Stark County’s Treasures

Stark County is chock-full of unique and interesting sights and attractions. Consider them local treasures. Some are well-known. Take the McKinley monument, perhaps the Canton area’s signature landmark and its link to the highest office in the land. Or Kennedy’s BBQ, a charming lunch spot not much bigger than a dozen phone booths.

Stark County is chock-full of unique and interesting sights and attractions. Consider them local treasures. Some are well-known. Take the McKinley monument, perhaps the Canton area’s signature landmark and its link to the highest office in the land. Or Kennedy’s BBQ, a charming lunch spot not much bigger than a dozen phone booths.

There you can feast on savory sandwiches piled with shaved ham and pork, topped off with a trademark relish that sets the dining experience apart.

More cultural nuggets exist outside Canton’s boundaries. For example, take a trip along the bumpy bricks of the original Lincoln Highway. Two short stretches exist in Osnaburg and Paris townships.

One-of-a-kind places are in abundance throughout Stark County. This is merely a subjective sampling.

JFK Memorial
JFK Memorial

JOHN F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL

Grief gripped the Canton area and the rest of the nation when President Kennedy was assassinated in the fall of 1963 at age 46. That sorrow led to the formation of a committee to erect a lasting memorial for JFK.

More than 40 years ago, the memorial was unveiled at a ceremony that government officials and residents attended. Parts of the memorial have worn over the years, but it still attracts visitors who read the plaque.

Tucked next to the Canton Garden Center at Stadium Park, the flame burns without interruption, a tribute to the country’s 35th president.

Westbrook Veterans Memorial
Westbrook Veterans Memorial

WESTBROOK VETERANS MEMORIAL

On 13th Street NW in Canton, near Mercy Medical Center, the park includes the Stark County Veterans Memorial. On display is the base of the USS Maine’s conning tower, which dates to the Spanish-American War.

Docked in Havana Harbor in Cuba, the ship was shattered by two explosions, killing 266 American servicemen and injuring 60. “Remember the Maine” became a rallying cry for the nation and Congress, which declared war in 1898.

Also part of the veterans memorial are two other objects from the Spanish-American War: a cannon cast in bronze in France and a mortar cast in Spain. Both were captured at Santiago Harbor in 1898.

Palace Theatre
Palace Theatre

PALACE THEATRE

Taking in a movie at the historic Palace Theatre goes far beyond what’s playing on the big screen. Ornate architecture and decorative decor surround moviegoers.

And there’s the Kilgen pipe organ, a true jewel featuring 767 pipes and an assortment of sounds such as saxophone, marimba, harp, xylophone, orchestra bells and chimes. Concerts are given throughout the year.

Renovated and updated over the years, the instrument dates to 1926 and originally was used to provide background music for the silent movies shown at the Palace.

Palace Theatre is at 605 Market Ave. N in Canton. For more information on the movie schedule and other events, visit www.cantonpalacetheatre.org.

Haas Historical Museum
Haas Historical Museum

HAAS HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Minerva is rich with history. The museum is stuffed with artifacts such as chinaware from the old Owen China Co., black-and-white photographs of past parades, a century-old bicycle, an old-style telephone switchboard and antique phonograph.

The museum is housed in the Minerva Bank & Trust Bank building, which belongs to the Minerva Area Historical Society. It’s at Market and High streets in downtown Minerva.

Curator Gerald Grimes is happy to reminisce about Minerva’s past. For more curious folks, there are old newspaper clippings and other archives to get the scoop about such local stories as the Legend of the Lost French Gold.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. For more information, call (330) 868-4553.

Church of the Savior United Methodist
Church of the Savior United Methodist

CHURCH OF THE SAVIOR UNITED METHODIST

This gothic structure at 120 Cleveland Ave. SW in downtown Canton is where President McKinley worshipped. Inside there’s a display area with mementos, along with a pew where McKinley sat.

They add to the church’s rich history and character, which includes oak pews and stained-glass windows from Europe. A flag connected with President McKinley’s funeral in 1901 — a gift from first lady Ida McKinley — is also at the church.

Four McKinley memorial windows are on the west wall of the sanctuary.

McKinley, who practiced law in Canton, became active in the church, serving as Sunday school superintendent and as a trustee. Even while he served as governor and president, he maintained a close association with it, according to the church’s website.

Kremeland
Kremeland

KREMELAND

Looking for a coney, burger, cream chicken soup, ice cream or an open-faced meatloaf sandwich with a 1950s vibe?

Then Kremeland is the place for you at 514 N. Main St. in Navarre. Breakfast is served all day.

Open year-round, Kremeland dates to 1954.

A few years ago, the ice cream stand — affectionately known as the “shack” — was torn down and replaced with a glistening throwback eatery, featuring a red, black and white tile checkered floor and stools lining a counter.

Lincoln Highway
Lincoln Highway

LINCOLN HIGHWAY

Turn back the clock and take a trip down a roadway relic — an original portion of the iconic Lincoln Highway. Think of the Lincoln Highway as this area’s slice of the more famous Route 66.

The Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30) winds its way from East Canton through Robertsville and Minerva before leading to Lisbon and beyond. Running parallel to the modern-day Lincoln Highway, Cindell Street SE in Osnaburg Township is part of the original 1913 alignment, the first road across America, linking New York City to San Francisco.

The roughly half-mile stretch of brick-covered road echoes the past. It’s about 12 feet wide in parts and closer to 10 feet in others. Gently rolling green fields and crops form the rural backdrop.

In Paris Township, near Robertsville, another stretch of the Lincoln Highway (Baywood Street) awaits history lovers. Both Stark County portions are said to be the most significant paved brick sections in Ohio.

Kennedy's Barbecue
Kennedy’s Barbecue

KENNEDY’S BARBECUE

Located in the mighty shadow of the McKinley National Memorial and Monument Park, the shack-like building doesn’t stand out architecturally.

But the cubbyhole of a lunch spot is packed with tasty morsels, namely its signature barbecued ham and pork sandwiches, topped off with relish that’s so delicious that the recipe is a highly guarded secret.

In fact, the relish is said to be more famous than the barbecue. Ham and bean soup is another gullet-satisfying staple of the succinct menu. Customers also can purchase relish to take home — a half pint is $2.50, a quart $10.The decades-old eatery is at 1420 Seventh St. NW.

Glamorgan Castle
Glamorgan Castle

GLAMORGAN CASTLE

Located in Alliance, the spectacular structure was built and owned by the late Col. William Henry Morgan in the early 1900s.

Glamorgan Castle is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Col. Morgan was the president and principal owner of the Morgan Engineering Co., which was founded by his father.

Designed by Willard Hirsh and made of Vermont marble and structural steel, Glamorgan Castle combined the medieval look of a castle with modern amenities, according to the Alliance City Schools website. Alliance City School District owns the structure. A federal preservation grant was awarded so the school system could use Glamorgan Castle as its central administration building. For information about tours, call (330) 821-2100.

McKinley Monument
McKinley Monument

McKINLEY MONUMENT

Perched atop a hill, the McKinley Monument (the William McKinley National Memorial) towers over the surrounding city parkland and trees. Visible from Interstate 77, the monument reflects both reverence and architectural magnificence.

Rows of granite steps lead to the landmark, the final resting place for William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States, his wife, Ida, and their two daughters. The interior of the dome is 50 feet in diameter and is 77 feet from the floor to the highest point. A red, white and blue skylight adorns the top of the interior. McKinley was born in Niles but called Canton home, practicing law there and campaigning for president from his front porch.