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“Mutton Hill” is the name that residents of 19th century Akron gave to this 150-acre farm, known for its Merino sheep that were reputed to produce some of the finest wool in the world.
“The Perkins Estate was first a farm,” said Leianne Neff Heppner, President and CEO of the Summit County Historical Society. “We want to interpret that story of the importance of agriculture in Akron and Summit County’s growth and development before it became a manufacturing center.”
Four generations of the Perkins family lived at the Stone Mansion estate. Simon Perkins built a reputation for fine wool, later becoming an Ohio senator who founded Summit County. Perkins’ son George Tod Perkins, who also lived at the mansion, became the second president of BF Goodrich Company.
Sheep production is the nation’s oldest organized industry, with wool being the first international trade commodity. Ohio was a major producer of mutton and wool in the 19th century. Perkins operated a woolen mill in what is now downtown Akron in the 1850’s. All of the soldiers in the Civil War wore wool uniforms.
The Brown House property is an essential link in John Brown’s personal history as an abolitionist and militant guerilla in the fight to end African slavery in America.