Providence, OH - (1836 - 1928 mill & canal town abandoned over time & annexed into Grand Rapids)
Classification: historic town
Location: Grand Rapids Township, Wood County & Providence Township, Lucas County - On Old U.S. 24 (Lucas County Rd. 53) at the intersection of Providence - Neapolis Swanton Rd.
Peter Manor (1778 - 1847) settled in the area in 1816. He was a fur trader who previously operated a trading post for the Northwestern Fur Company. Peter built a sawmill in 1822 next to the Maumee River & expanded on it with a grist mill in 1835. He platted the town of Providence in 1837 & had to sell off his mill to the state in 1838 during construction of the Miami & Erie Canal. Most of the 88 plats in the town, which were on five streets, were bought up & the town started to grow but a devastating fire swept through the business district in 1846.
Peter Manor died the next year while in the process of rebuilding his mill. Isaac Ludwig (1813 - 1906) & his wife Christenia (Ness) Ludwig (1819 - 1903) purchased the mill & completed it's construction. In the early 1850's Providence was hit by the cholera epidemic & the population decreased again. Then it lost it's post office which ran from 1836 - 1868. The town never had a railroad station & the closing of the canal was pretty much the last straw for Providence. Lucas County removed it from their recording list in 1928.
There's lots of remnants left from the old town though. The Ludwig's Mill is restored & has a general store in Providence Metropark at 13827 Old U.S. 24 Grand Rapids, OH 43522. It's open from May to October, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. On Sundays they do full demonstrations of the mill operations from 1 - 4 p.m. & run a canal boat that passes by the abandoned Miami & Erie canal lock #44. There's also a few other old buildings in the Providence Historic District. Isaac & Christenia Ludwig were buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Bailey Rd. off of Providence Neapolis - Swanton Rd. about 3 miles north of town.