Downtown Painesville
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Recreation Guide
Board of Trustees
Executive Director
History of Painesville
Famous Speeches
Historic Buildings
Historic Walking Tours
Chronology of Events

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Event Planning Guide
Doing Business Guide
Friday Night Classic Car Show
Downtown Map
Progress in Painesville
Downtown Painesville Shops

Painesville Recreation

Nestled thirty miles east of Cleveland along the wild and scenic Grand River, Downtown Painesville serves as the civic heart of Lake County and is a gathering place for people of all ages and walks of life. From charming Main Street shops to the roar of college football, Ohio’s most diverse small town offers something for everyone and is welcoming to all.

- Downtown Painesville Organization -

Mission Statement

.... working together, to preserve, protect and rebuild downtown Painesville into a vibrant, diverse, cosmopolitan area where people of all walks of life can work, play and live...

An Ohio Main Street Program

Founded in 2007, the Downtown Painesville Organization is a 501c3 non-profit revitalizing Painesville's historic core via the Ohio Main Street Program. Based in historic preservation, the Main Street approach was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to save America's traditional downtowns. The program has become a powerful economic development tool and has been successfully implemented in over 2,000 communities across the nation.

We are the ones we've been waiting for

There is no magic solution that will come from outside of our community. The Downtown Painesville Organization is a locally-funded and locally-run grassroots organization. We need community members like you to get involved!

- Board of Trustees -


Jim Fodor, President
Jim is currently a Painesville City Councilman At Large and works as an advocate for systematic appraoches to enhance downtown redevelopment and revitalization.

Dan Smith, Vice President
Dan owns Consolidated Investments, one of the largest property management companies in Lake County. He has been the driving force behind many of the building renovations downtown.

Fred Pollutro, Past President - Fred is a lifelong Painesville resident, a proud Harvey grad, and former city councilman. He owns Pollutro-Rossley Insurance Agency on State Street.

David Komjati, Treasurer
David is a proud Painesville resident and active community member. He is the manager of Key Bank at Main & State.

Jean Manary, Secretary
Jean is a longtime champion of Painesville. She is a retired businesswoman and volunteers with the Painesville Community Improvement Corporation, Painesville Rotary, St. Mary's Church, and the Downtown Painesville Organization.

Cathy Bieterman - Cathy serves as Economic Development Director for the City of Painesville. She is a tireless advocate for businesses within the city.

Neil Conway - Neil owns Conway Land Title on Main Street. He has decades of experience in real estate transactions. He is also active with local hockey programs and the Irish-American community.

Mary Jo Miller - Mary Jo owns Bella Donna Salon & Spa on Main Street. She was voted Citizen of the Year in 2008 by the Painesville-Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mary Frances Burns - Mary Frances serves as director of Morley Library. She led efforts to build a beautiful new library downtown and currently chairs the organization and membership committee.

Pam Morse - Pam owns Morse Van Lines and Painesville Furniture. Pam is an active member of the Downtown Painesville Community and a champion for beautification in the downtown area.

Gabe Cicconetti-Gabe is the owner of the Allstate insurance agency on the Painesville square. Gabe is an active promoter of Downtown Painesville events and promotes Painesville's Pary in the Park.

James Callendar- James lives in the Mentor Avenue Historic District. Both James and his wife were the founders of the districts neighborhood preservation group.

Vanessa Tey Iouse- Vanessa is the Vice President of Burges and Burges. Vanessa works to market local businesses and improve best practices in the Downtown district.

- Executive Director -

  Jen Reed

- History of Painesville -

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.

- Historic Speeches in Painesville -

Abraham Lincoln - February 16, 1861

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain. The train only stops for a few minutes, so that I have time to make but few remarks, and the condition of my voice is such that I could not do more if there were time. We are met by large crowds of people at almost every ten miles, but in few instances where there are so many as here, or where there are so many good-looking ladies. I can only say now that I bid you good morning and farewell. Let us have better music from the band."

James A. Garfield - July 3, 1880
Dedication of Civil War Veterans Monument

Full Speech Link

"Two questions have been sweeping through my heart. One, what does the monument mean? And the other, what will the monument teach? ...

"Let me put the question to you. For a moment suppose your country ... should stand above you and say, "I want your life. Come up here on the platform and offer it."  How many would walk up before that majestic presence and say, "Here I am. Take this life and use it for your great needs." And yet almost two millions of men made that answer and a monument stands yonder to commemorate their answer. ...

"Now what does it teach? What will it teach?  Why I remember the story of one of the old conquerors of Greece who, when he had traveled in his boyhood over the battle fields where Miltiades had won victories and set up trophies returning, said, "These trophies of Miltiades will never let me sleep."  Why something had taught him from the chiseled stone a lesson that he could never forget.

"And fellow citizens, that silent sentinel, that crowned granite column will look down upon the boys that will walk these streets for generations to come and will not let them sleep when their country calls them. More than from the bugler on the field, from his dead lips will go out a call that the children of Lake County will hear after the grave has covered us and our immediate children. That is the teaching of your monument.

"That is its lesson. And it is the lesson of endurance for what we believe and it is the lesson of sacrifices for what we think, the lesson of heroism for what we mean to sustain ...

"I trust the time is not far distant when under the crossed swords and the locked shields of Americans North and South, our people shall sleep in peace and rise in liberty, love and harmony under the union of our flag of the Stars and Stripes.

