The Triangle, one of the most historic places in Berea, has been the center of the city's civic life since the mid-19th century. Just beneath lie the solid layers of the famous Berea Sandstone that brought prosperity to Berea durign its early years. Quarry owner and Berea Seminary founder John Baldwin obtained much of what is now Berea from Gideon Granger, Postmaster General under President Thomas Jefferson and original owner of Township 6, Range 14 (later Middleburg Township) of the Western Reserve. When the seminary trustees transferred the Triangle tract to the people of Berea in 1847, they designated it by deed as a public promenade. This farsighted stipulation preserved it from commercial development during the 20th century.
The Triangle has served many purposes over the years, and its appearance changed frequently as Berea's business district grew around it. Through the 1800s it served as a market for area farmers, and a bandstand (removed in 1931) hosted politicians, brass bands, and Civil War recruiters. The town pump and watering trough stood on the southeast angle of the Triangle until 1924. The monuments honor the sacrifices of Bereans who served in the nation's wars. As interurban trolley lines and, later, automobiles brought commerce to downtown Berea from outlying areas, the Triangle's landscape reflected the social changes in the city surrounding it. Beautification and urban renewal initiatives resulted in major projects here in 1954, 1968, and 2000, helping it to continue to fulfill its original purpose.