When it comes to history, business and family communities, the town of Fairlawn and the townships of Bath and Copley shine brightly in western Summit County.
Parts of Copley, Bath and Fairlawn are geographically connected under an umbrella known as Montrose.
Montrose’s shopping strip along State Route 18 near Interstate 77 includes Summit Mall—the only remaining mall in Summit County—and numerous malls, restaurants, and national mass-market chains.
This corner of Summit County is brimming with history, growing businesses, and plenty of activities for residents and visitors to do.
Fairlawn is the first town west of Akron and is packed with retail and commercial businesses and restaurants, which tickle most people’s taste buds. Besides Akron, the city is bordered by the townships of Copley and Bath.
Copley is bordered by Bath, the town of Norton and the township of Sharon.
Bath is bordered by Richfield and Granger Township as well as Fairlawn and Copley.
Why is it called Montrose?
Historians suggest Montrose’s name is likely derived from wild roses growing near the elevated community, which turned into a bustling commercial area in the 1990s.
Copley has 20.8 square miles within its boundary and is the largest of Summit County’s nine townships, according to Janice Marshall, in her sixth year as a full-time township administrator after 12 years as as Copley’s tax agent.
In 1814, Civil War volunteer Jonah Turner became the first settler, purchasing 321 acres for $900. The unincorporated community was founded in 1819 by Gardiner Greene, who purchased 16,531 acres for $26,087 in 1807 from the Connecticut Land Co., and was credited with naming the site in honor of his wife, Elizabeth Copley Greene. The location was named Copley Center in 1935 and changed to Copley Township in 1840 when it left Medina County and joined the new Summit County.
In 1904, the present City Hall was built and became the first centralized school in Ohio. The Copley Historic Caboose and Depot, built in 1891, was listed on the federal register in 2001.
Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth, in his 27th year as chief executive of the 4.48 square mile area, cited Croghan Park, Ceremonial Indian Mound at Fort Island Park as historic landmarks in the city.
Vito Sinopoli, Bath’s full-time administrator for eight years, said the 23-square-mile community is rich with an abundance of historic homes, cemeteries and other significant locations, including Hale Farm and Village and Bath Township Hall.
Missy McWhorter, in her sixth year as full-time executive director of the Fairlawn Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Village of St. Edward; Kisling, Nestico and Redick Law Firm; Insurance Seibert Keck; and Signet Jewels are among the largest employers in the Montrose area.
Bath’s largest employers also include Cleveland Clinic’s Akron General Health and Wellness Center, with an attached emergency department, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Center, and Crystal Clinic.
Copley’s largest employers are Roadway Express, Copley-Fairlawn Schools, Montrose Ford, Team Health, Metro and Med Veterinarian Hospitals, and Graves Lumber.
Notable Fairlawn employers include accounting Bober Markey Federovich & Co. and software company ContiTech USA.
Notable past and present citizens of Copley include actress Carrie Coon, NFL player Delone Carter, chief meteorologist and WKYC-TV news anchor Betsy Kling, WJW-TV anchor Tracy McCool, author Ty Schwamberger, Former Ohio Representative and Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Lynn Slaby, Former U.S. Representative and Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Betty Sutton and former U.S. Representative John Seiberling. Others include the late jazz guitarist Jeff Golub, best known for his work with Rod Stewart; Riley Ghent and Josh Williams, professional footballers; and Major League Baseball pitcher Jeff Tabaka.
Key activities include the Copley Car Show, Heritage Days, Memorial Day Parade, Halloween in the Park, Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Arbor Day and Event earth day. It’s also worth checking out Copley Community Park, an 80-acre facility with lodges for rent; baseball, softball and soccer fields; two playgrounds; a toboggan run; an ice skating pond; and over a mile of paved walking trails.
Fairlawn plans to once again host its Friday Night Summer Concert Series in Bicentennial Park, July 4 celebration and fireworks.
Other Fairlawn highlights include Riviera Lanes for bowling enthusiasts, Summit Mall and Croghan Park, Fort Island/Griffiths Park, Fort Island Boardwalk, Fairlawn and Wood Parks.
Bath’s Sinopoli cited early settlers Jonathan Hale and Jason Hammond, who officially organized the township in 1818, and NBA basketball star LeBron James as famous residents.
Bath Nature Reserve offers 411 acres of nature trails, ponds, sporting activities and hiking options.
Entertainment and catering
Copley’s Marshall rated several restaurants, including Firehouse Tavern, Bombas Taco Bar, Hooley House, Outback and Longhorn Steakhouses, Tres Portrillos, Kingfish Seafood Restaurant, Brighten Brewery, and Wolf Creek Winery.
Fairlawn’s Roth said the town has many family restaurants, including Sweet Frog, Sky Way and Rocknes. Honey Baked Ham’s lunch menu and catering services were also mentioned.
The Bath Administrator said there are a wide variety of dining options in the community including Ken Stewart’s Lodge, Tre Belle, Clearview Inn, Farmer’s Rail, Vaccaro’s Trattoria, Pint and Pie Works, Lanning’s Restaurant, Gasoline Alley and the Bake Shop in Ghent.
About the Township of Copley
School district: Copley-Fairlawn Schools
About the Township of Bath
School district: Revere Local Schools
School district: Copley-Fairlawn Schools
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Copley, Fairlawn and Bath feature shopping, dining, history and more.