Kinsman toasts bicentennial
Though the festivities ended, the history of the community continues.
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
KINSMAN -- This community has changed little throughout the years. The square in the middle of town features a gazebo, and the Kinsman Pharmacy boasts a lunch counter with a working soda fountain. Many of the homes are original to the town, which was founded 200 years ago.
Residents and neighbors of Kinsman, named for founder John Kinsman, gathered Saturday for the town's bicentennial celebration. They took part in a parade, complete with floats and a marching band, and a musical celebration, as well as feasted on baked goods and learned about Kinsman's people and contributions during a slide-show presentation at the Kinsman Free Public Library.
The presentation -- created by Gabriel M. Cole, children's librarian and local history administrator -- featured images of the legend and lore of Kinsman. Exhibits provided information on everything and everyone from the Scythe Tree to famed trial attorney Clarence Darrow and Ernest Lyman Scott, whom many say discovered insulin.
It's easy to find history worth celebrating in Kinsman, explained Andrew Carl Davis, assistant administrator at the library.
"My opinion is that many people have grown up here, stayed here and raised their own families here," Davis said. "We have patrons who come in here now who started coming when they were wee little and were first old enough to read a book themselves. Now, they are retired and bring their grandchildren and great-grandchildren."
A sense of family and community combine to make Kinsman a little different than other communities. Oftentimes, as communities grow, the old is plowed under or thrown away to make way for the new. In Kinsman, though, that's not the case.
"People seem to hang on to things here," Davis said. "We get much of our collection from people saying 'I was cleaning out the attic, and came across these boxes.'"
"They really seem to go about preserving as much as they can," he added.
Though the parade, quilt show and festivities in the park ended Saturday, exhibits of Kinsman's 200 years can be seen daily in the library. The local history and meeting room houses wedding dresses, chairs and dining wares from more than a century ago, as well as newspaper clippings, photographs and postcards of the quaint community through the decades.
The slide show, which features 60 images for 15 seconds each and captions identifying each photograph, will soon be posted at www.kinsmanlibrary.org, Davis said.
Much of the local information at the library will also be found online with the Ohio Memory project at www.ohiomemory.org, a Web site for the online scrapbook of Ohio's history through 1903.