10 things about Barberton that you may not have known

I am a local history nerd and I find myself knee-deep in books and photographs of Barberton’s history all the time. I have visited just about ever historic location in Barberton and even found the ones that are not listed. Though out my endeavor, I find interesting information that I never knew. I put 10 things together that I found intriguing about Barberton, Ohio’s history.

  • In the early days of Barberton, The police would use wheelbarrows to haul the drunks to jail for an overnight stay. The Barberton Fire Department lended the Police a fire wagon to use until the police finally purchased their own.
  • The Fire Department was established in Barberton for the factories more than the residences.
  • Lake Anna was a pond named “Davis Way Pond” before Barberton was founded. The name was changed to “Lake Anna” in 1890.
  • In the mid 1900’s, Barberton has a serial thief known as the Peticoat Thief. The thief would steal women’s lingerie. One account stated that her lingerie was laid out on the bed as if the thief was pretending that there was someone laying in them.
  • At one point in history, Lake Anna was believed to have healing powers. People would bath in the pond to cure illness’ and other sickness.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Lake Anne is a glacier lake meaning it was formed by a glacier in the ice age and is not man-made.
  • Lake Anna was almost filled in by its previous owner due to nobody wanting to buy it. He started filling the pond marshes in with slag from the pipe factory. This is where the shape of the lake we not know comes from.
  • When the Indian Statue on Wooster Rd and Norton Ave was being planned, the current mayor wanted Chief Hopocan to hold a light bulb. O.C Barber was quoted disagreeing with the Mayor stating that his idea was more about the Mayor then the original purpose. The idea ultimately was scared in favor of what we see today.
  • The original Diamond Match factory was in Akron, OH. To ensure the survival of Barberton in its early days, O.C Barber decided to move Diamond Match Factory to Barberton.
  • O.C Barber founded Sterling Boiler Works in Barberton and later made a deal with B&W to merge and move to Barberton where they still resides today.

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