Kent Historical Society Museum

Kent Historical Society Museum The Kent Historical Society & Museum is dedicated to preserving and documenting our history through the collection of artifacts, documents and oral histories of the people of Kent, Ohio.

Telephone: 330-678-2712

HOURS: KHS is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays March thru December. Special appointments for research and group tours also can be made. Admission to the Museum is always free. Please email or phone with any questions you may have.

Operating as usual

10/29/2021

Volunteers are needed to help clean up Pioneer Cemetery on Sunday, November 7th from 2 to 4 PM. We will be picking up sticks, raking leaves and removing some plants. We encourage anyone to join and help keep Kent's historic first cemetery in good order. Please bring a friend and a rake!

10/26/2021

Stow Street bridge in Kent, Ohio. 1940's, facing west. The Haymaker Parkway project in the 1970’s dramatically changed the area. The first bridge connecting Stow Street and Summit Street was built over the Cuyahoga River in 1897.

Congratulations to the Venice Cafe celebrating 80 years today!
10/15/2021

Congratulations to the Venice Cafe celebrating 80 years today!

10/09/2021

Woman riding a horse on E. Main Street. Kent Ohio, 1947. Below is the same location today.

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09/17/2021

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In May of 1952, someone took this photo of 16 ladies. They are identified on the back of the photo and are part of a KHS...
08/12/2021

In May of 1952, someone took this photo of 16 ladies. They are identified on the back of the photo and are part of a KHS collection of photos from the Patton family. Do you know any of these ladies? Can you tell us anything about the group? The house? Please share. Curious minds want to know more!

Many of you will know the Kent family name of Herriff. Have you stopped in at the KHS Museum to see the exhibit of their...
08/07/2021

Many of you will know the Kent family name of Herriff. Have you stopped in at the KHS Museum to see the exhibit of their contributions to the growth of Kent and their unique set of china? We are open on Fridays and Saturdays, 9am-2pm. You are welcome!

From Kent Tribune, 1921-08-04 p5, to all the gardeners who try their best!
08/07/2021

From Kent Tribune, 1921-08-04 p5, to all the gardeners who try their best!

From Kent Tribune, 1921-08-04 p5, to all the gardeners who try their best!

08/05/2021

Join us for Part 2 of the History of Industry in Kent walking tour on Tues., Aug. 10 at 6pm with Doug Fuller! Spaces are limited and registration is free. (Doug will have a microphone this time, so all should be able to hear!) Sign up on Eventbrite by searching History of Industry in Kent: Part 2 Walking Tour with Doug Fuller https://www.eventbrite.com/e/165786087651

07/26/2021

Join us at 6pm at Tannery Park on Tues., July 27 for the History of Industry in Kent walking tour, led by Doug Fuller. Learn some interesting facts as we walk along the river. The tour will end at the gazebo on Franklin Ave. for continued conversation and cold beverages. Free -- no registration required! Developed by the MSK Design Committee in partnership with the Kent Historical Society Museum.

Summertime and we're wishing for ice cream...In 1921, Hale B. Thompson made the wish come true for Kent folks when he re...
07/10/2021

Summertime and we're wishing for ice cream...
In 1921, Hale B. Thompson made the wish come true for Kent folks when he remodeled his store and provided its one and only soda fountain! [Lead photo provides an excellent view of this once-upon-a-time, movie-worthy place of refreshment.]
Thompson's drug store began a long history of serving Kent in 1875, when Hale's father, Robert A. Thompson, purchased a drug store business from Dr. J. W. Shively. By 1898, Hale began working with his father. After Hale had completed academic training and several years of other employment experiences, Robert sold the business to his son in 1906. [details from Grismer's "The History of Kent"]
While the location of Thompson's Drug Store changed several times in its lifetime, the next photo provides a glimpse of the early residency at the corner of E. Main and S. Water streets.
[next four photos] Thompson's drug store began a remodeling in March of 1921—noted on a front page blurb and in an ad for a remodeling sale. By early June, the remodel earned high praise on page 1 from the Kent Tribune for its modern thinking and Hale placed a modest invitation to an open house. Then, on June 16, 1921, a photo of the soda fountain appeared on page 1 of the Kent Tribune (final photo; grainy, but the same view as lead photo).
And so, if we could, we'd meet you at Thompson's soda fountain!

Roger Di Paolo's casket was transported from the Newman Center to Standing Rock Cemetery in a historic 1870s hearse. It ...
06/24/2021

Roger Di Paolo's casket was transported from the Newman Center to Standing Rock Cemetery in a historic 1870s hearse. It was a tremendous tribute for a man who loved Kent and its history.

