Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Round and About Kenmore

So much has been going on here of late. The Boulevard of Broken Dreams is looking a bit spiffier, but still too many empty store fronts.

The new Kenmore Branch library is at last going up. The design is based upon the old Kenmore City Hall. (Pictured above.) For those who aren't hip to the history of Kenmore, it was once it's own city. Trolleys from downtown Akron would travel along tracks by Summit Lake and down to the Boulevard and then on toward Barberton.

If you talk to old time Kenmore residents, you will still find bitterness toward the City of Akron annexing Kenmore in 1928. I never knew the reason until I found the Kenmore Historical Society's web site. They have a page of Memories, a handful of interviews with long time residents. Here's a description of how the annexation went down:

Vern Christy, served as a member of the Kenmore Village Council for several years. He was, in fact, instrumental in collecting signatures of the 15,000 residents of Kenmore required to have Kenmore declared a City. It was just about this time that Akron came forth with their decision to annex the village. Kenmore's Mayor Hollinger and several on the Village Council were much opposed to the "take-over" and determined not to concede. The evening of the Village Council meeting at which the annexation papers were to be signed, Akron came prepared with subpeonas.

When the first subpeona was served on Mayor Hollinger, Council members Christy, Goetke and Jones and a fourth member ran from the meeting to forestall the signing of the annexation papers. The four were cited in contempt of court and the Sheriff was sent to "track them down." Verne Christy did not go home that night, but at 3:00 A.M. the Sheriff was there banging on his front door, demanding he come out. Christy's son-in-law, Walter Edwards, answered the door and asked what Mr. Christy had done, "murdered somebody?" The answer was "No", but "they were out to get him, and would, dead or alive." The four were located, and still refusing to sign, taken to the County Jail. Elmer Prentice went down to bail them out, willing to go to almost any figure to post bond for them. The judge refused to set a bond, sentencing them each to a week in jail. The four did sign the annexation papers, but they still served their full time.

Must have been exciting times back then in Kenmore. Now it is pretty tame, not to mention a bit threadbare and empty in spots. Again I imagine a Kenmore Boulevard filled with green businesses that have been created to solve the problems brought about by our excessive use of energy and other resources. I'd love to stroll down the Boulevard and be able to buy solar panels for my roof, and non-plastic items for household use. I'd like to take all my other plastics that the City of Akron won't recyle to sorting bins along the Boulevard where it is crushed and used again for something else. Not sent here.

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