• Kendall Hills in summer bloom by Jeffrey Gibson

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Photographic Society Members' Show Rescheduled

    Thursday, August 14 Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society Members' Show has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 21 at Hines Hill Conference Center.

  • Towpath Trail Closure

    Towpath Trail is closed from Mustill Store to Memorial Parkway for riverbank reinforcement. Detours posted. Closure will last 1 - 4 weeks into August. More »

  • Other Closures

    Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure. Plateau Trail Bridge, north of Valley Picnic Area is closed. No detours. Plateau & Oak Hill trails are open. More »

  • Road Closures

    Quick Rd is closed from Akron Peninsula Rd to Pine Hollow Trailhead in Peninsula, from Wednesday, 7/16, for 6 weeks. Detours posted. More »

  • Riverview Road Repaving

    Riverview Rd is being repaved from the Cuyahoga-Summit Cty line to Peninsula through Mon, 9/15. Road is open but there are still delays due to construction. Allow extra time. More »

Hale Farm

Hale Farm.
©Jeffrey Gibson
 
C.O. Hale

C.O. Hale

Courtesy/Peninsula Library & Historical Society

At the Cuyahoga Valley's southwestern edge sits an impressive three-story red brick house surrounded by 140 acres of fields, gardens, and woods. Familiar to many school children, it is a now popular regional attraction that overlooks a recreated historical village.

Despite the building's grandeur, Hale Farm began like any other farm: with hard work. In 1810, farmer Jonathan Hale arrived in Bath to begin a new life on the Western Reserve. For over one hundred years, generations of the Hale family worked and managed their land. In the early 20th century, the farm passed to Jonathan's grandson, C.O. Hale, a kind and ambitious man who hired local families as farm laborers. Part of a newer trend in "gentleman farming," C.O. Hale oversaw the work on his property and earned additional income by entertaining friends and tourists.

Click to read more about the history of Hale Farm.

During the 1920s and 30s, the Wilson family worked for C.O. Hale, clearing land, plowing fields, baling hay, and making maple syrup. Sweating under the summer sun, they planted and harvested vegetables and grains. During the chill of winter, parents found additional employment and children went to school-after milking the cows in Mr. Hale's barn.

 
Oral history audio.

In Their Own Words
Click the topics to hear stories about Cuyahoga Valley life.

Click here to read the text file.

Work on Hale Farm (1 minute 10 seconds)
The Brick Farmhouse (42 seconds)
Syrup and Taffy Parties (1 minute 30 seconds)
Mr. Hale and the Owl (53 seconds)
Ott Wilson, with his father and brothers, performed daily duties on Hale Farm that changed with the seasons. Ott talks about his family's experiences working for C.O. Hale in the 1920s and 30s.


 
Hale farmhouse.

The Hale Farm is now a living history museum.

©Denny Reiser

In the 1930s, Clara Belle Ritchie, the great-granddaughter of Jonathan Hale, inherited the farm, supervised the initial restoration work, and then donated the property to the Western Reserve Historical Society. Today, visitors can experience an outdoor living history museum at Hale Farm & Village.

Click to learn more about how to plan your visit to Hale Farm & Village.

Did You Know?

Drawing of a mule driver on the Ohio & Erie Canal.

A young James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, worked briefly as a mule boy on the Ohio & Erie Canal, an important cultural resource within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.