Pleasant Valley Lake

On June 15, 1917, John C. Songer and his wife Lizzie I. Songer bought 54 acres of land near Methodists' Corners. This is the intersection southwest of Vienna Center where Prindle-Booth and Smith-Stewart roads meet. East Girard Creek, formerly called East Squaw Creek, flows through this valley on its way to Girard Lake.

In 1926, a group of men from Girard and McDonald, later known as the Pleasant Valley Recreation Club, decided this valley would be an ideal place for a lake and picnic and recreation area. Songer agreed to sell the land. The price for the land was $5,200 payable as $100 down, $400 to be paid in 90 days, and then $50 per month at six percent interest semi-annually. If the Club did not meet these terms, the signed contract was to be voided.

The Club built a dam to form a lake. The Club also constructed a pavilion, a clubhouse, and other buildings. Although the Club paid a total of $1,265, it fell behind in its payments. Nor were the taxes or the interest on the contract paid. The Pleasant Valley Recreation Club defaulted. Songer commenced a civil action in the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas on May 12, 1932. The Club admitted in court that it was wrong. In September, 1932, John C. and Lizzie Songer recovered a judgement against the Club for $5,939.31. Sheriff John Risher ordered the land, now holding buildings, a dam, and a lake, be auctioned on January 31, 1933, at the door of the Trumbull County Courthouse. The Songers offered the highest bid of $2,867 and they again owned the land--54 acres at the southern part of the lake and a parcel in Lot #23.

East Girard Creek flows into Pleasant Valley Lake. Its source is a spring and a coal mine known as the Gano Coal Mine on Sodom-Hutchins (now Sodom-Hutchings) Road about a mile and half south of Woodford's Corners. This mine was on a farm owned in 1874 (the height of the Township's coal boom) by James Gano. The stream then flows west to Lake Shook south of Vienna Center (on the property of Squaw Creek Country Club).

The lake was later referred to by local maps as Squaw Valley Park Lake. In 2022 it was renamed Girard Valley Park Lake due to a federal initiative by the U.S. Department of the Interior to remove the word "squaw" from creeks and reservoirs.

Updated 11/07/2022
This entry is adapted from Fred L. Martin, "Lakes," in Vienna, Ohio, "Where We Live and Let Live": Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), pp. 253-254.