board director and volunteer K...

If your birthday was April 23, you shared it with Dr. Parke R. Kolbe.

Thank you to Society board director and volunteer Keith Collett for writing about a recognizable name from The University of Akron. How many of you, like Mr. Collett, had class at Kolbe Hall?

Doctor Parke Rexford Kolbe, born in Ohio in 1881, began his lifetime of university work at his alma mater, Buchtel College. Originally hired as a Professor of Modern Languages in 1905, a position he served until 1913, when the college became incorporated as the University of Akron. Under this new name, Kolbe was elected the university’s first president, a role he served until 1925, when he was offered the position of president at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. It was this experience, as well as his work within a number of state and national education committees, including the American Association of Urban Schools, that brought him to the attention of Drexel Institute. In 1932, Doctor Kolbe was offered the position of president at Drexel, and served this role until 1942.

Doctor Kolbe had the distinction of leading Drexel Institute during highly uncertain times in American history, the Great Depression, and the years leading up to and the start of American involvement in World War II. In this time, Kolbe worked with the hand dealt him to make the best of things, despite the need for a tightly controlled budget, and the ever-present present threat of losing students, be it to the breadlines, or to the front lines. Considering the serious economical strains of the Depression, it should not be surprising that Drexel Institute, like most other colleges nationwide, was suffering from falling enrollment when Kolbe arrived in 1932. Seeking to reverse the trend, Kolbe instituted an Open House, allowing Philadelphia-area high school students and their parents to visit Drexel. This program proved to be such a success that it was temporarily discontinued in 1938, due to peak enrollment being reached. In this time, Kolbe took note of the school’s need to expand, and, with the budgetary assistance of an increasing enrollment and slight raise in tuition, set to work appealing for a separate building for the library, as well as additional student use buildings and campus ground, including an athletics field.

With the arrival of the Second World War on America’s doorstep, Doctor Kolbe and Drexel Institute found themselves in a position of great potential for assisting their country. Due to the great focus on engineering instruction placed on the school, Drexel was selected by the federal government to serve as the Philadelphia region’s school for instructing students in engineering defense. This program grew rapidly during the times of war, with sixteen various classes being offered in the field of scientific national defense by 1941.

However, not all of Kolbe’s changes were brought on by external forces. He was also responsible for internal changes, including the publication of an annual report on the institute, and the change of the name of the school to the Drexel Institute of Technology, citing a need to address the new and broader scope of the university, and concerns that due to the ambiguous name, the public was not aware that Drexel was a school. The school also benefited from a much-needed and long overdue decentralization of governance, resulting in the 28-person Faculty Council which had been in charge of total school decisions being broken up, and each of the major schools getting a dean and a large power of self-governance.

Parke R. Kolbe died on February 28, 1942, while serving as president of Drexel Institute, after suffering from a brief illness.

Reference Works Cited: McDonald, E.D. and Hinton, E.M. (1942). Drexel Institute of Technology 1891-1941: A memorial history. Camden, NJ: Haddon Craftsmen, Inc. pp. 98-120.

Karl Grismer's Akron and Summit county also shares that in 1919, Dr. Kolbe was a member of the Federal School survey mission to the Hawaiian Islands. He was a member of numerous educational organizations in the United States and Europe. In 1933, Temple University conferred upon him the degree of L.L.D. and in 1934 the same degree was awarded to him by The University of Akron. He was a member of Akron University Club, Rotary Club and Universalist Church.

Dr. Kolbe was married on June 17, 1905, to Lydia Voris.

ARTSNOW ANNOUNCES STATE-WIDE CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY  ArtsNow has announced a partnership with Summit County busin...


ArtsNow has announced a partnership with Summit County business The Social Dept. to show support and solidarity as a state that values arts, culture, and community.

The duo has launched a t-shirt series that highlights the united front in Ohio and the core belief in the power that arts and culture have on a community. This piece was designed by local artist and entrepreneur Andy Taray (owner of The Social Dept. & OADC / Ohioboy Art & Design Co.), in collaboration with ArtsNow.

The graphics, using the phrase “United State of Ohio” can also be customized to reflect specific counties in the state and purchased on apparel or used as social media graphics.

