5 Fairview Ave.
Barberton, OH, 44203

Sharing info from the City of Barberton site, we learn that "the city of Barberton has a history that is unique among Ohio cities. It was established in 1891, at the height of the state's industrial development, as a planned industrial community. Situated within easy reach of canal, river and railroad, the new town was located just seven miles southwest of Akron. Utilizing a natural glacial lake as its focal point, Barberton's founders laid out streets and lots for an attractive community of homes, churches, schools, and commercial buildings, and established many of the industries required to sustain it. A downtown developed, homes were constructed for businessmen and factory workers, churches and schools were built, and the city grew into an important industrial center of northeastern Ohio."

Who was O. C. Barber?

According to a favorite song from Cleveland Metroparks historian Foster Brown, "O.C.Barber was a matchstick man." For further explanation, we turn once again to for some great facts on this city's founder. "Ohio Columbus Barber decided to locate a major new industry at New Portage in 1882. A well-known Akron industrialist, O.C. Barber had built his father's match company during the 1860s and 1870s into one of the largest match manufacturers in the United States. In 1881, his consolidation of a number of similar factories in the country under the Diamond Match Company name made him widely known as America's Match King. Interested in producing the boxes for his match business, Barber formed the Portage Strawboard Company, an enterprise which would have the Diamond Match Company as its major customer. From his vantage point, Barber could see the strategic advantages of locating his first factory five miles from Akron in the village of New Portage, with its location on the Ohio Canal and connection with the lines of the C, A & C and NY, P & O Railroads ..." Find more on their site.

Present Day 

Today, the City of Barberton welcomes visitors to its Annual Fall Mum Fest - where over a million blooms put on the most colorful display. Lake Anna is a popular setting for community events and in 2014, a new connector bridge between the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to the city was opened - furthering the reach of this city to regional travelers.

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