Northwest Ohio Tourism
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Providence Metro

Providence Metropark Canal Experience

Located just south of Toledo on SR 24 along the Maumee River is the Providence Metropark that features an authentic canal experience for visitors. Experience canal life on the Miami and Erie Canal circa 1877.

Providence Metropark is located in what was once the canal town of Providence, Ohio. More than a mile of the original Miami and Erie Canal and towpath of been faithfully restored and in operating condition including the authentic Lock #44.

Providence Metro Park

The 60' long canal boat The Volunteer, is a replica packet boat commonly used on the canals to transport passengers.

Visitors can take a 45-minute trip along the restored stretch of the Miami and Erie Canal, pulled by 2 mules along the towpath with a crew dressed in period attire for a truly authentic experience including passing through an original lock.

Ludwig MillLock #44 is one of the last functioning 19th Century limestone locks and a fine example of typical locks found along both the Miami & Erie and the Erie & Ohio Canals.

Lock No. 44 was located 220 miles from Cincinnati to the south and 30 miles from Toledo to the north.

Isaac Ludwig Mill

Along the canal is the Isaac Ludwig Mill that was both a gristmill and sawmill that began operation in 1866 at the same site. Today the mill houses a variety of working equipment that would have been used over the years of operation. Visitors can see up close the actual working of the saw mill and gristmill that is all powered by a water turbine.

Providence MillVisitors to the Isaac Ludwig Mill have a unique opportunity to see antique milling equipment in operation. Staff and volunteers gladly demonstrate the workings of using waterpower to grind grain and saw lumber.

Also on location are a number of artisans demonstrating heritage crafts such as blacksmithing, tinsmithing and candle making. You can also purchase stone-ground products made at the mill, in the General Store.

The Mill is open Wed -Sun 10 - 5pm

Next door to the mill is the General Store that has a number of items for sale including many of the heritage crafts.


Saw Mill

Providence MetroPark Canal Ride

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Village of Providence

In the spring of 1795, Peter Manor arrived in the Maumee Valley where he traded with the local Ottawa Indians. When the Ottawa's were removed from the area and sent to the Kansas Territory, he was deeded 640 acres. On this land that overlooked the rapids, Peter Manor built a sawmill and platted the town of Providence on the west side of the Maumee River.

Manor's original mill stood exactly in the path of the new Miami and Erie Canal. In exchange for the land, Peter bargained with the state for perpetual water rights in exchange for tearing down his original mill to make way for the new canal.

When the Miami and Erie Canal was completed through this area in 1839, Providence was a boomtown. At its peak, Providence had 5 hotels, numerous saloons and warehouses, plus a bustling wharf along the Maumee River.

The residents were mostly farmers, laborers, quarrymen or dockworkers. There was another side to Providence however. Known throughout the state, Providence was infamous for the drinking, brawling and gambling canallers that also inhabited the town.

In 1846 a massive fire destroyed many of the buildings in Providence and in 1854 a cholera epidemic left the village nearly deserted. The Isaac Ludwig Mill, a church and Manor house located west of the mill are all that remain of the original village.

See also:

Miami & Erie Canal

Ohio & Erie Canal

Hocking Canal

Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail

Canal Fulton

Roscoe Village

Ohio & Erie Canalway Map