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The role of our historical society in the community has grown over the years. We now bring educational programs to schools, businesses, and civic organizations, as well as collaborate with community groups on projects such as the preservation of our historic Pioneer Cemetery, the Main Street Kent revitalization program, and historic preservation projects in the community. We are dedicated to documenting Kent history through artifacts, records, and documents from the people of our community, our living history.
In 1971, a group of civic-minded individuals, concerned about preserving the rich historical heritage of Kent incorporated as the Kent Historical Society. The original board members were Sam Apicello, William B. Birkner, John H. Carson, Titus Jackman, Leland C. Keller, James P. Myers, Reed B. Strimple, and Loris Troyer.
The young society would soon face its first major crisis: the threat of destruction to the landmark 1875 Kent Railway Station. In 1975, the society bought the station and began a renovation of the building which cost over a half a million dollars.
The society's offices and Rowe Museum were located on the second floor of the station, the ground floor being occupied by the Pufferbelly, Ltd. In 2006 the society moved its offices and museum to 234 South Water Street where it remained for 5 years. In December of 2011 the historical society purchased the Clapp-Woodward house located at 237 E. Main St. as its permanent home. The society continues its strong tradition as the repository of Kent's history and traditions, displaying artifacts and maintaining the Kent Historical Resource Center for those researching local and family history.