Historic sites within walking distance of Downtown Painesville's historic Veteran's Park square.
Painesville 1800- 1840
By Carl Thomas Engel, Morley Library
Surveyed by the Connecticut Land Company in 1798 as part of their Western Reserve land holdings, the first settlers came in 1800. The leaders of a band of sixty-six pioneers to this new community were John Walworth and Gen. Edward Paine, formerly of Connecticut but more recently of Scipio, New York.
In 1800 the Western Reserve became Trumbull County and at the first Court of Quarter Sessions, the county was divided into eight political townships. The smallest of these was named Painesville, for Gen. Paine, and embraced what later became the townships of Perry, Leroy, Hambden, Concord, Chardon, Mentor, and Kirtland. The township government was organized in 1802. The post office in Painesville was opened in 1803 with John Walworth as postmaster.
In what was to become the commercial center of the township was a settlement called Oak Openings, its name being descriptive of the scrub oaks and sandy soil. It was here in 1805 that Gen. Henry Champion laid out a village plat and called it Champion. But in 1832 when this portion of the township was incorporated, the name Painesville was chosen. In 1840 Lake County was created from portions of Geauga and Cuyahoga Counties; and Painesville was made the county seat and a court house erected.
Painesville 1840- 1900
By Ohio History Central
Painesville grew quickly, having 1,014 residents in 1840. In 1846, the town contained four churches, fourteen stores, one flour mill, one bank, and one newspaper office. It was the largest community between Cleveland, Ohio, and Erie, Pennsylvania. Painesville continued to grow over the next several decades. In 1880, 3,841 people inhabited the town. This growth was partly due to two railroad lines passing through the community, making Painesville a booming economic center. Four newspapers, five churches, and three banks existed in the town in 1886. Several manufacturing businesses operated in the town. The Paige Manufacturing Company, a machine works, was Painesville’s largest employer in 1886, with forty-eight workers. The Village of Painesville became the City of Painesville in 1902.