• Image of bluebells in the spring

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Valley Bridle Trail Partial Closure

    A section of the Valley Bridle Trail is closed across from the Brandywine Golf Course. There is no estimate of when this section will be open. Please observe all trail closures. More »

  • Plateau Trail Partial Closure

    The outer loop of the Plateau Trail is closed at the Valley Picnic Area junction for bridge repair. The bridge is now unsafe for pedestrian traffice due to accelerated erosion around the base. More »

  • Bald Eagle Closure in Effect Until July 31, 2014

    Returning bald eagles are actively tending to last year's nest within the Pinery Narrows area in CVNP. To protect the eagles from human disturbance, the area surrounding the nest tree will be closed until July 31, 2014. More »

  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) Bridge Construction Closures

    Rockside and Canal Visitor Center boarding sites will be closed through Apr 27. From Jan 18 - Mar 16, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Brecksville stations. From Mar 22 - Apr, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Peninsula. More »

  • Do Not Feed the Waterfowl and Birds!

    Many people enjoy feeding waterfowl and birds, but the effects of this seemingly generous act can be harmful. Regular feeding can cause: unatural behavior, pollution, overcrowding, delayed migration, and poor nutrition and disease.

  • Closure on Fishing Will Remain in Effect for Virginia Kendall Lake

    Due to the government shutdown, we were unable to survey the fish community in VK Lake as scheduled. Our survey partners (ODNR) will not be able to get into the lake until early spring of 2014. Therefore, the closure on fishing will remain in effect. More »

Farming Equipment

Modern tractor.

Modern tractors help farmers work quickly and efficiently.

NPS/Arrye Rosser

Using the railroad, manufacturers of farm implements and fertilizers could showcase their wares to all farmers in the area over the course of several days. These fairs encouraged a more scientific approach to farming, rather than simple reliance upon tried, but less-than-true, inherited farming practices.

The C. Aultman & Co. of Canton, Ohio, which manufactured a popular and highly successful harvesting machine called the Buckeye, opened up a branch in Akron in 1863. In 1865 and 1880, John F. Seiberling began production of mowers and reapers for making straw and hay. By 1890, Seiberling's company, the Empire Mower and Reaper Works, was one of the world's largest manufacturers of harvesting machines.

In spite of all these advances, farmers were slow to abandon practices which their ancestors had used for hundreds of years. The county fairs, as well as farmers' institutes, served an educational role to reduce fear of change and to encourage innovation. It was not until the Civil War, when the labor supply diminished, that agricultural improvements began to take hold. The introduction of the thresher in the 1850s, for example, enabled a farmer to thresh a ten-acre field in a day or two, a task that previously would have taken most of the winter with the use of a flail.

Tractors came into popular usage in the 20th century after World War II. After 1945, within two or three years, the majority of farmers in the Cuyahoga Valley began to use tractors instead of horses. Tractors, which enabled farmers to complete a previous week's worth of work in just a couple days, increased the trend towards "weekend farming."

 
Oral history audio.

In Their Own Words
Click the topics to hear stories about Cuyahoga Valley life.
Click here to read the text file.

Tractors (33 seconds)
Carl Boodey, from Northfield, explains how tractors became popular in the valley and made farming much more efficient.

Quickly Plowing Fields (35 seconds)
Daniel Schneider, who grew up on the Schneider Farm (now Coonrad Ranger Station), describes how new tractors made plowing a quick and easy process.

Hay Baler (41 seconds)
Jan Thomas, from Everett, talks about the efficiency of the hay baler.




Did You Know?

Monarch Butterfly - US Fish and Wildlife Service Photo

Early September is the time to watch monarchs feed in Cuyahoga Valley fields rich with goldenrod and New England aster. These places serve as important re-fueling sites for these long distance travelers on their way to oyamel forests near Mexico City more than 2,000 miles away.