Helping preserve Akron and Summit County’s historic homes
History buffs love to roam the grounds of two historic Akron, Ohio, homes – Perkins Stone Mansion and John Brown House. The Summit County Historical Society acts as caretaker for both homes - and it takes a lot of work to keep these iconic landmarks in tip-top shape.
Energy Harbor’s financial team helped take on that work in August, lending a hand as a community neighbor. Energy Harbor’s Jason Petrik, CFO and EH Community Involvement Committee member, is also a Summit County Historical Society board member.
More than 20 volunteers took on everything from painting to groundskeeping. Some even became amateur archaeologists, helping search for historical artifacts. But the day wasn’t all work and archeology. Historical Society members led the volunteers on a tour of the properties, and they learned more about local history than they first thought they would.
“It was so much fun to take a tour and see the inside of the home,” said Energy Harbor’s Kerah Gross. “I really enjoyed learning how they built the house out of limestone, which is why it remained so cool inside, without anything like central air conditioning.”
“The staff was amazing to work with, and they shared so much about the history of the home and the family and how they helped build Akron,” said Jessica Korzhiletskiy, Energy Harbor.
For Energy Harbor’s Timothy Hutchinson, visiting the properties was a bit of nostalgia. He toured the grounds on a field trip in middle school and was surprised by what he remembered and what was different.
“The day was certainly fun and informative, but we also all worked very hard,” Timothy said. “We really wanted to make an impact.”
Team building, too
Beyond helping a fellow community organization, the day acted as a team-building activity, which Energy Harbor’s Aiee Bauer appreciated. “I love to volunteer, but I’m also new to Energy Harbor. I wanted the opportunity to meet people in the company. I’m very glad I went.”
Then there were the ghost stories.
“Beyond learning about the history of the home and grounds, we heard stories about the supernatural inhabitants of the house,” said Energy Harbor’s Maria Curcio. “Very Intriguing!”
“The teams' effort extended beyond the cost of labor by leading team and community building, leadership enhancement, and individual respect,” said Leianne Neff Heppner, president, and CEO, The Summit County Historical Society