History of Post 496
Congress granted a national charter to the American Legion in September of 1919, at the end of World War I.
The Kent Legion Post 496 was chartered on August 16, 1921, with one hundred twenty-one men and one woman as charter members. It’s first achievement as a post was the Memorial day Parade in 1921 with 200 uniformed ex-sevicemen marching the streets as many cival war veterans looked on. In 1923 the post acquired the old Kent homestead on South River Street built by Zenas Kent in 1851 for $5,000. This was to remain the post home until the main structure was destroyed by fire on January 23, 1978, leaving only the addition built in 1949 which after first floor renovations were complete the Canteen opened and a new addition was approved and began construction in November of 1980. Other notable achievements include the formation of the Portage Post 496 Drum and Bugle Corps in 1929, and the Legion Band was organized in June of 1946.
The post on River Street was torn down to make room for expansions to the Kent Free Library, after a new modern post was built at its current location on Mogadore Road featuring the spacious Underwood Hall for Weddings and family gatherings.