Historical Markers in
Erie County, Ohio

Birmingham School Birthplace of Thomas A. Edison Bloomingville Settlement Cable Park Historic District Camp Avery / County Seat Cedar Downs Racing Derby Cedar Point Cedar Point’s Magnum XL-200 Charles, Daniel and Gustave Frohman Cholera Cemetery / In Honor of the Doctors Christ Episcopal Church Cooke-Dorn House / Eleutheros Cooke Days of Wooden Ships Donahue Hardware Edison Recalls Milan Electric Interurban Railways / Lake Shore Electric Railway Erie County Jail / Sandusky Library First Cedar Point Road Fort Sandusky G.A. Boeckling Building Glacial Grooves State Memorial Good Samaritan Hospital Grace Episcopal Church Historic Roadway Hitching Post Holy Angels Catholic Church Hubbard Building Huron / Erie County Huron Block House Huron Iron Company Furnace Huron Lighthouses / Huron’s Maritime History Huron’s First Inhabitants Inaugural Meeting of Ohio Hospital Association Inscription Rock Jay Cooke John Baptiste Flemmond Johnson’s Island Jury of Erie County Women / Erie County Courthouse Kilbourne Plat Knute Rockne Wedding Lake Shore Electric Railway Legacy of the Huron Docks Legacy of the Huron Docks Lester Allan Pelton Medusa Portland Cement Company Milan / Erie County Milan Canal Basin Ohio Veterans Home Ohio Veterans Home Old Meeker Farm / Old Homestead-on-the-Lake Old Perkins Cemetery Old Sandusky Post Office Old Woman Creek Oran Follett Sandusky Sandusky / Erie County Sandusky Aviation, Shipyard & Railroad Sandusky’s First Cemetery Sandusky’s First Congregation — 1818 Shoreline Park Snow's Grist Mill State Theatre The Boy with the Boot The Days of Steel Boats The Firelands The Firelands The German Reformed Church / The Church Parsonage The Hinde & Dauch Paper Company The Huron Playhouse The Island House The Last Mission of the Moravians The Legacy of the Huron Docks The Legacy of the Huron Docks The Lighthouse Lens The Underground Railroad / Abolition Boats Provide an Escape to Freedom in Erie County The War of 1812 The Wright House and the Underground Railroad/Old Main Street This Concretion Thomas Alva Edison Underground Railroad Vermilion / Erie County Vermilion’s Lighthouse Village of Venice World War II “The Early Birds”
The first traffic light in the world was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914. It had only two colors, red and green, and was manually operated by a police officer.
Erie County, Ohio is located in the northeastern part of the state, bordering the southern shore of Lake Erie. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Erie and Iroquois, before European settlers arrived. The first permanent European settlement in the county was established in 1808 by Platt Benedict, who built a log cabin near present-day Milan.

During the 19th century, Erie County experienced significant growth and development. The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, played a crucial role in the county's economic expansion. The canal brought increased trade, industry, and population to the region, with several towns and villages springing up along its path, including Huron and Sandusky.

Sandusky, the county seat, became a prominent center of commerce and transportation due to its location on Lake Erie. The city served as a major port for shipping goods, and the growth of the railroad network in the mid-19th century further enhanced its prominence. Sandusky also became a popular destination for tourists, with the development of resorts and amusement parks along its waterfront.

In the 20th century, Erie County continued to thrive as industries such as manufacturing and tourism flourished. The county's manufacturing sector played a significant role in supporting the local economy, producing goods ranging from automobiles to furniture. The establishment of Cedar Point amusement park in the late 1800s solidified Sandusky's status as a tourist destination, attracting visitors from across the country.

Today, Erie County remains an important economic and cultural hub in Ohio. It is known for its natural beauty, with picturesque landscapes, sandy beaches, and wildlife habitats. The county continues to draw tourists with attractions like Cedar Point and the Lake Erie Islands, while also maintaining a strong manufacturing sector.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Erie County, Ohio.

  • 1800: Erie County is established by the Northwest Territory Act.
  • 1807: The first European settlers, the Cuddeback brothers, arrive in the area.
  • 1817: The county seat is established in Milan.
  • 1824: The Erie Canal opens, connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River.
  • 1838: The Ohio State Reformatory, a historic prison, is built in Milan.
  • 1882: The Sandusky Bay Bridge, now known as the Thomas A. Edison Memorial Bridge, is completed.
  • 1903: The Cedar Point amusement park opens, becoming a major tourist attraction.
  • 1919: The Great Lakes Historical Society is founded in Vermilion to preserve and promote the history of the Great Lakes region.
  • 1970: The Stranahan Arboretum is established in Toledo, offering a natural retreat for visitors.
  • 1991: The Merry-Go-Round Museum is opened in Sandusky, showcasing the history and artistry of carousel animals.