John Brown Monument Hike

Aug 12, 2021

For immediate release:

Contact: Leianne Neff Heppner, president & CEO, Summit County Historical Society

Summit County Historical Society partners with Akron Zoo for John Brown Monument Hike on August 14th.

AKRON – Dave Lieberth, Society board director and past chair, would like you to know his interpretation of Summit County’s most consequential resident – John Brown.  You can join him and Leianne Neff Heppner, Society, president & ceo, on Saturday, August 14th for a hike up to the John Brown Monument at 9 a.m.

Lieberth has worked on a number of projects over the last two decades revolving around the local abolitionist who gave his life to end slavery in the United States. Lieberth’s research and talks have inspired the local community during the John Brown 150th commemorative of 2009, The University of Akron’s Re-Thinking Race programming, as well as, numerous engagements for the Society.

When Neff Heppner started at the Society in 1999, one of the first things she noticed was that the paint stripper on the John Brown House was eating through to the inside. Since 2014, the Society has made preservation and renovation improvements to the structure with major capital projects funded in part through State of Ohio biennium funding and local foundations. Also in 2014, Neff Heppner wrote a successful application for the site to be listed on the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Completing Phase III “Accessible to All” this summer, the Society looks forward to allowing accessibility to all persons into the home rented by the abolitionist between 1844 and 1854. 

Doug Pierkarz and the Akron Zoo have been custodians of the John Brown Monument since the early 2000s when the City of Akron wanted to protect it from serious vandalism.  The Akron Zoo has provided access to individuals and partnered multiple times each year with the Society to host guests to the landmark memorializing a man considered a madman by some, a martyr by others but as a neighbor here in Summit County.