Loveland is a city in Hamilton, Clermont, and Warren counties in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. Considered part of the Greater Cincinnati area, Loveland is located near exit 52 off Interstate 275, about 15 miles (24 km) northeast of the Cincinnati city limits. It borders Symmes, Miami and Hamilton Townships and straddles the Little Miami River. The population was 11,677 at the 2000 census and was estimated at 11,154 in 2006. Once a busy railroad town, Loveland is now a major stop along the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
Culture and recreation
Biking along the Loveland Bike Trail and canoeing along the Little Miami River are popular activities during the summer. Loveland has a series of 16 city parks, including neighborhood "tot lots", Nisbet Park, a Veteran's Memorial, and Fireman's Memorial. The parks are maintained by the City of Loveland Recreation Commission. The Loveland Bike Trail is a popular segment of the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a state park that runs through the city.
Loveland is included in the Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which operates the 506-acre (205 ha) Dan Beard Reservation campground in Miamiville to the south. In the 1920s, Boy Scout troop leader Harry Andrews built the Loveland Castle (or Château Laroche) on the banks of the Little Miami River; the folly exists today as a museum. Another landmark, Shield's Crossing, is located nearby. The Gothic-style building, also known as the William Johnston House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Grail's national headquarters and retreat center, known as Grailville, has been located just outside Loveland since 1944
Loveland's indoor attractions include Castle Skateland, a roller skating rink not to be confused with the museum; and the Loveland Stage Company, a theatre group that started in 1979 and has performed at least two major productions each year since 1980. In October 2002, after several years of fundraising and renovations, the group moved into Crist Theater, an old movie theater donated by the Loveland–Symmes Fire Department, which is stationed next door. The theater is being restored after a fire gutted the building on October 20, 2008. Until the late 1990s, the Baldwin Piano Company was headquartered in Loveland.
JulyFest, SymmesFest, and local church festivals are held annually during the summer months. Fireworks displays by Rozzi's Famous Fireworks of nearby Symmes Township are a staple at such events. The Loveland area offers a small collection of bars and restaurants including The Works, Paxton's Grill, Blue Chip Cookies, LaRosa's Pizzeria, Cindy's Friendly Tavern, Kirby's, and Zappz.
Although the city's unusual name came from the last name of the village storeowner and postmaster, rather than the concept, Loveland has incorporated a "love" theme throughout the city. Loveland water towers and park signs sport the city's logo: a red heart inscribed with a sun, clouds, and the Little Miami River, and surrounded with the city's nickname, "Sweetheart of Ohio." The Loveland Post Office, which began operations on October 24, as the Obionsville Post Office, was also the site of the United States Postal Service's unveiling of a special "Love Stamp" in 1994. Each year since 1972, the Loveland Area Chamber of Commerce has run a special Valentine's Day program, which includes a poetry contest and the selection of a volunteer "Valentine Lady". The Valentine Lady helps stamp up to 20,000 envelopes by hand with a Valentine-themed cachet and cancellation that reads "There is nothing in this world so sweet as Love. The first Valentine Lady was Doris Pfiester. As of 1992, Valentine's Day is the only day of the year when non-residents may reserve Loveland City Hall for marriage ceremonies, other than for senior citizens.