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The History of Willow Grove Park

Willow Grove Park was initially a successful campground before it was donated to the Village of Lisbon. 

Charlie Croft owned the land on the east side of Little Beaver Creek and rented or leased the land on the west side of Little Beaver Creek from Joseph Maus.  Maus was a tavern owner who also served as a justice of the peace and Sheriff of Columbiana County.  He also aided in the capture of Raider John Morgan in Gavers.

The Crofts also owned a cottage on the east side of Little Beaver Creek which was connected by a walking bridge.  The east side cottage was later sold to the Lisbon Lions Club and was remodeled to make it suitable for the Lions' organization.

The walking bridge was later replaced by a swinging bridge.

There were three cottages that were rented by the week from people in the surrounding area.  There was also a cottage used by Charlie Croft and his wife, as well as a shanty where Mr. Croft rented ice skates in the winter.  Just north of the park, ice was harvested in the winter and sold to the residents of Lisbon for their iceboxes.

The original dam at Willow Grove Park was wooden, and there was a solid gate on the east side of the dam that could be lifted to allow water to race down and power a stone mill located where the county garage  currently sits. The dam was later replaced with the current cement dam.

The upper side of the dam was stocked with fish for fishing, and several boats were available for rent.  There was also a pavilion that had to be reserved well in advance for picnics.  Many local churches, organizations, and families had their picnics here.

The Willow Grove Park property was left to Mary and Rebecca Maus in 1902 when Charles Maus passed.  It was then left to the Billingsly/ Taylor family in 1922 when Rebecca Maus passed and sold to the Scotts that same year and then to E.G. Reed in 1923.  

Reed operated the park for several more years and added a dance pavilion.  However, the increase of automobiles allowed for people to travel further, and park attendance slowed. 


In 1947, the Reed family donated the Willow Grove Park property to the Village of Lisbon.

Special thanks to the Lisbon Historical Society.  Pictures on this page are copyrighted and are not to be copied without the express consent of the Lisbon Historical Society.

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