Monday, February 20, 2012

Lost Stories: Yesterday and Today - 'Paine's Hollow'

Located in Leroy, Paine Falls Park has been a scenic 377 acre Lake Metroparks property since 1974.  A spectacular waterfalls, grills, and hiking trails make it a unique destination for outdoor enthusiasts.  For those with a local history interest, Paine's Hollow' is another chapter in the early American history that is Lake County.

Colonel Hendrick Paine moved his family from Parkman, Ohio in 1818 to this valley.  Colonel Paine, nephew of Edward Paine and founder of Painesville, built his log cabin on the north side of the terrace overlooking the falls.  With the financial help of his son Elazer A. Paine and father-in-law Samuel Phelps, he opened a sawmill.  The location proved to be ideal.  By 1840 an iron forge and furnace, tannery, shoemaker, blacksmith, and wagon maker had established businesses in the hollow.  A local school and several homes soon followed.  For the next decade 'Paine's Hollow' thrived.  Prosperity declined in the 1850's as newer industries and technologies grew.  Deforestation led to the demise of the area businesses and they left for other parts of Lake County.  'Paine's Hollow' fell into ruin and for the next hundred plus years became a footnote in the history of Lake County.

Today, thanks to the Lake Metroparks acquisition of the former Paine property in 1974, visitors may 'hike' into the past and share in the scenic vistas and natural diversities that first attracted the settlers to this hidden gem located at 5570 Paine Road in Leroy, Ohio.

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