The Kent Historical Society will again host a series of talks in 2010 on historical subjects about Kent and Portage County in its All About Kent speaker programs. The programs will be presented in historical buildings and locations around Kent. Light refreshments and a location tour usually follow.
Wayne Enders, Portage County historian, will present his third program on the news, significant events, and important people of Kent. This new program will focus on the years 1900 to 1930. Enders is the author of Connecticut Western Reserve, State of Ohio, County of Portage Timeline 1669-1899, a well-researched book of important local events and dates. He has just completed another book about the history and importance of the Cuyahoga River to Kent and Portage County. The program will be Wednesday, March 31, at 7:00 p.m. at the Unitararian Universalist Church at 228 Gougler Ave. in Kent. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Mr. Enders covered in two prior programs the period from 1669-1900 in Kent. He continues to speak throughout the county and has become an accomplished story teller and entertaining guest. Three major events highlighted this period, which have had a lasting impact on Kent some 100 years later. First, Kent was selected in 1910 as the site of a new Normal School. The story of how this was accomplished is both entertaining and filled with political maneuvering. Next, the great flood of 1913 wreaked havoc upon the dam, the adjoining railroad, and the canal during one week beginning March 31st. Finally, the city of Akron built a reservoir north of Kent, which resulted in controversy and turmoil at the time, and still presents issues for Kent today. Other significant happenings were the Great War, Prohibition, and women’s rights.
The Unitarian Universalist Church offers a unique setting for the program and traces its history back to the Haymaker family, early pioneers in Kent. Founded in 1866 on land donated by Marvin Kent, the church sits near the river bringing a physical closeness to the subject matter of the program. Sally Burnell of the church will provide a tour of the church after the program and will relate its rich and interesting history.
Parking is available on Gougler Avenue, across the street at the Family & Community Services lot, and in the Central School lot off N. Mantua. Those with disabilities may enter the church from Gougler Avenue to the left of the main entrance steps for accessibility by lift to the main floor sanctuary.
For more information contact Mary Ann Green of Kent Historical at 330-678-2712 or Judy Brannan of Unitarian Universalist church at 330-673-4247.