Anna Dean Farm Walking Tours Held Each May

Each May, on the Sunday before Memorial Day, the Barberton Historical Society is proud to sponsor the Anna Dean Farm Walking Tour. Below are some of the comments we have received from this tour.


We were very impressed with the barn tour yesterday. You did an outstanding job of demonstrating the history of this town to the crowd, as well as answering the MANY questions. As educators, we both know that questions mean interest. Obviously, there were many with a genuine interest. We also, wanted to ask how the two of us could help in your cause to preserve and maintain the history and remaining buildings that exists. Thanks for taking your time to put on an outstanding program. We thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a positive image for Barberton and the BJ did a great job with coverage.


The walk was GREAT. This was my first time. Neeko had a ball and napped the rest of the day when he got home.


Thanks again for a wonderful job! The kids (and adults) really enjoyed the tour. We (the teachers) are hoping that next year we can include some stops and mini-tours of some of the buildings and places we rode past (just a thought so far. Thank you for your time, effort, and patience!


Congratulations on the outstanding article in today's Beacon. It doesn't get much better than that! Great photo of the barn. You certainly had a beautiful day yesterday for the tour.


Wow, wow, wow, wow. I was never on the Tour before but I am sure glad I came this year. I can't wait to come back again. The Barberton Historical Society is the BEST !!!!!!!!


Glad you got some good feedback. I really did enjoy the tour. Heard lots of good stuff I wasn't aware of -- like the tie-in with the Barberton Reservoir. You really have a knack for bringing history to life.

Barberton Community Foundation Grant
Supports Piggery Concrete Restoration


In 2017 the Barberton Historical Society received a matching grant from the Barberton Community Foundation to repair deteriorated window and door lintels which had become safety hazards. The Piggery, at 248 E. Robinson is a highly visible landmark as you head into downtown Barberton. It is a key venue for our annual, end of May, Anna Dean Farm Walking tour and the Anna Dean Farmer’s Market that runs each May through September.

Stathos Construction Company of Akron did an excellent job with repairs to be consistent in texture and color with the concrete in surrounding areas for historical accuracy.

The historical society and Barberton Community Foundation share the mission of preserving our town’s rich history, vitality and community image for generations to come.

Colt Barn Face-Lift

The O. C. Barber Colt Barn got a makeover with fresh new paint to all the exterior woodwork. We often get asked why the barns have bright blue paint. The color scheme for the building is red, white and blue…the colors of the American flag. The reason for this was O. C. Barber’s background, starting a small match company with his father, which grew into a worldwide business and making him a very wealthy man. He felt that this would only have been possible in the U.S. and showed his patriotism quite blatantly in his magnificent Anna Dean Farm buildings, several of which were the largest in the world at the time of their construction.

Anna Dean Farm™ Market

The O. C. Barber Pig Barn at 248 E. Robinson Ave. in Barberton is home to the historical society’s annual Farmer’s Market. It’s held once a week June through September, rain or shine. Get the details here.

Heating House Renovation

If you live in Barberton or regularly drive by the historical society's building, the O. C. Barber Heating House at 360 East Robinson Ave, be sure to take a look. The exterior was renovated a few years ago by Testa Companies using Caplea Studio Architects. These are the same firms that converted the Brooder Barn into the fine day care facility that now occupies one of our other buildings.

The building houses the original 1912 Stirling Boiler. This Babcock and Wilcox Stirling Boiler is one of only three original Stirling Boilers, that we are aware of, left in the U.S. As such, the boiler's preservation is of prime concern to the historical society. We view the boiler as the largest artifact we have in our growing collection of Barberton memorabilia.

Look for more photos and information on our website as this exciting project as it develops, and if you are in Barberton watch the building itself as it is being renovated.

Oakdale Elementary School Demolished
Oakdale Name Stone Salvaged

On the day after Thanksgiving in 2006 a dozen volunteers from the Barberton Historical Society manned a gas powered chop saw, and used chisels to remove the Oakdale Name Stone from Oakdale Elementary before the building was demolished by the Barberton Board of Education. Saving the name stone, which weights 300 pounds, only took two hours.

Built in 1927 as an elementary school, Oakdale served Barberton for over 75 years before it was closed. Demolition of the building occurred in December of 2006, but at least the name stone will survive as part of the historical society's permanent collection of Barberton memorabilia.

In the above photo, the dust flies as Jeff Kelleher of the Barberton Historical Society uses a gas powered chop saw, donated by Edgar Rorrer of Historic Stone Restoration, to cut through the surrounding brick and mortar to free up the Oakdale stone.

Current plans for the dozen or so name and date stones the historical society has preserved over the years, are for them to be mounted on an inside wall at the Feed Barn. These stones include stones from commercial and school buildings demolished in Barberton including old Barberton High School.

MUMFORD - The Last Barberton Black Bear
a sculpture by Michael Blaine

In Ohio by the 1850's the Black Bear was thought to be extinct due to over hunting. However in 1915 some large black bears were found at Gobbler's Knob on O. C. Barber's Anna Dean Farm, making it one of the last bear sightings in northeast Ohio, until recent times.

At the 2006 Mum Fest, Michael Blaine of New Hampshire carved a ten foot tall black bear out of a black oak log supplied by the Barberton Historical Society. Blaine who travels around the country does intricate carvings using only a series of 18 different size chainsaws. Blaine is the four time International Extreme Power Carving Champion. Blaine is world famous for his statues of North American bears. It is interesting to note that a horse will not be forced to pass by one of Blaine's realistic bear statues, but will instead prefer to throw off its rider.

The Barberton Beautification Committee sponsored a Name the Bear contest at the Mum Fest. Over 400 entries were submitted and the name Mumford was picked by the Barberton Beautification committee for the sculpture. The contest was won by Curtis Burden, 10 years old, of Barberton. Congratulations to Curtis for a job well done.

At last year's Mum Fest you may remember that Michael Blaine carved a statue of Barberton's town founder, Ohio C. Barber. Blaine was chosen to do these wood carving as he is simply the very best.

The carvings of Mumford and O. C. Barber are intended for display in the new restaurants that are currently under construction in the O. C. Barber Heating House. You can visit Michael Blaine's webspace here:

"All About Kids"

The Barberton Historical Society is very proud to announce that the O. C. Barber Brooder Barn has been renovated to house a new daycare operation in Barberton. This is a very good example of an adaptive reuse of an historic building into a brand new use.

Testa Companies, which rents the Brooder Barn from the historical society, has made a major commitment to Barberton by undertaking this massive interior restoration program converting the O. C. Barber Brooder Barn into a brand new daycare operation. The Brooder Barn was rescued from demolition by the Barberton Historical Society in 1983. Since then the City of Barberton, the Barberton Community Foundation, and the Barberton Historical Society have made major financial commitments to the preservation of this building. The preserved and accurately restored shell was then adaptively reused by Testa Companies to provide for this new modern and very hi-tech daycare operation. The great thing about this project, besides the fact that it adaptively reuses an historic Barberton building, is that it returns this building to the property tax roles and will provide employment for up to twenty people in the near future. The dollar impact from a project like this is therefore very significant to the City of Barberton.



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