Originally known as Hocking Furnace, Haydenville was founded by and named for Columbus industrialist Peter Hayden (1806-1888), who energetically developed the coal, iron, sandstone, and fire clay deposits found in abundance in this area. Here he operated an iron furnace, coal mines and sandstone quarries, shipping products on the Hocking Canal and, later, the Hocking Valley Railroad he helped build. The incorporation of the Haydenville Mining and Manufacturing Company in 1882 initiated the manufacture of brick and ceramic tile from fire clay. Business boomed in the late 19th century as cities paved their streets with brick and fireproof construction became popular in the wake of widely publicized and tragic fires.
Haydenville Historic District
Architecturally unique in Ohio, Haydenville was built in several phases using its own readily available clay products. The buildings and houses incorporate a variety of different bricks, blocks, and tiles, making the entire town a catalog of the company's products. The brick homes on the east side of town date to the 1870s, while most the tile block homes were built in the 1880s and 1890s. Many boast imaginative details using sewer pipe, silo tiles, and paving blocks. Haydenville was sold to the National Fireproofing Company (Natco) in 1906 and remained company-owned until 1964, making it the last company town in Ohio. The Haydenville Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.