Release Date: July 24,2017

Stories with the sheep

History will come alive for children who come to “Mutton Hill”  to hear stories under the trees, while a flock of Dorset sheep grazes at the Perkins Stone Mansion. Family story time is the latest in a series of free summer events for families sponsored by the Summit County Historical Society.

Librarians from the Akron-Summit County Public Library will share stories about sheep, rhymes, and songs for preschool and primary-aged children on Fridays, July 28 and August 25, at10:30 am each day.

Herding demonstrations with border collies will continue on select Mondays and Wednesdays through the summer. The dogs are owned and trained by Edie Steiner, who has competed in stock dog trials for more than 10 years. Three dogs, “Mobido,” “Rudy” and “Lincoln” have received awards for demonstrating handler excellence.

 A flock of sheep took up residence at the Perkins Stone Mansion in May for a second consecutive summer, from The Spicy Lamb Farm in Peninsula. “Our 2016 demonstration project was a great success,” says Society chairman Dave Lieberth. “We were able to interpret the history of the property as a farm in the 1840’s; raise the visibility of the properties; engage neighbors in new ways; and, test the ability of the sheep to sustain the turf as an alternative to mowing.” The Society received a Community Impact Award from Dominion East Ohio in recognition of the successful program in 2016.

The property is owned and maintained as a historic house museum by the Summit County Historical Society. “Mutton Hill” is the name that residents of 19th century Akron gave to this 150-acre farm. John Brown was employed by Perkins to tend the flock of 1,300 Merino sheep that was known as one of the finest flocks in Ohio. Brown lived with his family in the 2-room house at Diagonal and Copley Roads, and traveled to Europe to promote the wool business.

Four generations of the Perkins family lived at the Stone Mansion estate. Simon Perkins built a reputation for fine wool, later becoming an Ohio senator who founded Summit County. Perkins’ son George Tod Perkins, who also lived at the mansion, became the second president of BF Goodrich Company.

A grant from the R. C. and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation supports the return of the sheep.

Free Upcoming Dates To Remember

“Working Dog Wednesday,”               August 2, 4:30pm – 5:30pm  Herding demonstrations

“Mutton Hill Mondays,”                       August 7, 11:30-12:30pm       Herding demonstrations

“Pulling the Wool Over Their Eyes,”   August 21, 1:00pm – 4:00pm  Observing the flock during the solar eclipse

“Rudy’s Birthday Party” Wednesday, August 23  -  12:00pm – 1:00pm  Celebrate his 10th birthday with cake