Roger Di Paolo's casket was transported from the Newman Center to Standing Rock Cemetery in a historic 1870s hearse. It was a tremendous tribute for a man who loved Kent and its history.

Today is a sad day as we lost a great Kent historian. Roger Di Paolo worked tirelessly for his hometown of Kent and was ...
06/18/2021

Today is a sad day as we lost a great Kent historian. Roger Di Paolo worked tirelessly for his hometown of Kent and was an enormous part of the Kent Historical Society. His passing will leave a hole in all of our hearts. RIP Roger.
https://theportager.com/roger-di-paolo-chronicler-of-portage-county-dies-at-66/

Today is a sad day as we lost a great Kent historian. Roger Di Paolo worked tirelessly for his hometown of Kent and was an enormous part of the Kent Historical Society. His passing will leave a hole in all of our hearts. RIP Roger.
https://theportager.com/roger-di-paolo-chronicler-of-portage-county-dies-at-66/

Photos from Portage County Ohio Historical Society's post
06/14/2021

Photos from Portage County Ohio Historical Society's post

KHS will be open tomorrow and Saturday from 9am-2pm! Stop by to explore our Mapping May 4 exhibit. It is an interactive ...
06/03/2021

KHS will be open tomorrow and Saturday from 9am-2pm! Stop by to explore our Mapping May 4 exhibit. It is an interactive display based on oral histories that describe memories and events at various locations in Kent between May 1st and 5th, 1970. The project was created by KSU professors Jen Mapes and Sara Koopman.

As recommended by the Ohio Department of Health, those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks while visiting KHS. We do ask those who have not been fully vaccinated to continue to wear masks inside the museum.

Thanks to all who have, in one way or another, continued to support KHS. To join, please visit our website: www.kentohiohistory.org.

06/02/2021

The Kent Historical Society is pleased to announce that it will re-open from 9a-2p on Fridays/Saturdays starting on Friday, June 4th. In accordance with state recommendations, those who are fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks while visiting. However, we ask that anyone who is not fully vaccinated continue to wear masks while inside.

Did you know that no silk was ever actually made at the silk mill? Did you know Marvin Kent's son William donated the la...
05/18/2021

Did you know that no silk was ever actually made at the silk mill? Did you know Marvin Kent's son William donated the land for Kent Normal College, later to become KSU?
Learn more fun facts through this web-based walking tour highlighting many little-known facts about the buildings and people that shaped Kent into the place it is today! https://kentohiohistory.org/collections/walking-tour-the-history-of-industry-in-kent-ohio
https://www.mainstreetkent.org/visit/walking-tours/

Did you know that no silk was ever actually made at the silk mill? Did you know Marvin Kent's son William donated the land for Kent Normal College, later to become KSU?
Learn more fun facts through this web-based walking tour highlighting many little-known facts about the buildings and people that shaped Kent into the place it is today! https://kentohiohistory.org/collections/walking-tour-the-history-of-industry-in-kent-ohio
https://www.mainstreetkent.org/visit/walking-tours/

Dr. Emily Widdecomb was a trail-blazer in more than one sense. She became one of the first women to practice medicine in...
03/16/2021

Dr. Emily Widdecomb was a trail-blazer in more than one sense. She became one of the first women to practice medicine in Kent after graduating from the University of Michigan medical school in 1902.

She also was a mountain climber.

Born in England in 1868, she came to Kent as an infant and began her medical practice there shortly after earning her medical degree. She delivered hundreds of babies and was especially busy among Kent's immigrant population because many husbands would not allow male doctors to tend to their wives because of privacy concerns.

She was a member of a mountaineers' club that explored the Canadian Rockies in the early 1920s. In 1923, she was among a four-member team that was the first to reach the summit of Mount Mary Vaux, a 3,200-foot peak in Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Widdecombe practiced medicine into her 70s. She died in 1963.

Dr. Emily Widdecomb was a trail-blazer in more than one sense. She became one of the first women to practice medicine in Kent after graduating from the University of Michigan medical school in 1902.

She also was a mountain climber.

Born in England in 1868, she came to Kent as an infant and began her medical practice there shortly after earning her medical degree. She delivered hundreds of babies and was especially busy among Kent's immigrant population because many husbands would not allow male doctors to tend to their wives because of privacy concerns.