"During times of uncertainty, we want to show solidarity as a community that values arts and culture and the people who drive that work," says Taray. “When ArtsNow, the backbone organization for arts and culture in Summit County, suggested working with us to use art and design to provide comfort and community, we jumped at the chance. We wanted to do our part in helping fellow artists make it through this mess. We know it’s a whole different ballgame to rely on your creativity to make a living.”

Two ways to show our solidarity:

● Buy the shirt (customizable county-specific options available):

● Give to ArtsNow: If you are able, you may donate directly to ArtsNow's efforts to support local artists by using this link:

“The arts and culture sector has traditionally been a space for healing, documenting our shared history and providing a path forward in recovery,” shares Nicole Mullet, executive director of ArtsNow. “We are proud to partner with a business so willing to lend their talents to sharing our solidarity as a community and a state.”

When you make a gift, ArtsNow will be supporting artists through a free digital leadership series dubbed “The Dreamers & Doers,” where artists and leaders from across the region and beyond talk about creating, connecting, and leading forward together. (An anonymous donor has made the first pilot episodes possible thanks to a gift to ArtsNow.)

Additionally, ArtsNow will be contracting with Summit County artists to create unique streaming content for the community. For more information, please visit or email [email protected].

Together we are a United State of Ohio.

If you’re a nonprofit or arts and culture organization, individual artists or gig workers, helpful resources in navigating COVID-19 can be found at

ArtsNow works to leverage the arts and culture in Summit County to support and strengthen the region’s economic and social vibrancy. Learn more at

The Society's President & CEO, Leianne Neff Heppner, is a board member of ArtsNow reprsenting culture in Summit County.

Arbor Day in Akron….We at the Historical Society don’t like to brag, but we have some pretty incredible trees on our gro...

Arbor Day in Akron….

We at the Historical Society don’t like to brag, but we have some pretty incredible trees on our grounds. In fact, we think we have the best trees in town.

And, so, dear readers. we issue a challenge – we ask you to nominate your favorite trees. Most climbable…most photographed…oldest…most loved….most dangerous (based on the number of bones it has broken over its life)… most beautiful…. most dangerous (either by sending roots into sewer lines or falling over in a storm). The options are limited only by your imagination. Come on, now, tell us about your favorite tree – and don’t forget to include the details and the location. If you have a picture, post that as well….

Have fun. After all, it is Arbor Day!

For your viewing pleasure, enjoy some of the Society’s trees.

Photos: 1. The Society’s Copper Beech Tree. Back in 1958, when this picture was taken, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said it was the largest in the state. Col. Simon Perkins planted this tree in the 1830s when the house was being built.
2. This is a Baldcypress tree, a perfect place to curl up with a good book. Back in the 1950s, this tree was also judged as the largest of its type in the state. 3. The Society may be closed because of the corona virus but the Horsechestnut is still here. 4. The Gum Tree by the wishing well. 5. Perkins Stone Mansion trees are beautiful spring, summer, winter or fall!

The Society's Shepherdess is in the News!Huzzah to Edie and Christopher Steiner for their assistance to the Society to s...
Scenes from the pandemic: Akron school teacher partners with historical society to bring history to life

The Society's Shepherdess is in the News!

Huzzah to Edie and Christopher Steiner for their assistance to the Society to share our artifacts with local Akron Public Schools learners.

Join her tomorrow for the next episode at 11:30 a.m.

If you want to compete in the game, "Are You Smarter Than a Border Collie?" check out the Society's page at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

These are historic times.Commerce has screeched to a halt.Residents are holed up in their homes as fears over the spread of the coronavirus have turned

Thank you to Edie Steiner, Society volunteer and shepherdess who is also a music therapist at Akron Public Schools. Usin...

Thank you to Edie Steiner, Society volunteer and shepherdess who is also a music therapist at Akron Public Schools. Using her amazing creativity and a lot of innovation (remember she did receive the Women’s History Project Woman of the Year Award for Innovation), Edie came up with a way to reach Akron Public School children from the Society.

We hope that you have enjoyed her video segments of “Artifacts with Edie” each day at 11:30 a.m. and that you are reviewing the videos again in order to play “Are You Smarter Than A Border Collie?” during tomorrow’s (Friday’s) episode.

