The Arboretum was founded by Stanley M. Rowe, Sr. and his wife Dorothy Snowden Rowe in 1926. It was then that they decided to start collecting trees and shrubs to reforest this ridge which was previously used for farming and pasture. The first project consisted of planting a few thousand seedlings from the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Forestry. The first trees were Red Oaks, European Larch, White Pine, and Scotch Pine. Over the years of trial-and-error plantings, their hobby grew to an accumulation of four to five thousand different types of trees and shrubs.