Akron’s history and future explored this month

Akron had an official place on Ohio’s map in 1825. The town was born from the Perkins’ family when General Simon Perkins sent his son, Colonel Simon Perkins, to manage his properties surrounding Summit Lake, an area the General was pushing as a route for the growing Ohio and Erie Canal.

The family’s name is embedded in the city’s history, but surfaces here and there as the name of a street, a park or the Perkins Stone Mansion where the Colonel raised his family.

The mansion, the focus of this month’s Uniquely, is a representation of the physical past — the materials and designs of old-world homes — and serves as a device to tell the stories of how one family, through its perseverance and good business sense, helped turn land into a town, which became a city.

Shaping the community
Fast forward to today. There isn’t one family that is bringing the community together the way the Perkins’ had. Instead, it’s many people.

In our inaugural Who To Watch, we highlight the people and organizations that are making an impact in Northeast Ohio communities in the areas of the arts, business, the public sector, nonprofit, sports and more.

On this list are people who are helping new businesses get their start, creating opportunities for artists to be seen and heard, people who are reimagining the look and feel of our cities, and those who have established novel ways of helping those in need.

I was born in Barberton, raised in Ellet and graduated from Akron Public Schools. I like hearing about and seeing all the positive things happening in my hometown. It’s inspiring to know people are out in the community bringing folks together who continue to make Akron a place they’re proud to call home.

I’m certain this isn’t a comprehensive list of all who are contributing to the city, but it’s a start. Know someone we should feature next time? Email me at [email protected] and tell me about it.

Adam Burroughs is Associate Editor at Smart Business Akron-Canton