Introduction to Kent, Ohio
The Ohio city of Kent, located in Portage County, sits at the junction of Ohio State Highways 43 and 59. Nearby are Interstates I-80 (Ohio Turnpike), I-76, I-480 and I-271. Easily accessible to several major metropolitan areas, Kent lies 10 miles northeast of Akron, 20 miles north of Canton, 35 miles west of Youngstown and 40 miles southeast of Cleveland. The city is home to Kent State University (KSU).
Originally comprised of two villages known as Carthage and Franklin Mills, the city was renamed in 1864 to honor Marvin Kent, who was principally responsible for bringing in a railroad that played a major role in fostering the city's early development. Incorporated as a village in 1867, Kent became known as the "Tree City" in the late 1800s, when horticulturalist John Davey planted hundreds of trees throughout the city and trained people in their care. In 1910, the Kent State Normal School was established as a college for the training of public school teachers. The school was later renamed Kent State University after its focus expanded to more general academic disciplines. In 1970, Kent State was the site of a national news event when four students were killed and nine others wounded when shot by Ohio National Guard forces in response to student demonstrations protesting the American invasion of Cambodia.
Attractions in and around Kent
There is plenty to see and do in Kent and nearby areas. Some of the area's more popular attractions include the following:
- Kent State Fashion Museum: Houses a collection encompassing American and European high fashion from the 18th century to the present day.
- Towners's Woods: A 175-acre park with an extensive trail system, picnic pavilions, and winter sledding and cross-country skiing.
- Nelson/Kennedy Ledges State Park
- Tinker's Creek State Park
- West Branch State Park
- Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom
- Akron Civic Theatre
- Boston Mills Ski Resort
- Blossem Music Center
- Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
- Hale Farm & Village
- Akron Art Museum
- Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area
The Kent State University's sports teams are called the Golden Flashes. They are part of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East division and compete in the NCAA's Division I (I-A for football). Kent State fields teams in 16 different sports, and its basketball program in particular has enjoyed success in recent years. Both the men's and women's teams have played in their respective conference tournament title games several times in the past ten years, and in 2002 the men's basketball team made the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. In addition, the women's golf team has won the Mid-American Conference title every year of the program's existence.
Fans of professional sports have easy access to any number of nearby teams and attractions. The city of Akron, home to Minor League Baseball's Akron Aeros, is only minutes away. The Aeros are a Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and they play in the Eastern League. Also located in Akron is the headquarters of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA). Less than a half-hour away is the city of Canton, where football fans can treat themselves to a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Major league sports are less than an hour away in the city of Cleveland, home to Major League Baseball's Indians, pro football's Browns (NFL) and pro basketball's Cavaliers (NBA).