Title Thumbnail

Written on the Hills

The Making of the Akron Landscape

Frances McGovern

241 pages
University of Akron Press
In warm and lively prose, Written on the Hills explores the natural and human history of Akron, Ohio. Drawing on geological studies, state and municipal records, local histories and personal reminiscences, Frances McGovern shows how the landscape has influenced the development of Akron, and how the layers of Akron's history are revealed in its modern landscape. This midsize city, shaped by its rugged environment of steep hills, ravines, rivers, and wetlands, began life in 1825 as a service settlement on the Ohio and Erie Canal, flanking a staircase of locks over the North-South Continental Divide. The early 1900s saw the spectacular rise of the rubber industry, giving Akron a sudden flood of workers, a hierarchy of millionaires, and a new national identity. From bedrock to corporate boardroom, Written on the Hills reads the evolution of Akron in its parks and street patterns, its houses and factory walls. Its raw edges refined by the ancient beauty of its setting, Akron has weathered many changes in its history, redirecting its economy and institutions to become the very livable city among the hills that it is today.
Author Bio
Frances McGovern served her native city of Akron in many capacities. Active in politics and community affairs, she was a three-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives and chair of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission; she has been a member of The University of Akron Board of Trustees, and president of United Way of Summit County.