Grace Park wasn’t always a “shady” place. Back in the day, the park was one of Akron’s most popular retreats.It played host to picnics, leisurely strolls, community gatherings and fiery political speeches. Famous names like Hayes, McKinley, and Rosevelt stood in Grace Park to deliver their words to the people of Akron.
In this postcard view of old Akron, children of all ages can be seen playing together on teeter-totters (seesaws) at the Perkins Square play ground.
A beautiful view of the river flowing through The Glen (today’s Gorge Park) Akron, Ohio (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio).
The brainchild of Akron businessmen John L. Snyder, Philip Austgen and Jack Rampanelli, Summit Beach Park began as a friendly conversation over billiards. Once constructed, the park went on to become one of Akron’s most popular entertainment destinations.
Before the mass exodus of manufacturing destroyed Akron’s reputation as a city of opportunity, places like Grace Park were often full of residents listening to speeches, celebrating victories and relaxing on a day off.
The Ohio & Erie Canal carried freight traffic from 1827 to 1861, when the construction of railroads ended demand. The canal served as a water source for industries and towns until around 1913 when much of the canal system was abandoned/destroyed due to major flood damage.
A crowded day of fun at Akron’s Summit Beach Park on the shores of Summit Lake. The park provided Akronites with 40 years of summer fun before closing the gates for good in 1958.
Silver Lake Park had several log cabins, like the one shown here, as well as Swiss-style cottages. The park began in 1876 when Ralph H. Lodge built a small bathhouse and pavilion and provided boats for rental to fishermen. Soon the railroad was bringing excursions from places as far away as Columbus and Pittsburgh. At…
The Springfield Lake Pavilion was used for many social functions, including dancing on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. Patrons danced to the music of big name bands such as Guy Lombardo and Vaughn Monroe.
Carved from the earth nearly 12,000 years ago, the Gorge is one of the area’s greatest natural wonders. The area is also filled with amazing folklore. On May 21, 1758, at the age of ten, Campbell was abducted from a place in or near the town of Penn’s Creek, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Her captors were a band…
Patriotism is on display as Akronites turn out for a celebration on South Main Street.
Once known as Old Maid’s Kitchen, the site can be found in the Gorge Metro Park. Today, the cave is named for Mary Campbell, a white settler from Pennsylvania taken captive by the Leni Lenape Indians and brought to the Cuyahoga Valley and possibly the Gorge.
In the early 1900s, the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company built a power plant and concrete dam on the Cuyahoga River in present day Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Although the power plant is long gone, the dam remains and its waters continue hide Big Falls.
The steamboat Chautauquan sails the quiet evening waters of Silverlake.
In 1848, Col. Simon Perkins, son of Akron’s founder, gave the People of Akron a gift. Originally called Flatiron Park (a reference to its triangular shape), Union Park, along with Grace Park were given to the people of Akron with a stipulation that these lands be used “for the purpose of public squares, or grounds,…
A trio of adventurous swimmers brave the cold to be some of the first in the water at Summit Beach Park, Akron, Oho.
An evening train ride through the Silver Lake Park on the shores of Silver Lake near Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The train was just one of many attractions at the park, including a dance hall, small zoo, amusement rides, picnic areas, and steamboat rides. The first conductor on the Silver Lake Miniature Railroad was Sammy Wise…
George M Smith’s popular tavern along the Long Lake Channel in the Portage Lakes area outside Akron.
Akron’s Summit Beach Park opened its doors in 1917 and quickly became a popular retreat for residents of Summit County and beyond. At one point the park had a daily attendance of nearly 25,000 visitors. The park closed in 1958.
The mass exodus of manufacturing did more than destroy Akron’s reputation as a city of opportunity. Increased unemployment brought with it crime and decay. Grace Park became a symbol of the deterioration of Akron. A statue of Simon Perkins had to be moved to a safer location on High Street. The park became a magnet…
The Miniature Railway at Silver Lake Park was a 15 in gauge miniature railway opened in 1902. The main station was on the lakeshore at the boat landing dock. The inaugural route, which changed in later years, allowed passengers lengthy views of the lake and the zoo area.
A US Navy Corsair Fighter, built by Goodyear Aircraft flies over the Rubber Bowl Stadium. Goodyear Aircraft produced more than 4,000 Corsair fighter planes. During the height of production, it was common for Akronites to see these “warbirds” flying above the city.
Beginning in 1874, Silver Lake and the land surrounding it was a popular Akron area amusement park. The lake was acquired in 1876 by Ralph H. Lodge and he subsequently also purchased the land surrounding the body of water. It was originally a picnicking and swimming area, but before it closed Silver Lake Amusement Park featured animal…