Our links to the Past
Alfred Wolcott of Bristol, Connecticut, in the early 1800s, initially surveyed Bristol Township. He is credited with naming the township, which is listed as Township Six in the Fourth Range of the Western Reserve.
Abraham Baughman was the first white settler in 1804, and with the coming of the William Sager family in 1805, permanent settlement of the township began. Other early families from Shenandoah County, Virginia, included pioneers with the names of Barbe, Fansler, Hammon, Kagy, and Norton. Many of their descendants still populate the area.
Town Square Development
The village settlement at the township's center is dominated by a town square reminiscent of New England village greens. The "Center," as it is often referred to, is named Bristolville. Several memorials dedicated to township citizens are located in the town park. The Civil War Monument is the centerpiece of the park: it was the first Civil War memorial in the state of Ohio, having been erected in 1863.
Near the site of the early grist mill operations north of the center, a small trading center named North Bristol emerged. Two railroad stations were established when the railroad passed through the township in the 1870s. The North Bristol station was later named Oakfield, and the station east of the center became Spokane.
Congregational Church Oldest Meeting House
The oldest meeting house in the township was the Congregational Church. Built in 1845, the church still stands on the northeast corner of the Town Park. Pioneer families organized this church in 1817. Since the congregation's demise, the building has served various functions, including housing special school events, meeting rooms for the Women's Relief Corps, and, most recently, as a township storage area.
Other buildings on the town square include the historic century-old Town Hall and the Methodist Church, which was rebuilt after the original church was destroyed by fire in 1951. The Town Hall was the scene of many important events, including Bristol High School's first commencement in 1888. The G.A.R. post for the Civil War veterans and several lodges have used the hall. Bristol grange has met in the town hall for a continuous period since 1932.
Roads and Railroads Opened Up Township
As the last decade of the nineteenth century approached, Bristol Township could boast a thriving village at its center. Travel was accomplished on many roadways crisscrossing the township and the Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Ashtabula Railroad. A business directory of this period listed graded schools, four churches, five post offices, a flour and feed mill, five general stores, a hotel (The Exchange House) and livery stables, three doctors, three dentists, a furniture store, an undertaker, a boot and shoemaker, a photographer, a millinery shop, a meat maker, hardware store, four blacksmiths, a cooper, barbershop, a cheese factory, apiary and more.
Many century homes are located throughout the township. Jonathon Walkley built the first frame house at a location about one mile south of the center. One of the surviving structures of the 1820s is the Zachariah Norton home, which used to be owned by now-deceased descendant Florence MacDonald and located on Hyde Oakfield Rd. The second picture below highlights 2 of the businesses - a doctor's office and a Barbershop that are part of our two-century heritage.
Bristolville Has Rich Heritage
Bristol Township is looking for seasonal help. If interested call Greg Maraczi at 330-240-4238
Bristol Trustees and Bristol Fire Department have combined to help our citizens in a "Home, but not alone" program for calling and/or checking in with our shut in's and elderly.