Tallmadge Historical Society
PO Box 25
Tallmadge, OH 44278-0025
Sights to See in Tallmadge
Historic Tallmadge Circle Park
Located inside the traffic circle in the center of town, this park is home to the historic First Congregational Church and the Old Town Hall. When the new settlement was surveyed for its founder, the Rev. David Bacon, it included plans for a Public Square in the center which would contain the church and other public buildings. The eight roads radiating from the Public Square would allow direct access to the center for all.
The park is also home to a Centennial Stone placed there in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of our first President, George Washington, on April 30, 1789. Also in the park you can find the relocated monument that once marked the site of the first cabin built in Tallmadge Township in 1807. The Tallmadge Veterans Memorial is also located here. The historic Tallmadge Circle, including the First Congregational Church and the Old Town Hall, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 6, 1971.
The Old Town Hall and Museum
Located on the green of Tallmadge Circle.
Now the home of the Tallmadge Historical Society, the Old Town Hall building was erected in 1859 - the first floor to serve for public meetings and the second floor to house an Academy. The building, Old Town Hallpaid for by public subscription at a cost of $2,800, soon became the most constantly used building in Tallmadge. In the early years, touring and local theatrical troupes often performed on stage in the Old Town Hall. At one time or another, the building served as Council Chambers, the Mayor's office, clerk's quarters, police and service department offices, and the town’s assembly room and auditorium.
In 1971 the City of Tallmadge made the second floor available to the Society for a museum. Shortly thereafter, an enthusiastic group of members transformed the second floor to a “mini street of shops” with a “village green.” Tallmadge artifacts and articles of the period have been used in the furnishing of the museum.
After the police department vacated the first floor in 1980, the Tallmadge City Council approved a ninety-nine year lease of the entire building to the Society. The remodeled first floor, complete with a kitchen, is now available for meetings, receptions, and other events.
The Ohio Historical Marker placed here in 1982 has the following inscription:
“The Village of Tallmadge was founded in 1807. The first Academy building was erected in 1815. The fifth home of the Academy was located on the second floor of this Town Hall which was erected in 1859. The Academy served students from northeast Ohio, who desired advanced courses not offered by local school systems, until 1876.”
The Old Town Hall and Museum is open to the public, typically once a month, as announced in the Tallmadge Express and Akron Beacon Journal.
The Historic First Congregational Church
Located on the green of Tallmadge Circle.
The Rev. David Bacon, a young missionary from Connecticut, came to the Western Reserve with the idea of setting up a religious utopia in the Western Reserve with the church at the center of the First Congregational Churchsettlement. The first church in Tallmadge was organized in January 1809 when nine settlers met in Rev. Bacon’s cabin. A large carved boulder now marks that spot in David Bacon Park on East Park Boulevard in Akron. The church met here and at various other places for the next fifteen years. Rev. Bacon returned to Connecticut in 1812 after it became obvious to him that his plans for the settlement would not be realized.
This building was dedicated on September 8, 1825 and used by the Congregational Church for the next 144 years. In 1958, due to severe space limitations, the congregation decided to build a new church. The last service was held in the old building on May 11, 1969. The deed for the historic church was transferred to the Ohio Historical Society in 1971. Effective June 2008, management of the building has been turned over to the City of Tallmadge.
The church can be rented for weddings, and is open to the public, typically once a month, as announced in the Tallmadge Express and Akron Beacon Journal.
The Ohio Historical Marker placed here in 1965 has the following inscription:
“Tallmadge was established in 1807 by David Bacon as a Congregational community. In 1821 local landowners donated timber to build this church, designed and constructed by one of Ohio's first architects, Col. Lemuel Porter. Dedicated on September 8, 1825, the structure is considered to be a perfect example of the pure Connecticut-type of Federal architecture. It is the oldest Ohio church to be continuously occupied as a place of worship.”
Note: This last statement was still true when this marker was placed here in 1965.
The Schenkenberger House Museum at 35 Southwest Avenue.
This house, built in 1847 by Frederic Schenkenberger, was home to his family of eight children until at least 1888. Mr. Schenkenberger, who was born in Germany in 1802, emigrated to America in the early 1830s and married Elizabeth Seubert in 1838. The family name was later shortened to Berger. Subsequent occupants included John Young, who was the cemetery caretaker and the town constable in the early 1900s.
In 2000, the City of Tallmadge purchased the home so it could be razed to make room for a new entrance to the old Tallmadge Cemetery. After learning about the age of the home, the City agreed to preserve the home as a joint project with the Historical Society. As part of the City’s Bicentennial celebration, the home was officially dedicated and opened to the public on May 27, 2007; at this time it was also awarded a plaque from the Summit County Century Homes Association.
The Schenkenberger House Museum is open to the public, typically once a month, as announced in the Tallmadge Express and Akron Beacon Journal.
Wolcott House at 22 Northwest Avenue.
Now the home of Greenbriar Florist.
This beautiful Victorian style home was built just off the Circle Park by Francis Alling in 1876 as the Wolcott housefourth parsonage of the Congregational church. The house contains 12 rooms, and features 2 fireplaces and a hand-turned stair banister that was a gift from the builder. An outstanding feature of the house is the beautiful decorative wood found beneath the eaves of the roof.
The first pastor to occupy the home was the Rev. William March followed by the succeeding ten ministers and their families. The last pastor to live in the home was the Rev. Carl R. Keys. The home was purchased by Francis Wolcott in 1948.
Since 1983 the building has been home to Greenbriar Florist. It is open to the public during regular business hours.
Old Tallmadge Cemetery
A short distance south from the circle on South Ave. is the Old Tallmadge Cemetery with some old Waiting roomhistoric structures. The small white building next to the road was used years ago as a waiting room for those who did not go to the funeral service. Here they could await the arrival of the funeral procession. The present building dates back to 1923.
A short distance up the hill from the waiting room is a stone vault inscribed with the date 1881. It was used to store caskets duringVault cold weather months when the ground was frozen deep and graves could not be dug. The cost for such storage for residents was $1.00 for the first week and 50 cents for each additional week.
To view these structures you may park at nearby businesses on South Ave. To visit other parts of the cemetery, limited parking is available at the new entrance to the cemetery located on Southwest Avenue.