• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

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  • NPS Seeks Comment on Proposed Regulation for Off-Road Bicycle Trails

    NPS has proposed a special regulation to designate and authorize off-road bicycle use on new trails constructed outside of developed areas in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The public is invited to provide comment until Monday, December 15, 2014. 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 »

Sense of Community

Harrington Store, Main Street, Peninsula.

Peninsula residents gather outside Harrington Store on Main Street, 1910.

NPS Collection

Part of human nature is our desire to be social and form relationships. Farmers in the Cuyahoga Valley have relied upon the help of friends and relatives to endure economic and personal hardships that often threaten family survival. In the early 20th century, neighbors worked together in each others' fields to thresh wheat and make hay. During the Great Depression, farmers with enough produce shared food with their extended families. Participating in the local community meant that farmers could usually find the help and support they needed during tough times.

Living in a small community brought a sense of safety and security. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, valley residents knew their neighbors. Many people did not lock their doors. If you needed a ride, there was usually someone to pick you up. Children played and explored outside for hours with little adult supervision.

Valley residents also saw the community as a source of fun and entertainment. In communities like Everett, Peninsula, and Bedford, residents attended Home Days, local dances, and other events where they could enjoy themselves and strengthen neighborhood bonds. For families living on small farms participation in the local Grange provided vital continuing education and support.

Click the links to read and hear stories about Everett (a local valley community) as well as Events, Social Organizations, and Dances throughout the Cuyahoga Valley.

Oral history audio.

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

Working Together (21 seconds)
Jan Thomas, a resident of Everett, describes how farmers in her community worked together to share and exchange products.

Knowing Your Neighbors (51 seconds)
George Fisher, longtime resident of Peninsula, remembers how families knew all of their neighbors and how children could never keep secrets from their parents.

School friends in Bath Township.
School friends in Bath Township.
Courtesy/Bath Township Historical Society

Did You Know?

Image courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Natural History

American Indians in the Cuyahoga Valley were influenced by the Hopewell Culture, which created large mound complexes in central Ohio from 100 B.C. – A.D. 500? In the Cuyahoga Valley, American Indians built small mounds rather than large ceremonial centers.