Edie and her husband, Christopher, have been spending lots of hours on the grounds of the Society and at home preparing for each episode. We are grateful to them and other people behind the scenes such as Kitty, a Society board director providing pointers from Kent, Tine, a Society volunteer monitoring from Highland Square and Gina, a Society volunteer walking the border collies on the Perkins Stone Mansion lawn during each episode.

Yesterday, Mary Conley, Society 4th grade outreach presenter, stopped in to demonstrate how a boat climbs a hill using our working model. It was designed by Stephen Griebling as part of a grant from the GAR Foundation in 2005.

Mr. Griebling passed away on March 20th at the age of 87. Engineering was in his blood, as his father, Louis, designed a large standing lock and gristmill for the Society in the 1960s.

I’m curious if any of our viewers remember seeing those pieces during school field trips to the John Brown House. We had most recently shared the lock and gristmill with guests at Lock 3 with our Akron History Exhibit in celebration of the completion of the Towpath Trail through Summit County.

Again, cheers to Edie, Christopher and all of our amazing volunteers and staff supporting the Society at this time while we’re social distancing!


550 Copley Rd
Akron, OH

General information

The Summit County Historical Society manages and maintains the Perkins Stone Mansion, The John Brown House, and the Old Stone School. The Perkins Stone Mansion and John Brown House are available for tours beginning April 4, 2018, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. The Old Stone School on Broadway is a joint education venture with Akron Public Schools.


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About the Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio

Founded in 1924, the mission of Summit County Historical Society, a 501(c)3 corporation, is to preserve and interpret the history of Summit County and Akron, and to educate regional communities about the people and events that have shaped our rich history. The Society owns and manages several properties including the Perkins Stone Mansion, home of Akron's founding family; John Brown House, home of the internationally recognized abolitionist; and Old Stone School in downtown Akron - a partnership with Akron Public Schools. Two of the properties are open to visitors, the John Brown Home and the Perkins Stone Mansion.

Tours of the Perkins Stone Mansion and John Brown House are available Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00pm, April 4 through December 22, 2018. The sheep will return to graze at Mutton Hill on May 12, 2018.

Our extensive collection of photographs and historic documents is housed at the Special Collections Division of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Some documents from our collection are available for viewing online at the Summit Memory Project. To view pieces from our archival collection please contact the Special Collections Division at [email protected] or 330-643-9030.

The Women's History Project of the Akron Area is now a program of Summit County Historical Society.

More information can be found at

Other History Museums in Akron

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The Summit County Historical Society is working on its first all women's concert for August 1. We're interested in your input!
I recovered 2 scrap books appears it might be from the same person. Can't find any identifying information on the owner, but there is loads and loads of Akron history in them specifically from people she knew that all may have attended the Zion Lutheran Church from the 30s into front page articles of D Day and the whose who getting married in Akron, beautiful photos of the brides and the newly engaged. One photo of Crouse students in 1927. Article and photo of a 14 yr old girl who ran away to Hollywood and eventually returned home, and an article about a Soldier who was killed as well as many other articles. I would love to get it into the hands of either your society or the special collections at the library, someone who will digitally document this stuff for public view. There are family names and church programs and what appears to be some beautiful prints from magazines. Unfortunately they are all glued down. I am with the Norton Historical Society and run their FB page and this is the kind of thing I would love to get my hands on and run copies of it on our page. These would be treasures for local families to see and have copies of. How can I get them into the right hands that won't just put it in a drawer?
Local PBS stations showed Woodstock: 3 days that defined a generation last night. But if you want a taste of the real thing, join the Summit County Historical Society's celebration of Woodstock's 50th anniversary on Friday, Aug. 16, for an adults-only evening of peace, music and John Brown brownies. Bring a chair, a blanket and some love beads. We'll bring the music. For tickets, go to
Join us Friday, Aug. 16 for an evening of peace, music and John Brown brownies, as the Summit County Historical Society celebrates the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Dig out your tie-dyed t-shirts and protest buttons because the Society knows how to party!
Can anyone give me some information on these items or point me in the direction of someone who can? One is of the Ohio village dispatch newspaper, we found tucked underneath a dresser drawer of ours and the other is of a coin that turned up randomly in our change Jar. We have searched Google far and wide on the newspaper and havent found anything so any information is much appreciated! TIA * please delete if not allowed.