She was a member of a mountaineers' club that explored the Canadian Rockies in the early 1920s. In 1923, she was among a four-member team that was the first to reach the summit of Mount Mary Vaux, a 3,200-foot peak in Jasper National Park, Alberta.

Widdecombe practiced medicine into her 70s. She died in 1963.

Calvin Coolidge was president when Miss Mary B. Walker was hired to teach at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent in 1...
03/09/2021

Calvin Coolidge was president when Miss Mary B. Walker was hired to teach at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent in 1928. She taught American history to hundreds of Roosevelt students until she retired 35 years later in 1963 when John F. Kennedy was president. Miss Walker -- known as Mary B. to many students -- began her career as a teacher in a rural schoolhouse in Portage County. She was 80 years old when she died in 1973.

Calvin Coolidge was president when Miss Mary B. Walker was hired to teach at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent in 1928. She taught American history to hundreds of Roosevelt students until she retired 35 years later in 1963 when John F. Kennedy was president. Miss Walker -- known as Mary B. to many students -- began her career as a teacher in a rural schoolhouse in Portage County. She was 80 years old when she died in 1973.

Remember when businesses gave away free matches? (Remember when smoking was allowed indoors?) Check out these reminders ...
03/07/2021

Remember when businesses gave away free matches? (Remember when smoking was allowed indoors?) Check out these reminders of bygone Kent area businesses from the early 1980s.

Remember when businesses gave away free matches? (Remember when smoking was allowed indoors?) Check out these reminders of bygone Kent area businesses from the early 1980s.

Were you christened or married here?One of the saddest losses of Kent's heritage occurred in 1969, when First Methodist ...
03/06/2021

Were you christened or married here?

One of the saddest losses of Kent's heritage occurred in 1969, when First Methodist Episcopal Church of Kent was demolished after falling prey to vandals. Built in 1891-93, the church was located on West Main Street, across from the Kent Free Library. After the Methodist congregation moved to a new campus on East Main Street, east of the KSU campus, the old church stood vacant for many years. Wild Goats Restaurant is located on its former site.

Were you christened or married here?

One of the saddest losses of Kent's heritage occurred in 1969, when First Methodist Episcopal Church of Kent was demolished after falling prey to vandals. Built in 1891-93, the church was located on West Main Street, across from the Kent Free Library. After the Methodist congregation moved to a new campus on East Main Street, east of the KSU campus, the old church stood vacant for many years. Wild Goats Restaurant is located on its former site.

Many of you have been enjoying our Facebook posts and you should know that credit and proper thanks goes to our Historia...
03/02/2021

Many of you have been enjoying our Facebook posts and you should know that credit and proper thanks goes to our Historian-in-Residence, Roger Di Paolo, for running the page. Roger, thank you for sharing your love of history and wealth of information about our city with all our Facebook friends. You are a priceless asset to our community.

Many of you have been enjoying our Facebook posts and you should know that credit and proper thanks goes to our Historian-in-Residence, Roger Di Paolo, for running the page. Roger, thank you for sharing your love of history and wealth of information about our city with all our Facebook friends. You are a priceless asset to our community.

May Prentice was the first woman to teach on the Kent State faculty when classes began in 1913; her first home was a ten...
03/01/2021

May Prentice was the first woman to teach on the Kent State faculty when classes began in 1913; her first home was a tent outside Merrill Hall. Although she held no college degree, Prentice served in a variety of teaching posts until she retired in 1930. "Evidently it is time to be old," she observed.

The Prentice Gate at the corner of S. Lincoln and E. Main was dedicated in her honor in January 1935, three weeks before her death. Her former home, which was saved from demolition during the KSU Esplanade project, was relocated to 126 S. Lincoln St., and houses the Wick Poetry Center
Prentice Hall, a residence facility, is named in her honor.

This is the first in a series of Women's History Month posts honoring notable Kent women.

Remember shopping at Kline's Market in downtown Kent? The family-operated grocery at the corner of S. Water and Erie str...
02/28/2021

Remember shopping at Kline's Market in downtown Kent? The family-operated grocery at the corner of S. Water and Erie streets opened in 1908 and remained in operation until 1989. Owner E.J. Kline pledged "heaps of bargains" and invited customers to come in and see how "cash talks loud" when this photo dating to the early 20th Century was taken. Sue Nelson Designs Ltd..has been located at the site since the grocery closed.

This photo is from "Historic Façades of Kent, Ohio" by Mark Prues, the newest publication of Kent Historical Society Press. Copies are available at KHS.

