Early Massillon and Lost Kendal

About Early Massillon & Lost Kendal

Before Massillon, there was Kendal, Ohio. The story of these communities is a tapestry of local, national, and international history. Using new archival discoveries in the Massillon Museum, Spring Hill Historic Home, and Massillon Public Library collections, this book tells stories of the early Kendal and Massillon, shedding light on the Ohio frontier and its pioneers from 1812 to 1860. Kendal was founded in 1812 by Thomas and Charity Rotch, prominent Quakers from powerful New England whaling families. Kendal became an Owenite utopian socialist community between 1826 and 1829, visited by Robert Owen himself.

James Duncan founded Massillon in 1826, bordering the Tuscarawas River, the boundary between the United States and Indian Territory. Massillon attracted inventors such as photographic pioneer Abel Fletcher, who invented the paper negative in his South Erie Street studio. Both Kendal and Massillon were hubs of Underground Railroad activities.

Research Resources

Do you want to learn more about early Massillon and Kendal, Ohio? Use these digital resources to learn more.

Kendal & Massillon Google Map 1812-1860

In conjunction with Early Massillon and Lost Kendal, Archivist Mandy Altimus Pond plotted more than 1,100 locations in Massillon and Kendal that existed between 1812 and 1860.

To view the early Kendal and early Massillon Google Map click here.

Massillon Memory
Massillon Memory is the online collection for the Massillon Public Library’s local history and genealogy, including city directories, Massillon Business & Industry database, and the Rotch-Wales Papers.
Click here to go directly to the Rotch-Wales Papers on Ohio Memory.

Historic Maps of Massillon

To browse historic maps in the collections of Massillon Museum, Spring Hill Historic Home, and Massillon Public Library, click here.

Property records c.1825-1830

Handwritten records of property owners numerically by lots and alphabetically by owner. Perry Township including Massillon, West Massillon, and Kendal


Primary Sources

Accounts of early Massillon residents, former slaves, letters and diaries.


About Mandy Altimus Pond (now Stahl)

Mandy Altimus Stahl graduated from Kent State University with a BA in history, summa cum laude with honors. Altimus Stahl began her Massillon Museum career in 2004, now serving as Archivist. She has produced films such as Prodigal Daughters, The Legacy of Steel, Adaptations, Seafaring Forefathers, The Greatest Generation, and Faces of Rural America. She was proud to have appeared on the Travel Channel’s show “Mysteries at the Museum” in Season 8, Episode 2 (2015), retelling the tale of Jacob Coxey’s 1894 protest march from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington D.C.

Altimus Stahl has delivered an extensive list of lectures, such as the sinking of the Titanic. She has presented at conferences for the Ohio Local History Alliance, Ohio Museums Association, and was the 2016 Society of Ohio Archivists’ plenary speaker. She volunteers to help with genealogy and photographs for FindAGrave.com. Altimus Stahl serves on the Massillon Historic Preservation Commission and as Secretary/Treasurer for the Charity School of Kendal Foundation Board.

In 2015, Altimus Stahl and her family published her grandfather’s World War II prisoner of war memoirs, Forced March: From the Bulge to Berchtesgaden by Major John J. Mohn, for the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. She has traveled across the state, lecturing about World War II and sharing his story.

Altimus Stahl’s fine art photography business is a member of the Massillon WestStark Chamber of Commerce. Her photographs have been exhibited in juried shows in Ohio, Michigan, and Vermont, published in the highly competitive International Photography Annual (INPHA 2 and 4), produced by Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio (2014 and 2016), and have won several awards. She has published two photography books, A Long Time Ago, and Images of World War I, a collaboration with Faircrest Memorial Middle School and ArtsinStark to teach students about World War I and recreate photographs from the war. She was the recipient of a 2015 ArtsinStark special projects grant, and produced the exhibit Face of Hunger in Stark County, Ohio.

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