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Saturday's rain couldn't keep the Kent Wells Sherman House from making its way through downtown Kent from a temporary spot on College Avenue to its final home on North Water Street.
After crossing Haymaker Parkway, Stein House Movers inched the 1850s Greek revival house along Erie Street, past its original location at Erie and Water streets, and north through the intersection with Main Street to 247 N. Water St., where it will permanently be located.
The effort to move the house, built in 1858 by Kent patriarch Zenas Kent and later transferred to Civil War surgeon Dr. Aaron Sherman, was organized by local preservationists who came to form Kent Wells Sherman House, Inc.
"It's a great step toward a new beginning and I think we'll really begin when we have the final part of the move, when the building is lowered to the new foundation walls," said Roger Thurman, vice-chair of Kent Wells Sherman House, Inc.
Kent State University had scheduled the former East Erie Street rooming house for demolition in 2012 to make way for the Esplande that now connects campus and downtown. Kent Wells Sherman House, Inc. formed with the intent of saving the home after its history was realized. To help the cause, KSU sold the house to the group for $1, assisted with moving costs and let it move to the university-owned plot where College Avenue dead ends, where the Sherman House sat for more than a year until a lawsuit contending the move was defeated.
Flyers announcing a Kent Historical Society fundraising campaign to aid the home's restoration were distributed to onlookers during the move Saturday.
"We didn't feel as though we were justified in (previously) asking for public support because of all the delays and the legal problems," Thurman said. "Now we feel justified. We proved our determination to get this project underway through all the difficulties."
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