LOUDONVILLE -- In 1818, War of 1812 veteran Isaac Wolf came to Ashland County and settled on 160 acres in the northwest quarter of section 25 of Green Township.
He chose a site over a mile from any other dwelling and constructed a log cabin from local timber. He married Nancy Small and had eight children.
In 1831 Isaac Wolf leased out land to Isaac Meanor, who built a Grist Mill on the property. The mill was water-powered, and situated near nine different springs. Meanor named it Wolf's Mill, in honor of the landowner.
Years later, Isaac's grandson, also named Isaac Wolf, purchased the mill with his brother and operated it for some time. In the 1880s and '90s the mill was frequented by a young Charles Kettering, who on his way home from the local one-room school he attended would stop and talk with the millers.
Later in his life, Kettering said Wolf's Mill was where his real education came from. It was here he learned about engineering, physics, and more.
Isaac's wife, Alice Freshwater, sensed a need for a roadside park between Loudonville and Ashland and planted great flower gardens along the property, while also having multiple picnic tables built and placed along the road (now State Route 60) for passersby to stop and rest. The spot became a favorite picnic area, even in the winter when Alice would decorate a large spring with piles of rocks and various statues, creating a frozen wonderland.
In 1913, the great flood wrecked havoc on the mill, knocking it out of commission for over a decade until 1925, when Isaac's son William Wolf took over the mill. William renovated the first floor and reopened it as a "resort," serving chicken dinners on the weekends. The resort was short-lived, though, because according to Isaac and Alice's granddaughter, Virginia Wolf, people grew tired of always eating chicken.
After the resort failed, the mill was closed and stood abandoned. Even after only a few years, it quickly deteriorated to the point that a traveler in 1931 noted its poor condition; "in a state of collapse, the (water) wheel itself leans over against the mill, no more to make a turn till the crack of doom."
The mill fell into further disrepair over the decades, until 1972, when Ed Pennell purchased the building. He disassembled the structure, piece by piece, and moved it south of Loudonville along Route 3. He renamed it Pine Run Mill, after the creek it sat beside, and reopened it in 1975. Pennell began operating the Mill as a tourist attraction and ice cream parlor, but passed away a short time later.
The property was eventually purchased by the State of Ohio, but due to budget cutbacks once again began to fall into disrepair.
Around 2000, a grassroots effort to restore the mill began and is now operated as Wolf Creek GristMill.
More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.