When traveling throughout Howland Township, one seldom stops to think of how its roads got their names.
Many, if not most, of the road name origins can be easily ascertained as being by some physical locations or item: Quarry Lane, Red Oak, Black Oak, White Oak, Hidden Hills, Hidden Lakes, Hidden Valley, Old Orchard, Old Farm Trail, Howland Springs and others.
Other roads to Howland newcomers and many senior residents are alien as to their meanings. Some roads have had more than one name and a few others have a history that I will try to share with readers.
North River Road used to be named Ratliff Road, after an early family of settlers who ran a sawmill and lived in the still-standing house at the intersection of North River Road and North Road. North Road's real name today is Heaton North Road, which was named after early Niles steel industrialist James Heaton who lived at the south end of that road in Niles.
Brewster Drive S.E. is named for the Brewster family whose house was located where Giant Eagle is now. The house was moved to its present location on Kettering Street S.E., which was named for the inventor of the automobile self-starter.
T.B. Hospital Road, named for the sanitarium hospital (now Hillside Rehabilitation Center), had its name changed to Squires Lane after the Squires family that lived where the a photo center is now located on state Route 46.
Fuller Drive is named for Ohio state senator Fuller and his wife, who at his death took his General Assembly seat by appointment and became an Ohio state senator to finish the remainder of his unexpired term.
Clifton Drive is named for the developer of the Cliff-Hyde Development. Henn Hyde Road is named for the land owners at each end of the road, but it used to be named for the same reason, Hoover Saunders Road.
King Graves Road was first named for the families King and Groves who lives on either end of the road, but somehow the name changed due to people mispronouncing it due to the Cadwaller Cemetery thought to be a King family cemetery.
Silver Fox Lane was named for the silver fox farm that occupied an area from that road to state Route 46.
Glenn, Grissom and Shepard are named for American astronauts.
Elm Road was once a wooden toll road that connected Warren and Baconsburg, now known as Cortland.
Augusta, Firestone, Doral, Torrey Pines, St. Andrews, Sawgrass, The Masters, Westchester, Inverary, Murifield, Pinchurst, Fonderlac and The Greens are all named for golf-related locations.
Many prominent Howland residents have roads named for them including Reeves, Bolin, Bruce, Blair, Duffus, Stillwagon, Difford, Mines, Shaffer, Millikin, Draper, Palette, Dillon, Van Wye and Wilson.
Although it is impossible to mention all of the roads in the township, this gives an idea of how the origins of some roads in the township came to be throughout the entire township west to Chestnut Avenue in Warren and south to Deforest Road in Niles.
Taiclet is the president of the Howland Historical Society. He can be reached at OhioHistorian76@