horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

Preserve America Community:
Olmsted Falls, Ohio

Olmsted Falls, Ohio, (population 9,000) traces its roots to 1814, when Kingston Township was established. Settlers from Connecticut, Vermont, and New York built a reflection of a small New England town in the then-remote Ohio Western Reserve. Kingston Township merged with the village of Westview and became the city of Olmsted Falls in 1971.

A nearby sandstone quarry was instrumental in the growth of Olmsted Falls, and its sandstone blocks are still evident in local structures. The area was rich in natural resources, including first-growth forests and abundant water. The Rocky River, Plum Creek Falls, and Minnie Creek powered sawmills and grain and grist mills.

Farming was also an important part of the economy, and in the 1940s, Olmsted Falls was one of the largest vegetable and hothouse plant greenhouse centers in the region.

In the late 1980s, longtime resident and real estate agent Clint Williams bought many buildings in the town center and restored and redeveloped them into an area known as Grand Pacific Junction. The Junction has become the commercial and social center of the community and is celebrated as one of the most authentically renovated town center historic districts in Ohio.

In 2000, a portion of Olmsted Falls, comprising approximately 170 properties, was named a National Register Historic District. Significant properties include the Grand Pacific Hotel, built in the 1830s, the Grand Pacific Wedding Chapel, built in 1851, and the Bonsey Building, built in
1940.

The community celebrates Olmsted Heritage Days every August, featuring music, dancing, a parade, and a wide variety of performances.

For more information

City of Olmsted Falls: www.olmstedfalls.org

Grand Pacific Junction: grandpacificjunction.com

Posted May 27, 2009

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