Latitude / Longitude:
41°25′05″N 83°52′20″W / 41.41806°N 83.87222°W / 41.41806
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
The village of Providence was founded by a French Canadian, Peter Manor, who was the first white man to settle upriver on the Maumee River away from Lake Erie. He arrived there in 1816 in order to establish a fur trading post for the North West Fur Company, then based in Montreal, Canada. But the United States prohibited Canadian traders from operating below the border and he was closed down. In 1822, Manor had a sawmill erected next to the river, and a gristmill was built in 1835. This was about 24 miles from the river’s mouth on Maumee Bay, where there was still an Odawa people village, part of a 34-square mile reserve on the south side of the river.
Providence is a ghost town on the north side of the Maumee River in southern Providence Township, Lucas County, Ohio, United States, about 24 miles (39 km) southwest of Toledo. After suffering a destructive fire and a cholera epidemic in mid-19th century, the village was abandoned. In this period, canal traffic had also fallen off. Many buildings and structures remain standing in the Providence area. Some have been restored.
The area is now maintained as Providence Metropark of Toledo, featuring numerous elements of the canal era, including a mule-drawn canal boat on a restored section of the Miami and Erie Canal, and an operating saw and gristmill.
A catastrophic fire swept through the village in 1846, destroying most of the many wooden buildings in the central business district. The destroyed buildings were not rebuilt and the town never recovered. In 1854 river travelers brought a cholera epidemic, also spread by contaminated water. Those who survived rapidly left Providence, so fast that most of their possessions were left behind. The remaining structures were eventually destroyed or moved, and the land plats disappeared. On October 28, 1928, Lucas County officially removed Providence from its records. The remaining buildings, the church and the saw and gristmill, have been designated as an historic district by the Department of the Interior.