Remember shopping at Kline's Market in downtown Kent? The family-operated grocery at the corner of S. Water and Erie streets opened in 1908 and remained in operation until 1989. Owner E.J. Kline pledged "heaps of bargains" and invited customers to come in and see how "cash talks loud" when this photo dating to the early 20th Century was taken. Sue Nelson Designs Ltd..has been located at the site since the grocery closed.

This photo is from "Historic Façades of Kent, Ohio" by Mark Prues, the newest publication of Kent Historical Society Press. Copies are available at KHS.

James Wark was a photographer who was active in Kent in the late 19th Century. He also was elected mayor of Kent in 1886...
02/23/2021

James Wark was a photographer who was active in Kent in the late 19th Century. He also was elected mayor of Kent in 1886. This is one of his photos of a train wreck in Tallmadge. Wark later moved to Marion, Ohio, and was believed to be the nation's oldest photographer when he retired at 87 in 1933. He died a year later. Photos courtesy of Portage County Historical Society.

Washington's Birthday was celebrated by these South End men as a day of friendship and fellowship, including card games ...
02/22/2021

Washington's Birthday was celebrated by these South End men as a day of friendship and fellowship, including card games and a steak dinner, for more that 40 years. Gathering for the annual celebration on February 22, 1980, were front row, from left, Fred Douglas, Jim Cox and Paul Brown; rear, Edward McCoy, Grover Boykin, Ned McCoy and Alphonso "Tank" Peoples. (Ernie Mastroianni photo)

Washington's Birthday was celebrated by these South End men as a day of friendship and fellowship, including card games and a steak dinner, for more that 40 years. Gathering for the annual celebration on February 22, 1980, were front row, from left, Fred Douglas, Jim Cox and Paul Brown; rear, Edward McCoy, Grover Boykin, Ned McCoy and Alphonso "Tank" Peoples. (Ernie Mastroianni photo)

The World War II Honor Roll on Franklin Avenue in downtown Kent was erected during the early years of the war to recogni...
02/18/2021

The World War II Honor Roll on Franklin Avenue in downtown Kent was erected during the early years of the war to recognize Armed Forces personnel from the Kemt area. The hexagonal structure, designed by Charles Kistler, included plaques bearing the names of those serving in the war. Located north of the Erie Depot (near the present-day site of the downtown gazebo), the wooden structure began to fall into disrepair after the war ended in 1945. This photo accompanied a 1948 plea for maintenance funds that appeared in the Kent Courier-Tribune. It was in a state of dilapidation when it was torn down on Veterans' Day 1961.

Do you remembet the Honor Roll?

The World War II Honor Roll on Franklin Avenue in downtown Kent was erected during the early years of the war to recognize Armed Forces personnel from the Kemt area. The hexagonal structure, designed by Charles Kistler, included plaques bearing the names of those serving in the war. Located north of the Erie Depot (near the present-day site of the downtown gazebo), the wooden structure began to fall into disrepair after the war ended in 1945. This photo accompanied a 1948 plea for maintenance funds that appeared in the Kent Courier-Tribune. It was in a state of dilapidation when it was torn down on Veterans' Day 1961.

Do you remembet the Honor Roll?

