Wait a minute, where in Stark County is Kendal?
Two centuries ago–April 20, 1812–Thomas Rotch recorded the plat for a new village with the county recorder, listing himself as proprietor. He named it “Kendal,” inspired by an English town known for its woolen industry.
Although Kendal’s Front Street is now known as Wales Road, other village street names remained the same—Roslyn, Rodman, State, and Williams—when Kendal was later incorporated into Massillon. Rotch’s two village greens—reminiscent of village layouts in his native New England—are still city parks and will be the center of a bicentennial celebration, Kendal Founding Day, on Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The rain-or-shine event is free and open to everyone.
The welcome tent for the event will stand in Union Square, near the corner of Andrew Avenue and Wales Road Northeast. There, visitors may obtain a Founding Day program and a Kendal walking tour map. Activities include candle-dipping, the old children’s game, hoop and stick, free pioneer crafts, period music, puppet shows, free tours at Spring Hill Historic Home, a Quaker meeting, and many more.
You won’t go hungry at the event with baked goods at the Boarding House, kettle corn and homemade ice cream concessions, potato chips and pretzels compliments of Shearer’s Foods, and free hot dogs (while supplies last) provided by Joey’s Kendal Tavern.
Founding Day is the first of several events planned to celebrate Kendal’s bicentennial. Spring Hill will present an expanded version of its annual Juneteenth event on June 16. In September, the Kendal 200 committee will offer a lecture on the historic structures of Kendal and a walking tour of the former village. At that time they will release a book about Kendal containing maps, photographs, and narrative. And in November, re-enactors will depict the War of 1812.
To learn more about Kendal, visit The Kendal Companion at kendalohio.com.