Follow the orange arrows on the signs as you walk
Look at the sculptural works by Joseph Close and Patrick Buckohr around the top of the building. They tell the history of Massillon from right to left.
The first panel, featuring Thomas and Charity Rotch, represents PLANNING. Between them, they founded Kendal, a village that’s now part of Massillon; worked with local American Indian tribes; harbored fugitive slaves; and established Ohio’s first vocational school.
The second panel focuses on Massillon’s RESOURCES: especially fertile soil, abundant aquifers and water power, temperate climate, coal, and stone.
The TRANSPORTATION panel focuses on the Ohio and Erie Canal and the warehouses, businesses, and industries that blossomed because of the canal.
INFRASTRUCTURE features Elmer Vogt standing with brick pavers his company used to pave roads where the Croxton family drove their Massillon-manufactured Jewel automobiles. Industrialists at Russell & Company generated electricity and philanthropist J. Walter McClymonds made sure we had a library and parks.
Over the main entrance, see the WORKFORCE panel featuring Jacob Hess, great-great grandfather of Bob Gessner, who commissioned these works of art. The heating stove was just one product manufactured by Hess’s 400 skilled workers. The central figure represents Simon Birkhart, a master glassblower, and at the right is a pioneering photographer, Martha Mary Fletcher.
INVESTMENT depicts heavy industry—Russell & Co, Hess-Snyder, Republic Steel, Union Drawn, and Central Alloy.
And the VISION panel with the airplane inspires us to keep pursuing dreams, innovating, and growing.
Directions: Walk westward toward Hammersmith Insurance for one block and turn left onto Erie Street. Walk one block to Federal Avenue. Cross Erie Street to get a look at the next mural.