After leaving the Canal Visitor Center, I chose Boston Store as my next destination in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Since I was visiting the park late in the day, it made sense to hit the places that would be closing soon. And, Boston Store wasn’t far from another spot I planned to visit — the park’s famous Brandywine Falls.
Boston Store is about halfway through the park from the Canal Visitor Center. It’s in the “town” of Boston, which early planners suspected would boom into one of Ohio’s biggest cities. Clearly, things didn’t work out as they had planned. All that you will find in Boston, Ohio now is a handful of buildings, including the aforementioned store…
… and the historic Pure Gasoline station next-door. It doesn’t sell gas anymore, but you can still pump up your bicycle tires at its air pump.
Boston Store was built around 1936. The word “store” meant “place to store stuff”, not “place to shop for stuff”. Its second floor was divided into boarding rooms for workers, many of which were involved in the shipbuilding trade. Now that the park service has taken over Boston Store, its first floor is used as a museum dedicated to the area’s shipbuilding industry (which, of course, ended when the canal stopped carrying cargo).
The museum was worth a 10-minute break. The second floor was being remodeled during my 2011 visit, so there might be more of interest by the time you arrive.
Across the street, there’s a nice little store with friendly people, selling snacks and souvenirs.
Back at the parking area, you’ll get a good look at the Cuyahoga River (once so polluted, it famously caught on fire, downstream a few miles in Cleveland). Those two big, modern bridges are a reminder that Boston isn’t as far away from civilization as it feels. Interstate 271 crosses the valley here, and just a few hundred yards away, so does the Ohio Turnpike, I-80.