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Mules are led down the towpath the last day of the 1996 season at Metropark
Mules are led down the towpath the last day of the 1996 season at Providence Metropark Photo: Fred Folger

Providence Metropark and Historic Area

Providence Metropark and Historic Area is one of the nine Metroparks run by the Metropolitan Park District of the Toledo Area. The historic area encompasses a restored section of the old Miami & Erie Canal, Lock # 44, the Providence dam, and the historic Isaac Ludwig Mill. The park is named after the canal boomtown of Providence, and is a living reminder of the prosperity that swept across the northwestern portion of the state during the early to mid 19th century.

The Metropark staff provide educational programs that help keep the history and traditions of northwest Ohio alive. At the park, visitors can learn about the canal era from costumed interpretive guides. To reach the mill, they must take a mule-drawn canal boat, which glides down the Miami & Erie Canal. As visitors walk through the water-powered mill, they can hear the humming of the sawmill, and the grinding of the gristmill where corn is turned into fine meal, and wheat becomes flour. The "miller" will carry on a friendly discourse with visitors while the "blacksmith's" hammer is heard pounding out iron and steel. The "tinsmith" works at creating lanterns and other items that would be useful to early Ohioans.

Outside the mill, visitors can also watch how a woman operates a spinning wheel. Nearly 25,000 people, comprising school groups, seniors, families, and tourists, visit Providence Metropark and Historic Area each year.

Documentation includes an 18-page report, slides, a video and 10 photographs.

Originally submitted by: George V. Voinovich, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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