The city of Barberton has a history that is unique among Ohio cities. It was established in 1891, at the height of the state's industrial development, as a planned industrial community. Situated within easy reach of canal, river and railroad, the new town was located just seven miles southwest of Akron. Utilizing a natural glacial lake as its focal point, Barberton's founders laid out streets and lots for an attractive community of homes, churches, schools, and commercial buildings, and established many of the industries required to sustain it. A downtown developed, homes were constructed for businessmen and factory workers, churches and schools were built, and the city grew into an important industrial center of northeastern Ohio.