Streetsboro’s year-long bicentennial celebration kicks into high gear this summer, and city council is making sure to finance the festivities.
On April 11, council freed up $50,000 for the Streetsboro Heritage Foundation to finance the many events planned from later this month through the beginning of October. The cash adds to $12,000 in corporate donations and $50,000 already paid from the city in November 2021.
Council receives regular reports as to how all funds are being spent, said Streetsboro Heritage Foundation Treasure Mike Kuhstos.
Below, you’ll find a summary of the bicentennial events scheduled for this summer and fall. Keep scrolling for a brief history of Streetsboro.
Streetsboro bicentennial events
Lead-up events include a Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast set for 8-11 a.m. April 30 at the Streetsboro Fire Department. Members of city council, the bicentennial committee, parks and recreation staff, and volunteers will serve up pancakes, sausage, fruit, donuts, coffee, and tea. Mother’s Day Raffle baskets will be on hand. Tickets are $10 for adults (age 11 and over) and $5 for children aged 12 and under. Click here for presale tickets.
Streetsboro’s Sesquicentennial Time Capsule, buried in 1972 at Public Square during the city’s 150th birthday, will be unearthed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.
The celebration heats up Saturday, Aug. 20, and Sunday, Aug. 21, with free weekend concerts and events scheduled from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
The weekend will also include a petting zoo, bounce houses, living history reenactments and Chainsaw Shari’s carving demonstrations. Food and craft vendors will be on hand, and visitors may enjoy a beer garden and magic shows.
Joe Sylvester’s Monster Truck Rides with Bad Habit and Mayhem will also be on site.
That Sesquicentennial Time Capsule will be on display all weekend, with an opening ceremony scheduled Sunday afternoon.
All Birthday Bash weekend events will be held at Streetsboro City Park at 8970 Kirby Lane. Parking is also free.
The commemoration continues at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, with a Bicentennial Worship Service at Streetsboro’s historic Methodist Church, which since 1973 has been located at Hale Farm & Village in Bath. The 1852 structure, originally a Baptist church until that congregation presented it to the Methodists, stood at Streetsboro’s Public Square until it was relocated.
Limited passes will be available starting Monday, May 2, at Streetsboro Methodist Church, 8940 State Route 43 and the Parks & Recreation Office at 9307 State Route 43. There will be free parking available on the east side lawn at Hale Farm’s Carriage Pavilion. Contact Jackie Searfoss at 330-422-1105 for more information.
For fall events, Streetsboro’s 2022 Time Capsule will be buried Sept. 17, and there will also be a Historic Blast 5K and Fun Run, and a community cookout. The final Bicentennial event currently scheduled is an Oct. 1 vintage baseball game featuring the Ohio Village Muffins and Leadership Portage County against 15-20 Streetsboro residents willing to take them on. Stay tuned to The Portager or visit https://www.streetsboro2022.com/events for information updates.
A brief history of Streetsboro
Many people know that Streetsboro was named for Titus Streets, a Connecticut man who received from his state 15,279 acres of land that he never saw, known only as Town 4, Range 9.
According to history compiled by the Streetsboro Heritage Foundation and posted on its website, the town — then officially a township — was originally spelled “Streetsborough.” However, the name was reportedly so long and difficult to spell that it was later shortened to Streetsboro.
Since few people stepped up to buy 100-acre lots from Streets’ agents at $6 an acre, the price was soon lowered to between $2 to $5, likely attracting more people.
Roads also helped spur settlement.
Thousands of motorists travel Streetsboro’s highways, but few know that state Route 14 got its start in 1825, when Streets donated 840 acres to a company he partially owned so that it could run its Wellsville to Cleveland turnpike through what was still spelled Streetsborough. The first paved road, state Route 43, was completed in 1921.
For a city now known for retail stores and restaurants, Streetsboro had a slow start. From the time it was built in the 1860s until Streetsboro Plaza was put up in 1957, a general store on the town square was the only store in Streetsboro. It was owned by Henry Peck and his son Norman, who also served as the city’s postmaster. The building still stands at the KOA campground on state Route 303, where it was moved in 1977.
Streetsboro’s police department got its start in the 1880s, when the township constable was responsible for running poor people out of town. The city’s fire department was organized in 1949 and consisted entirely of volunteers.
As for old man Streets, he made sure to deed two acres just south of the town center as a cemetery. The first person buried there was Mrs. Carlton, wife of Solomon Carlton, who arrived in 1824.
The cemetery was closed in the early 1860s, when Samuel Olin deeded a part of his family cemetery on state Route 14 to the township. It’s known today as Evergreen Cemetery.