NORTH ROYALTON – For nearly a century, the City Green has been home to the North Royalton Community Festival, but it’s been the heart of the community from the start, and for this reason, one councilman and historical society member is working to secure a state historical marker to commemorate this history.

Just seven years after Royalton Township was born, the City Green was established in 1825 when landowner John Watkins sold 5 acres bounded by Ridge, Royalton and Bennett roads, so the township could have a cemetery, public square and place for public buildings.

It served as the center of government for 187 years from 1827-2014, when it was home to city hall. Over the years, the City Green has housed churches, a school, a library, a cemetery and the city’s safety forces. The main fire station still resides there.

Today, it is known as a hub for recreation and community gatherings.

It’s where residents unite to celebrate community spirit at the various events hosted here: the National Day of Prayer in May, the Pet Carnival in July, home days in August, the Harvest Fest in September and the Holiday Lighting Ceremony in late November or early December.

But the event that’s called the Green home the longest is the North Royalton Community Festival, which dates back to 1884 when it was the annual Farmers’ Picnic. Back then, it was hosted at the farm or grove of a farmer’s property. Neighbors would venture over by wagon or horseback, but with the invention of the automobile, the gathering was eventually moved to the Green.

The Green is a treasure trove of history and the North Royalton Historical Society believes it’s history worth setting in stone, so to speak.

Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, who serves as a trustee and chairman of the historical marker committee for the society, is seeking to preserve this history by formally commemorating the Green with a state historical marker.

Over the past several months, he has spent countless hours researching historical documents and archives and has crafted the wording for a double-sided marker that would share some of the historical facts behind the City Green – how it formed, what it’s been home to over the years – so residents today and into the future have a lasting link to North Royalton’s past.

This is a second attempt. Both he and Georgia Viehbeck, treasurer of the society, sought funding last year during the bicentennial but were unsuccessful.

Langshaw has submitted a second application for grant funding through the Ohio History Connection, the agency that oversees the state’s historical marker program.

Langshaw said his mission to secure a marker first began when he watched the old city hall being razed in 2017 because of how important “The Green” has been historically as the heart of the city of North Royalton’s civic life since its founding in 1818.

“The Green has evolved over time to serve the needs of our community as it grew from a town, village and to the present day city we all know. The official city logo is the bandstands on the Green, again symbolizing how historically significant this grassy triangle of Bennett, Ridge, and Royalton roads is from being the home to a hub for dairy businesses, a cemetery for early settlers, a first school, first library, police station, fire station or even the former seat of our city government,” he said. “We were not successful last year in our application, but we are hopeful this year the second time is the charm.”

Langshaw said he will learn sometime next month whether the funding request has been accepted.