|Loveland, Ohio, best known for its name, is a Cincinnati suburb of more than 10,000 tucked into the corners of three counties (Hamilton, Clermont and Warren). The city is named after James Loveland, the first postmaster and an early storekeeper. “Put it (the mailbag) off at Loveland’s Store” caught on and Loveland gradually replaced the originally intended name of Paxton. The Loveland postmark has brought fame to the community, and today it is known internationally as the “Valentine City”.|
Loveland was first settled by Thomas Paxton in 1795 and partially laid out by William Ramsey in 1849 and 1850. An early history of Loveland labeled it the “Little Switzerland of the Miami Valley” because of its picturesque valleys. The moderate climate and rich soil were ideal for agriculture, and the woods abounded with wild game such as turkey, elk, deer and buffalo. The Little Miami River supplied fish and transportation, so that the first settlers found all the vital necessities for human sustenance.
Although the Little Miami River provided many advantages, it was also a barrier that confined Loveland’s growth to Clermont County until 1872, when the first wagon bridge was built. The majority of businesses were confined to the eastside until the 1950’s and there were separate school districts on each side of the river. Old maps refer to the communities as East Loveland and West Loveland.
Truly a railroad town, the Little Miami Railroad was chartered in 1836 and built a track from Cincinnati to Zenia, opening in 1844. this line became the Pennsylvania in 1869 and is now the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail. The Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad, later taken over by the B&O, was operating in Loveland by the 1850’s. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, railroad service was booming in Loveland. There were 40 passenger trains per day, and 12 scheduled freight trains between Loveland and Cincinnati.
Over the years, Loveland as been devastated by floods from the Little Miami River and O’Bannon Creek, most notably in 1913 and 1959. In every case, however, the citizenry put their minds and muscles to work to effect a swift and spirited recovery. In 1962-1963 a dike or levee and a channel were constructed, reducing the level of water by at least two feet and eliminating major flooding in Loveland.
For more information about Loveland, view the Loveland timeline in the Greater Loveland Historical Society Museum or see Passages Through Time, a Loveland History.