• 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 »

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?

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.