John F. Kennedy - September 27, 1960
Speech at Hellriegal's Inn
Full Outside Speech
Full Inside Speech

"I think that Ohio can be Democratic in 1960, with your support.... I don't run for the office of the Presidency saying that if I am elected life will be easy. I think it will be a difficult and trying time for us all. But I do run for the office of the Presidency recognizing that if the office has high responsibilities and great opportunities, and as I said last night, I think the function and responsibility of the next President is to place before the American people what we must do, not only to survive, but to prevail. We cannot be satisfied with things as they are... I am not satisfied to be second in space, to be second in the position that we hold now in some areas of the world. I think the United States should be first, not first, if or but or when or maybe, but first because we must be if freedom is to survive. So I ask your help in this election..."

George H.W. Bush - September 5, 1992
Speech at Lake County Fairgrounds
Full Speech

"It's great to be here in Painesville to help open up this year's Octoberfest. You've got the four basic food groups: pancakes and syrup, bratwurst and beer; and not one stick of broccoli anywhere in sight. This is first-class...

Well, this celebration has always been a celebration of cultures, but this year, in a very special way, it's a celebration of the spirit. We've witnessed a world of change. Across Europe, across continents, from Panama City to Prague, millions of men and women now celebrate a new birth of freedom...

In Germany a wall has fallen. We should take great pride in knowing that the German people give us, the United States, great credit for standing up for their unity, for reunification of Germany, and for their freedom. We should be proud of that. For the people here today, people who came to America from the old country, who prayed for this day to come, the change we've witnessed, this change we've worked for, is a miracle come true.

There are those, to quote the poet, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream. The American dream led to so much of this freedom around the world."

- Historic Painesville Buildings -

The following buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Each link will open a pdf file of the official documents registered with the National Park Service.

College Hall - Lake Erie College
Matthews House - Lake Erie College
Mentor Avenue Historic District
Morley Lewis House
Painesville City Hall
Painesville United Methodist Church
Rider's Inn
Smead House
St. James Episcopal Church
Tuscan House

- Historic Walking Tours -



Downtown Painesville Historic Walking Tour
85 North Park Place
Walking Tour Map

Downtown Painesville has played an important role in the history of Northeast Ohio. Download our historic walking tour map and explore our courthouses, churches, historic homes, and other landmarks.

Evergreen Cemetery Painesville

Evergreen Cemetary Historic Walking Tour
85 North Park Place
Walking Tour Map

Evergreen Cemetery’s rich history dates back to 1859 when the Village of Painesville began to buy land from four Western Reserve families. Celebrated for its natural beauty and unique design, people began to visit the cemetery weekly for walks and picnics. In 1897, the Old Burying Ground on Washington Street was chosen as the site for Harvey High School and many of the people laid to rest in the Old Burying Ground were relocated to Evergreen Cemetery.

Among the notable historical figures buried at Evergreen are thirteen Revolutionary War veterans, educator Thomas Harvey, Governor Samuel Huntington, suffragist Frances Jennings-Casement, railroad tycoon General Jack Casement, Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Tillotson and 300 Civil War veterans including Medal of Honor recipient Howell Treat

- Chronology of Painesville -

By Carl Thomas Engel, Morley Library and Doug Nagy -

Royal Charter of Connecticut grants colony territory from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean
Connecticut relinquishes colonial land claims, retains Western Reserve
Treaty of Greene Ville opens that portion of the Western Reserve east of the Cuyahoga River to settlement
Connecticut sells the Western Reserve to the Connecticut Land Company for $1,200,000
1st survey of the Western Reserve by the Connecticut Land Company, which includes "Grand River Township"
Edward Paine, Junior, spends winter at Cleveland
David Eldridge, of the 2nd surveying expedition, drowns while attempting to cross the mouth of the Grand River
1st survey of the Western Reserve by the Connecticut Land Company, which includes "Grand River Township"
Henry Champion acquires Tract 3, Township 11, Range 8
First settlers lead by General Edward Paine and John Walworth
Western Reserve becomes Trumbull County
Trumbull County divided into eight political townships, which includes Painesville Township
Painesville Township government organized
Census of the Ohio Territory, population of Painesville Township 83 Free Males over the age of 21
Painesville Post Office begins operation under John Walworth
General Henry Champion lays out the town plat of Champion
Painesville Telegraph begins publication
Town of Painesville incorporated
Lake County breaks away from Geauga County
General Edward Paine dies
Town of Painesville becomes Village of Painesville
Storrs & Harrison Nursery established
Fire destroys business block in Painesville
Lake Erie Female Seminary (now Lake Erie College) opens
Second fire destroys business block in Painesville
Abraham Lincoln, en route to his inauguration, makes speech
Ralph Waldo Emerson speaks in Painesville
Lake County Civil War Monument dedicated by presidential candidate General James A. Garfield, of Mentor
Equal Rights Association, of Painesville, organized to advocate woman's suffrage
William McKinley visits Lake Erie College
Morley Library opens
Dedication of General Edward Paine monument in Charter Oak Park
Village of Painesville becomes City of Painesville
Lake County Court House dedicated
Senator John F. Kennedy Speaks at Hellriegal's Inn
Lakeland Community College opens with 1073 students and administrative offices and classrooms in Painesville
Series of severe thunderstorms with 120 MPH winds 
Blizzard of '78, the "white hurricane," with wind gusts as high as 102 MPH, and lowest recorded barometric pressure of 28.28 inches
Earthquake, 5.0 on the Richter scale
Highest recorded temperature of 104 Degrees Fahrenheit
Lake County Jail dedicated
Painesville Post Office dedicated
Rita C. McMahon becomes Painesville City Manager
Painesville Township celebrates its Bicentennial
City of Painesville celebrates its Bicentennial
New Morley Library opens in Downtown Painesville
Devestating flood strikes; swollen Grand River pours over banks
Lake Erie College plays first football game
New Harvey High School to open


© 2009 Downtown Painesville Organization - One Victoria Place #265A, Painesville, OH 44077 - (440) 296-9375