Mustill Store Museum
Mustill Store Museum Hours
The restored Mustill Store and butcher shop, now a museum as well as visitors center for Cascade Locks Park, is one of the oldest structures in Akron, dating from about 1847. Located next to the store is the restored Mustill House where the family lived. Canal boats often tied up in the wide basin just north of Lock 15, to shop or trade at this market. The Mustill Store also catered to Akron residents, who frequently ran into "canalers" in the store. Three generations of Mustills serviced canal users until the late 1880s. The Mustill Store Museum is free to the general public, handicap accessible, and perfect for all ages. Cascade Locks Park Association is headquartered in the Mustill Store Museum in the Cascade Locks Park.
Mustill Store and House
The Mustill store and house are survivors of Akron's canal era and date to the 1840s. Joseph and Sarah Mustill moved their family from England to Akron in 1833 and owned the store and Greek Revival house at Lock 15 on the Ohio & Erie Canal. Three generations of Mustills lived and worked the grocery business at Lock 15 until the late 1880s. The first was Joseph and Sarah, then their son Fred with his wife Emma, and their children Maria, Frederick, Edwin and Franklin. A popular place to buy or barter goods, the store served canallers, farmers, craftsmen, and neighbors for many years.
"When I was a youngster and the canal was booming, my father sold more groceries at Lock 15 than any other grocer in all of Akron. From 50-75 boats would pass every day and in the coming and going they always stocked up at the old lock." - Ed Mustill, 1928.
The Mustill Store and House are the Park's showcase pieces. Located in their original site at Lock 15, these canal-era buildings are believed to have been built in the 1850s, although the exact date is unknown. Three generations of Mustills serviced canal users until the late 1880s. Their story typifies that of many businesses that sprung up along tha canal near the locks. Yet, the family's success and social popularity made this a special place to be.
The building was restored to their canal-era form by a unique partnership consisting of the City of Akron, the Cascade Locks Park Association, Metro Parks Serving Summit County, and the National Park Service, and dedicated on July 2, 2000. It now serves as a museum along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The Mustill Complex is the perfect resting point and educational attraction for those taking advantage of the National Heritage Corridor and Scenic Byway. The Mustill Trailhead is located near the NW corner of Howard and North Streets, Akron, Ohio.
The Mustill Store houses one of the Canalway's most important Visitor Centers, and contains many fascinating exihibits on the beginning, heyday, and demise of the canal. The Mustill Store is free to the general public, handicap accessible, and perfect for all ages. Store hours vary depending on the season.
The rehabilitation of the Mustill house and store was the first step in the completion of Cascade Locks Park. including the historic Schumacher Cascade Mills Site. The park explores the dynamics of change of Akron's history through the canal and industrial era by interpreting the wealth of history remaining in the landscape.
Mustill Store Restoration Timeline
Pete and Judy Ramnytz acquire the property. They begin renovations and raise a family in the Mustill House and store antiques in the Mustill Store building
Interview with Pete and Connie Ramnytz
Walter Sheppe began to explore around the city in the 1970s and became intrigued with the surprisingly wild land in the Little Cuyahoga and Cuyahoga River Valleys. His explorations led to his founding of the Portage Trail Group of the Sierra Club, which advocated creating a park along the rivers, largely out of land already owned by the city. Sheppe, in the Sierra Club's 1976 proposal, Akron's Cascade Valley Park, advocated for preserving the house and store.
The organization, Progress Through Preservation, creates a committee to preserve the industrial heritage area
Virginia Wojno Forney becomes involved and assembles "The Fanatics"
The City of Akron and the University of Akron join in. Jim Alkire acquires property for the city. The Ramnytz family move to Ellet but remains involved
The University of Akron join in, conducting an archeological dig
City of Akron and the Cascade Locks Park Association agree to renovate the store and house
Progress Through Preservation (PTP), Keep Akron Beautiful and the Akron Jaycees clean debris from the site and secure the buildings.
The Jaycees help make the house habitable and Kevin Casper is recruited to become the first tenant/watchman.
CLPA begins to hold meetings in the house. The grounds are restored and visitors and potential funders can visit. The first grant of $40.000 is received from the GAR Foundation.
July 2, 2000 Grand Opening
CLPA, The City of Akron, Summit Metro Parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park work together to develop the area. A Master Plan for the area is created in conjunction with MetroParks.