Firestone descendants due for a visit to Columbiana
COLUMBIANA — The city is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Harvey S. Firestone family this Friday.
The July 6 visit coincides with the city’s recognition that this year marks the 150th anniversary of Firestone’s birth. The visit will also coincide with a formal groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited Mirror Lake project spearheaded by the Columbiana Restoration and Beautification Committee (R&B) that was largely funded through a private donation from R&B chairwoman Pat Tingle.
Tingle donated $500,000 of her own funds to the project to honor the memory of her late son, David Alan Tingle, who passed away in 2017.
The committee is also spearheading the major multi-million-dollar project to improve and upgrade Firestone Park, and has already secured more than $1 million in public and private donations through various fundraisers.
Tingle, as chair of the committee, has kept in contact with Bob Troyer of Chicago, who represents the Firestone family, regarding progress on the project over the years.
The committee invited the Firestone family to visit the city to see the work being done to preserve Harvey Firestone’s history locally.
Firestone was born in Columbiana on Dec. 20, 1868 and spent his early years here before starting the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. in Akron, making him the city’s “most renown citizen,” Tingle said.
The committee is expecting at least five of Firestone’s descendants to the city on Friday:
Kimball Firestone of Middletown, Md., who is a grandson of Harvey Firestone and son of Leonard K. Firestone, chairman of the trustees of the Firestone Foundation.
Lendy F. Brown of Lexington, Ky., who is a granddaughter of Harvey Firestone and daughter of Leonard K. Firestone.
Layton L. Register of Lexington, Ky., a son of Lendy S. Brown, grandson of Leonard K. Firestone, and great-grandson of Harvey Firestone.
Jeff Firestone (and his wife Heather) of Houston, Texas, who is a great-grandson of Harvey Firestone and grandson of Russell Firestone, son of Morgan Firestone.
Troyer will also accompany the family on the visit, which is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m.
The family will first lay a wreath at the Firestone Memorial in the Columbiana Cemetery at 12:30 p.m., alongside city officials and R&B committee members. The public is invited to attend.
At 1:15 p.m., the family will attend the groundbreaking for Mirror Lake at pavilion no. 4 in Firestone Park, and the public is also invited to attend.
From 2-4 p.m. a reception for invited guests will be held at the Homestead Kitchen and Cocktails restaurant located at the Town Center at Firestone Farms. The reception will include a program, “A Conversation with the Firestones” and a concert of songs composed by Harvey Firestone’s late wife, Idabelle Firestone.
Also on July 6, the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a variety of events along Main Street to mark the 150th anniversary. The chamber has also invited the Firestone family and the public to enjoy the Historical Society’s displays of Firestone memorabilia in the Log Cabin on the Square, the mural of the city’s history that is on display in the Main Street Common, also known as the Pocket Park, and the Firestone tire testing site on Lipply Road.