Perkins Stone Mansion and Summit County Historical Society
This historic mansion was built for Colonel Simon Perkins, son of Akron founder General Simon Perkins, in 1837. The home offers an outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture combined with elements of the Federal style. The mansion was occupied by the Perkins family until 1945. The home is now owned by the Summit County Historical Society and utilized as a museum that is open to the public. Summit County Historical Society was founded 1924 to preserve and interpret the area's local history.
Backstory and Context
The elder Simon Perkins is regarded as the founding father of Akron owing to the land surveys he supervised in the early 1820s. He began work as a surveyor much earlier, conducting surveys in western Connecticut for the Erie Land Company. Perkins helped prepare land surveys throughout this region of Ohio and and facilitated many of the important real estate transactions that led to Akron's growth in the early 1820s. He also served as a General in the War of 1812. He lived most of his adult years in Ohio, where he served as president of the Western Reserve Bank for over twenty years.
Perkins' son, also Simon Perkins, followed in his father's footsteps. He took a leadership position in organizing Summit County in 1840. He promoted the area to developers and helped bring the Ohio and Erie Canal to Akron. Thanks to the canal, Akron became a center of industry with many mills producing products that could be shipped via the canal.
The interior of the home was restored in 1986. The exterior is rough faced sandstone. A notable highlight is the home’s two-story portico. There are two chimney stacks and viewing platform in between. An office building and a wash house with a windmill are also on the property. The home is available for guided public tours and hosts several special events and school tours throughout the year. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Summit County Historical Society also operates the John Brown House, home of the famous abolitionist, and the Old Stone School. The John Brown House is also open for tours. The Summit County Historical Society offers school outreach programs as well as school field trips and various educational programming.
The Society also conducts exhibits at various locations and has an extensive collection of documents and photographs at the Akron-Summit County Public Library. The Society hosts special events throughout the year and works in partnership with other area historical societies and properties.
Summit County Historical Society website, accessed Dec. 6, 2016. http://summithistory.org/Community/museum_perkinsmansion.html