Mantua Township Hall exterior renovations under way

by JEREMY NOBILE RECORD-COURIER REPORTER Published:

Mantua Township -- To Steve Coon, there's no greater structure than a historic building.

The third-generation owner of Coon Restoration and Sealants Inc., Coon's appreciation of old architecture runs in his family.

So after learning of the condition of one of Mantua Township's oldest buildings -- the township hall on the historic green along Route 82 -- he felt compelled to lend his expertise.

Coon's company in Stark County's Louisville is working to restore the outside of the historic 1840s town hall at virtually no cost to the township.

"It's just the right thing to do," Coon said. "They need to keep their community identity out there, and those kinds of buildings are what people are going to be talking about another 100 years from now."

The exterior of the town hall has been stripped down, exposing the soft inner layers of the original wood siding that will soon be repainted (with about 15 gallons given to the township by the Streetsboro Sherwin-Williams). The original shutters have been removed and are with Coon's company where they're being refurbished. The threshold where the siding meets the foundation will eventually be resealed.

Mantua Township Trustee Vic Grimm estimates the value of Coon's efforts around $9,500.

"It's amazing an individual, let alone a relative stranger not anywhere close to Mantua Township, would reach out and give out of his own pocket that type of gift to us," said Linda Elhert, vice president of the Mantua Historical Society.

COON originally met Carole Pollard, secretary of the Mantua Restoration Society, at a Heritage Ohio conference in Columbus. Pollard had asked Coon about a consultation for the town hall, which the township was planning to paint.

The project soon became more intensive than first thought, as stripping the exterior revealed other issues. Before long, Coon offered to take over the project himself.

"It's all about giving back," Coon said, noting his company has completed thousands of restoration projects throughout the Midwest. "I hope this promotes that there's no better feeling than just paying it forward."

The money the township will save thanks to Coon's efforts will be used for additional work on the Mantua Center Schoolhouse -- another historic building added to the National Register of Historic Places in September.

The Mantua Town Hall is still used for township meetings. The historical society has assembled a museum on the second floor loaded with artifacts of Mantua's heritage.

The Western Reserve building, added to the historic registry in the 1970s, was erected on the township green adjacent to the Mantua Civic Center, Mantua Center Church and the Eastlawn Cemetery, which features graves tracing back to the Revolutionary War.

Hezekiah Nooney donated the land to the township in the 1800s as part of a 50-acre plot.

Email: jnobile@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4155

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