The exhibit, titled “Davey and Kent: Growing Together Since 1880,” includes a variety of artifacts but focuses on three key aspects of the company’s success. The exhibit, which opens to the public Saturday, April 18, centers on the general history of the company, the transition to employee ownership in 1979 and the 1985 corporate complex construction and grand opening in Kent.
“The Kent Historical Society does a wonderful job telling the stories of the people and businesses that shaped Kent, and we’re excited to partner with them to tell the story of Davey Tree,” said Sandra Reid, vice president, corporate communications and strategic planning administration.
This year is the 135th anniversary of Davey’s founding of North America’s oldest tree care firm, and 2015 also marks 30 years since the firm opened its corporate headquarters on North Mantua Street—across the street from John Davey’s first employer, Standing Rock Cemetery. In 2014 Davey celebrated 35 years of employee ownership.
Items in the exhibit vary from a letter to John Davey from Buckingham Palace, to an early tree-climbing harness (little more than two slats of wood roped together), information about Martin L. Davey, Sr., as Ohio governor, and arborist training films dating to the mid-1900s.
“We’re thrilled to dedicate our main exhibit for 2015 to the history of Davey Tree,” said Lorie Bednar, co-director of the Kent Historical Society Museum. “There are two families in Kent that are absolutely critical to the history and establishment of the community: the Kent and Davey families.”