The year was 1835. It is said that a hunter and trapper of our fair county had recently lost a son in Illinois during a Native American raid. Upon the death, the man swore eternal hatred toward all ‘Indians’, and spent years fighting them in the conflicts of the era.
Upon returning home, the man soon learned of an Indian that had taken up habitat in the northern part of the county, and had been inquiring as to the whereabouts of the old Indian hunter. Without a word, the man equipped himself and headed into the wilderness. Nothing was ever said of his excursion, and the Native was never seen again.
That Native American had taken up residence in the township of Montville, giving it the distinction of harboring what is supposed to be the last hostile Native in the area.
How it started
Montville was first surveyed in 1797 by the Connecticut Land Company. In 1801, the land was purchased by the Torrington Land Company for a grand total of $12,892.00.
In this day, you would be hard pressed to find a good new car for that sum! The town was not settled until 1815. A man by the name of Roswell Stevens came over from nearby Rock Creek, erected a cabin, and began to clear his lands. By 1816, there were three total families inside the town limits. Montville was ever-so-slowly on its way. Up until 1822, Montville was under the jurisdiction of Hambden. A petition was filed, and soon after, officials were elected.
Montville literally means ‘mountain town’. A ridge traverses north to south through the western part of the township, and when the early pioneers were heading west from the Grand River Valley, the ridge was very visible, thus giving the town its ‘lofty’ name. It tops out at 1333 feet above sea level and is tied with two other places for the second highest point in Ohio.
Over the centuries, Montville has remained primarily an agricultural area. In contrast to the western portion of Geauga County, farms and fields still dominate the landscape. The town is now home to the Geauga Park District’s new crown jewel, Observatory Park. The over 1,000 acre park features an observatory, a planetarium, and walk that represents the solar system. The park is one of only six in the entire country that is recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as a Dark Sky Park.