Prepared by Kim M. Carey, December 3, 2002
1 record storage box, 1 cubic foot, 11th floor
Ronald F. Kingsley completed his undergraduate education at Middlebury College in 1954 with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. After graduation, Kingsley attended New York Medical College for two years before transferring to Syracuse University where he obtained a M.S. in School Psychology. In 1959, Kingsley entered Syracuse University's School of Education, where he was awarded his doctorate in 1963. Kingsley taught in the Education Department at Kent State University for twenty-seven years (1963-1990). While teaching at Kent State, he obtained a Masters Degree in Archeology/Anthropology and a second Masters in American history/American studies. Kingsley has published well over a hundred journal articles in his combined fields. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Schenectady County Community College where he teaches courses in community archaeology.
Prior to his retirement from Kent State University, Kingsley began excavation at the two sites documented in this collection. His work is valuable because scholars have limited information regarding the early industries that accompanied the growth of the Western Reserve. Settlers in this region faced the necessity of developing industries that would supply them with basic necessities. Both the lime burning kiln and the powder mill are representative of that early industrial growth.
When Kingsley began work at Chestnut Grove, the site was in imminent danger of being lost to erosion. He obtained the necessary permits and quickly began work to recover as much information as possible before the remains washed down the hillside. The Powder Mill site is the remains of a family owned business that was part of the regional economic development. As part of the research for the Powder Mill site, Kingsley performed extensive genealogical research, documenting the family that owned the powder mill, tracing their roots from Connecticut to Ohio.
The materials in this collection were donated to the Kent State University Archives by Dr. Ronald F. Kingsley, Professor Emeritus at Kent State University. Kingsley's papers document archeological research, and the creation of manuscripts for corresponding journal articles, at two sites in northeast Ohio. The Chestnut Grove site is located in Ashtabula County and the Powder Mill site is located in Portage County.
At the Chestnut Grove site, Kingsley excavated a long-forgotten lime burning kiln. The evidence unearthed there provided material for a journal article titled "Rescue Excavation of an Early 19th Century Lime Burning Kiln at Geneva State Park, Ashtabula County, Ohio," published in the North American Archeologist (V. 14, #1,1993). This series includes geological maps, field logs, an archeological site inventory, correspondence, photographs, a manuscript draft and a completed manuscript documenting research at the Chestnut Grove site.
The Powder Mill site is located in Franklin Township, between the cities of Kent and Ravenna, in Portage County, Ohio. The excavation at this site formed the basis for another journal article published in the North American Archeologist, (V.22, #3, 2001) titled "The Gillette Brothers and the Mid Nineteenth Century Powder Mill, Portage County, Ohio: An Entrepreneurship Presaging the Industrial Era." This series contains maps, a field log, an archeological inventory, research materials, correspondence, site photographs, and an extensive genealogy of the Gillette family.