History of Spring Hill

Spring Hill was built in approximately 1821 by Thomas and Charity Rotch. In the Kendal/Massillon community, Spring Hill has stood as a family home for over 150 years. The Rotch-Wales families were founders of the community and worked very hard to make Massillon what it is today.

Throughout the years, Spring Hill has been the home to the Rotch-Wales families. It has seen a civil war, two world wars, multiple economic depressions, and thousands of days of despair and triumph.

In 1973, Spring Hill became a historic home at the request of Irene McLain Wales. Throughout her life, Irene had discovered the amazing history of the Rotch-Wales families and started to study the documents we now call the Rotch-Wales Papers, which were found on Spring Hill’s property in a barrel stored in the Wool House. Irene spent years of her life opening up her home and giving tours to children.

Want to explore the Rotch-Wales Papers? They’re at the Massillon Public Library and available online.

Mary Merwin, Irene’s niece, took over as the director for Spring Hill, which was originally called the Massillon Museum Foundation. The original mission of the Foundation was to purchase and collect buildings of historic importance and preserve them.

In the 1980s, the Foundation purchased the first non-Spring Hill building. This building still is on our property today, and is thought to be the first jail of Massillon.

In 2006, the Foundation became Spring Hill Historic Home, Inc and joined the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom.

Curious to learn more about Spring Hill’s history? Explore our information on the house and family history, and explore our blog.