Garrettsville remains a picturesque example of a small American town
Garrettsville was once a thriving 19th century center with various mills, foundries and factories. In 1899, it was considered the largest maple syrup center in the world.
There are still many business and industrial interests in the area, although in 2014 the retail sector was stunned by a fire that burned down a downtown block, razing 13 businesses.
The community remains a prime destination for shops and restaurants in the rural townships that surround it. If you are passing through, most businesses are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Garrettsville never grew outside of its village status and remains a quaint example of a small American town.
In the far northeast of Portage County, Garrettsville is located at the junction of the four townships of Nelson, Hiram, Windham and Freedom.
The town is named after Colonel John Garrett III, who purchased 300 acres of Nelson Township and worked with other settlers to carve out a community in the forest in 1804. It was not until 1864 that residents have asked the county to have a square mile designated as the village of Garrettsville.
The Cranes were the city’s most famous family. Arthur Crane, who owned a cannery on Windham Street, is credited with making Garrettsville the largest maple syrup center in the world at the turn of the last century. His son founded Crane Candies and developed the Lifesavers candy formula. His grandson Hart Crane became a famous poet and was hailed as one of the most influential writers of his generation.
Garrettsville was the site of one of the last major train thefts in America. In 1935, Alvin Karpis – the FBI’s Public Enemy No.1 – and his gang forced a few townspeople to transfer $ 30,000 from the train car to their vehicle. The high school nickname “The G-Men” comes from the term used for the FBI men who came to town after the robbery. Karpis was eventually captured.
Other notable natives of Garrettsville: First Lady Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, wife of President James Garfield; and Jeff Richmond, composer, actor and director. Richmond has composed the music and directed numerous episodes of “30 Rock”, has been nominated for a Tony for his score of “Mean Girls” and is married to comedic actress Tina Fey.
Note: Many businesses are changing their hours of operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be aware that the information reported in this list may change.
â¢ Garrett’s Mill & Brewing Co., 8148 Main St., sits on scenic Eagle Creek and features the Mill built by town founder John Garrett in 1804. The Old Mill now offers a relaxed, upscale dining experience with craft and local beers and prepared meals fresh from scratch, plus an ice cream window. Open from noon to 8 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday, from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. https://www.garrettsmillbrewing.com
â¢ Founded in 2003, Sean’s Pub is an old-fashioned pub and popular local hangout. Located at 8105 Main Street, it is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. https://www.facebook.com/SeansPub
â¢ Eagle Creek Nature Preserve, 11027 Hopkins Road, is a 477 acre reserve with beaver dams, marshes, small bogs and button swamps. There is a 3 mile hiking trail allowing visitors to sample the flora and fauna.
â¢ Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, 12001 State Route 282, features spectacular rock formations created during the Ice Age. The area was a vital trading center for Native Americans and early settlers. Today, during the warmer months, there are camping, swimming, hiking and music festivals. Access to the park is chargeable. Visit https://www.nlqp.com for more details.
â¢ Sugar Bush Golf Course: 11185 State Route 88, has been described as “nature’s best” by the Warren Tribune Chronicle for its challenging topography and scenic hills. Open seven days a week https://www.sugarbushgolfcourse.com.
â¢ Slim and Jumbos is a sports bar located at 8105 Main Street, with the required big screen televisions and a large crowd on game day. Open 3 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. https://www.facebook.com/SlimandJumbos
â¢ Cellar Door Coffee Co., 8138 Water St., offers a selection of lattes and specialty drinks, sandwiches and salads to enjoy with them, plus an ice cream bar to top it off. Open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. https://www.cellardoorcoffeeco.com
â¢ Headwaters Trail – for hikers, cyclists and horse riders – is an 8.5 mile paved limestone trail built on the old Cleveland-Mahoning Railroad line between Mantua and Garrettsville. It includes farmland and forests, steep ravines and wetlands, as well as the Upper Cuyahoga State Scenic River. Find parking at the trailhead at 10482 South St. or 10647 Freedom St.
â¢ Every summer, the village hosts the Garrettsville Summerfest. The event features canoe races, a tractor parade, the Garrettsville Idol contest, live music and various competitions. Visit http://www.garrettsvillesummerfest.com to be alerted to next year’s event.
â¢ Two Travelers Tavern, 8097 Main St., offers casual American cuisine. It is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. https://www.facebook.com/Two-Travelers-Tavern-176847706430932
â¢ Villager Emporium offers unique merchandise, ranging from new to antiques. Located at 8088 Main Street, it is open four days a week, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. https://www.villageremporium.com
â¢ Another specialty shop can be found just down the street at Waterfall Antiques and Collectibles. Located at 8130 Main St, it is open three days a week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
â¢ The village bookstore looks like a scene from Harry Potter, with its cozy little room filled with shelves of mostly used books. Stop at 8140 Main St. between 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. But if it’s an important destination for you, call before you go to make sure it’s open: 330-527-3010.
â¢ Fitzgerald’s Hand Made Limited, 8108 Main Street, offers handmade items including candles, soaps, bath bombs, T-shirts, posters, woodstoves, handbags, blankets and gift baskets. Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday. https://www.facebook.com/Fitzgeralds-Hand-Made-Limited-463978627735546
â¢ For a burger, the perfect place is The Brick Tavern, 8273 Windham St. There are other menu choices, but ‘Freddyburgers’ are a popular dish at this restaurant, open since 1963. Open 11 am to 9 pm h Monday to Saturday. https://www.freddyburger.com.
Based: Established in 1804. Incorporated in 1864.
School and mascot: James A. Garfield Local School District: the G-Men.