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  • Writer's pictureKate Krabacher

History of Loveland

Cover image courtesy of Paxton's Grill


The city of Loveland is home to over 12,000 residents over the span of three different counties. “The Sweetheart of Ohio” has a lot of unique history that many Loveland residents don’t know about. Loveland’s history is part of what makes the community stronger and gives our city character.


In 1795, Colonel Thomas Paxton was Loveland’s first settler. Paxton served as Lieutenant Colonel in the Revolutionary War and once the war was over, he and his family traveled north to settle. Paxton was granted a 1,000-acre area of land for his leadership in the war. He built the first log cabin in the area near the Little Miami River for his family. One of Paxton’s daughters married another founding family member, William Ramsey.


Photo courtesy of Paxton's Grill

Paxton died in 1813 and his family continued to live in the area. Ramsey, Paxton’s son-in-law, laid out plans for a formal town called Paxton, and this area included the land given to Paxton after the war. Over time, travelers started calling the area “Loveland” because of James Loveland’s general store and post office.


James Loveland’s store was a frequent stop for many travelers passing by. Loveland’s store and post office were near the railroad tracks. Since railroads were the most common way to travel in the 1800s, travelers stopped at this location because of the access to Cincinnati and Xenia. In 1863, the areas of Paxton and Loveland were combined to create the Loveland we know today.

Photo courtesy of Paxton's Grill

Many buildings in Historic Loveland each hold special history. One example is Paxton’s Grill along West Loveland Avenue. In the 1880s, it was “Grear’s Saloon.” This makes it one of the oldest buildings in Historic Loveland. In 2000, it was then turned into a restaurant called Paxton’s, named after Loveland’s first settler. Another example is the Fleet Feet store next to the train tracks in the heart of Historic Loveland. This wasn’t always a retail store; it used to be a train depot. In 1907, B&O Train Depot was built. Trains were the vehicle that helped put Loveland on the map. Now, it is a great place to stop in and get running gear. Although buildings like these have been updated over time, their history is still a prominent characteristic of Loveland.


The Little Miami River is the natural divide between East Loveland and West Loveland. Even today it is a landmark that separates the city of Loveland. The population was able to flourish once a bridge was built over the Little Miami River in 1872. In 1876, Loveland had a population of just under 800 residents. The village slowly grew and hit a milestone in the 1950s. The population spiked, which upgraded Loveland to a city. Loveland has been growing ever since.


Loveland is a tight-knit and strong community, which is what makes it such a great city to live in. The history of Loveland is one of the things that bring people together. Every day hundreds of people pass through Historic Loveland and are reminded of the great history of how the city came to be.


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