Address

237 E. Main St.
Kent, OH
44240

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(330) 678-2712

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Comments

The loss of Hal Holbrook made me think of the Mark Twain one-man show fundraiser to save the Erie Depot - 1975??
From the 1920-10-21 Kent Tribune, page 1, offers a look at the variety of growth during the early 1920s. For the residents of Kent, much needed housing development; for the Kent Normal School, an expanded status to offer more post-secondary education; and an advance in community health services for Portage County as a whole. PS: This was intended for Kent Hst Society Fb page, but I have not been able to surmount an apparent lock-out, possibly due to my irresponsible naughtiness of not changing to the New Look soon enough. My skills have reached their end. Don't know what to do.
Question: if the original Central School was razed in 1955, but the second Roosevelt HS was not built until 1959, then where did the 7th and 8th graders attend school in the late ‘50s? Thanks 🙂
Just read an 1880 history of Portage County. Your ancestor Col. Garrett was mentioned several times. My ancestors were mentioned too but not as "kindly" :-)
Hoping to see a lot of our Kent community today. Park at the courthouse and come on in for delicious food and memorable artifacts. We're open every Friday and Saturday from 9-2 or by appointment for groups and family reunions.
The Portage County Historical Society and Museum Open House The Portage County Historical Society and Museum will host its annual Open House from 1 to 4 pm. December 15. PCHS Historian Wayne Enders will do a presentation of “Christmases Past” Guests begin their tour at the Lowrie-Beatty Museum, where everyone will see artifacts from the Portage County area. New this year will be the Trexler Rubber Company display. From there, guests will visit the 1834 Carter House. The next stop will be the 1869 Strickland House. Both houses are decorated for the holiday season. The Carter House and the Strickland House are historic homes and, as a result, are not handicapped accessible. Attendees will want to visit the Indian Village that is being built by Robert Kunst. A full-size round house, cooking area with underground fire pit, and a weaving rack are all in different stages of being built. Weather permitting. Raffle tickets will be available $1 each or six for $5. Items to be raffled off include various Portage County history books and collectibles, plus a free one year membership. Membership will also be available. The event is open free to the public, although donations are appreciated. Light refreshments will be available. The Historical Society is located at 6549 North Chestnut Street, in Ravenna, next to Ravenna High School. For more information call 330-296-3523, PCHS website www.http://history.portage.oh.us or visit us on facebook at Portage County Ohio Historical Society.
I don't know if it's appropriate to post to this site, but I thought I would pass it along to you in case your members would be interested ... Free Silver Lake Park history presentation Weds., Oct. 10, 2018 at 7 p.m. at Cuyahoga Falls Library Many of you may know the name Daisy Lodge Wolcott, as the former Kent resident who created the lovely and historic Lilac Gardens. But did you know that prior to that, Daisy and her siblings ran one of NE Ohio's most successful Victorian-era amusement parks - Silver Lake Park? If you’d like to know more about that park, you are cordially invited to attend the Oct. 10 meeting of the Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society at 7 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Library, 2015 Third St., where I will give a slide presentation on the history of Silver Lake Park. The meeting is free and open to the public. As many of you know I have been researching Silver Lake Park for years, including meeting with descendants of the park's founding family. Following the presentation, I will be selling copies of my Silver Lake Park book, part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. Hope to see you there! – Mary McClure
We have a new website.
This thermometer is from Bissler's Furniture/Funeral Home. I am guessing from the vehicle that it dates to the 1920's? It can't be seen in the photo, but there is a phone number of three digits (I think) at the top. Anyone know when that would have been?
Wonderful Gabrielle was kind enough to make a rubbing of Nellie's gravestone for me. First, she and a French caretaker washed the stone. Then they went to work! The staff at the American cemetery is fabulous. Since I frequented the Kent Free Library as a child (and was the children's librarian in the early 80s) Nellie's name has been part of my life since childhood. I was very happy to make the trek to Surenses and complete the circle!
This is a video I took last July at Surenses, where Nellie Dingley is buried. I am standing at the top of the cemetery, with Nellie's grave below. What a marvelous view of Paris. (Note the Eiffel Tower) One can use the Metro to get from Paris proper to the suburb of Surenses; but it is not a direct ride. One must make a couple transfers, but not bad at all. Once at the Surenses station stop, it is a short uphill walk to the American Cemetery. Anyone wishing detailed (Metro) directions, I'll be happy to repond to inquiries.
Hello those of you who are interested in Kent Historical Society Museum. My name is Helen Davey, and I'm one of two living granddaughters of John Davey. My father Jim Davey was almost 30 years older than my mother, and that's why my sister Jeanne and I are still alive! My mother, brother Jim, Jeanne, my grandmother, and I lived in Kent for one year in 1956. My brother and sister went to Roosevelt High, and I went to Central School (7th grade). How I loved that town and my relatives and the friends I made! It broke my heart when we moved back to North Carolina after a year. Nancy Snyder Watters, you referred to "Mrs. Davey," and I think (although my mother was also classy and beautiful) that you might be referring to my cousin Brub Davey's wife Betty. She was tall and looked like a model. I'm a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, and writer in Los Angeles. I'm in the process of writing a book about my family, and have been doing this for many years. If you have an interest in learning more about John Davey, you can go to my blog posts on The Huffington Post, listed under "The Most Famous Man You Never Heard Of." My book will contain much more information but the blogs marked the beginning of my writing about him. Just type in www. HuffingtonPost/ Helen Davey and the archived material will be there. My sister and I visited Kent two years ago, and we were able to go into our grandfather's home courtesy of the lovely owners. We were enchanted, because we hadn't been there for many years. I felt that I could almost "hear" the voices of the family. I never met my grandfather because he died in 1923, but my father talked about him so much that I felt like I grew up with him and knew him well. I always felt he was my muse. The next time I visit Kent, I'll be sure to visit the Kent Historical Society Museum!