Howland Township lost a milestone of its commercial history on March 6, 2014.
On that date, the Howland Springs Water Co. was sold to another water company of Newbury, Ohio. Acreage purchased by Dr. John Sealy, who established an 85-acre health spa for its "healing spring waters," evolved into a state renown vacation resort. What for many decades was the social magnet for the Howland community now no longer exists as one of Ohio's longest continuing companies purchased before Ohio became a state.
The red and white trucks that daily traveled throughout northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania are no longer transporting bottled water to thirsty customers.
Many articles, books, and even a few photographs over the years have extolled the many events and stories of Howland Springs. Grace Allison, Wilma Raach, David Pack, Lucile Brown, Raymond Crawford, Wendall Lauth, Ted Hirt, Bob Smith, and myself are only a few among many who have devoted thousands of words in print and orally in order to try and inform Howland residents of the rich history associated with the Connecticut Western Reserve.
Within that framework must be acknowledged the great contributions that Howland Springs made to settling a forested backwoods located west of the barrier of travel - the Appalachian Mountains.
Only the Weathersfield Township Salt Springs could then compare with Howland Springs in being an early focal point for drawing east coast colonists to come to live and visit the newly established state of Ohio's Trumbull County.
Across the Erie Canal route, over the St. Lawrence River / Great Lake route, or through the Cumberland Gap route came settlers beckoned by the prospect of leaving what was in the 1800s becoming a hectic east coast existence. They were eager to start a new life by owning their own property and forming a new state in the wild frontier of North America's west.
Howland Springs' healthy spa waters, miles of flowered and tree-lined walking paths, and the then luxurious Howland Springs Hotel - with a billiard room, bowling alley and ballroom - attracted thousands of individuals.
A physical site for everyday family reunions, important business meetings, festive formal balls and commercial water sales, Howland Springs once had a magnetic drawing power. Even the families of important Civil War military personages and presidents James A. Garfield and William McKinley were frequent visitors to Howland Township.
Now only memories in print remain, as the springs are no longer a source being used to trace back to early Ohio history.
The residents of our Howland community will miss the existence of the Howland Springs Water Co., as well as its last owners - the Lee, Trish and Lexi Offerdahl family. We wish them well, as they have relocated this month to live in sunny Cape Coral, Fla.
Warner Taiclet, president of the Howland Historical Society, can be contacted at OhioHistorian76@hotmail.com.