Release Date: April 1,2019

Summit County Historical Society properties reopen April 3, new exhibits set

The Perkins Stone Mansion and the John Brown House reopen for the 2019 season on Wednesday, April 3, with new exhibits, Leianne Neff Heppner, president & CEO of the Summit County Historical Society, announced.

This year's theme is "Walk a Mile in Someone Else's Shoes" and will highlight the diverse voices in Summit County’s history, Heppner explained.

The exhibit at the newly renovated John Brown House reflects on the life of abolitionist John Brown before the Harpers Ferry Raid. The exhibit, "Family, Farm, Freedom," features hands-on activities for visitors of all ages to walk the life of John Brown, a man who lived the majority of his life in what we now call Summit County.

The National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom in collaboration with The Association for the Study of African American Life and History provided a grant to the Society for the new exhibit in the original segment of the house that John Brown rented from Col. Simon Perkins between 1844 and 1854.

Local artist and Society board director Woodrow Nash has sculpted five busts of the African-American men, who served with Brown in his army at Harpers Ferry. The sculptures will also be in the exhibit that will be unveiled for John Brown’s 219th birthday on May 9, 2019.

“The Society is excited to share with its visitors the amazing artwork of Mr. Nash, an internationally recognized artist, who saw the opportunity to tell a bigger story in this exhibit by donating his talent.”

At the Perkins Stone Mansion, a new temporary display will feature vintage shoes and accessories from the Society's permanent collection as well as items on loan from local residents.

Titled "A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Shoes," this exhibit will feature shoes from the past two centuries as well as hat and purse accessories.
Photographer, clothing collector and owner of Seberg Vintage Jenn Kidd will be the guest curator. She will be working with Denise Lundell, Society staff. Kidd explained, "shoes have such a fascinating story throughout history....I can't wait to put my best foot forward and share some of these histories with visitors."

The Perkins exhibit is a partnership with Lucky Shoes, a local family business celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019.

Shoes will be on display in each room of the stone mansion with a story representing residents, staff or historical figures from Akron or Summit County, Heppner said.

Society staff is also working with another local company turning 100 in 2019 and visitors will need to visit the properties in April to learn more about this partnership.

The properties are open Wednesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Society members are admitted free; non-members are $10. Tickets are available in the Society gift shop.

Save the Date:

April 6 – Mutton Hill Book Club: Be the Shoe by Kathy Kelada

April 13 – Ohio Museum Association will be hosting its annual meeting in Akron.  For more details go to https://www.ohiomuseums.org or email Johnna McEntee at oma@ohiohistory.org.

April 18 – Remember When . . . Hands On History: “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”

April 27 – Architectural Heritage Awards Trolley Tour

May 9 – John Brown Birthday Commemoration

June 7-August 30 – Farm Fridays