Stow Council asks Parks Board to consider renaming Silver Springs Lodge

Legislator wants to honor living matriarch of city's first Black family

Laura Freeman
Kent Weeklies
Stow City Council member Christina Shaw (At-Large) proposed renaming Silver Springs Lodge "The Leona Farris Lodge" to honor living matriarch of the city of Stow's first black family. The legislation was sent to the Parks Board for a recommendation.

STOW – After tabling legislation to rename Silver Springs Lodge after 103-year-old resident Leona Farris, City Council has sent the issue to the Parks Board, which they said has the responsibility of naming park structures.

The next Parks Board meeting will be Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. and the renaming of the lodge will be on the agenda. The board would make a recommendation to council, which would vote on the renaming.

Council member Christina Shaw (At-Large), who introduced the legislation Sept. 24 to rename the Silver Springs Lodge "The Leona Farris Lodge" in honor of the living matriarch of the city of Stow's first Black family, said she will place the tabled legislation on the agenda for the Oct. 22 council meeting. She said Laura Farris Daugherty, the daughter of Leona Farris, will be at the meeting.

Laura spoke to council members Oct. 8 about her mother, Leona, whose life was about family, community involvement and showing others through actions how to be a community.

She also reassured council members that all members of her family approved of the renaming of the Silver Springs Lodge after Leona because it represents more of what her mother is about.

During the Oct. 8 council meeting, Council member Steve Hailer (Ward 3) asked if there was a policy for naming parks, and Mayor John Pribonic said there was one in place.

“We put the cart before the horse, and it needs the Parks Board approval first,” said Council member Jeremy McIntire (At-Large). “Their sole purpose is to look at all our parks. Keep it on the table and once it has the Parks Board approval, bring it back to council.”

The process of the Parks Board naming facilities was put in place several years ago but has yet to be utilized, said Nick Wren, the city's chief of staff.

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at lfreeman@recordpub.com