Ohio played a key role in the development of the modern steel industry. Andrew Carnegie, one of the most famous industrialists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, started his career in the steel industry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but his first major investment was in a steel mill in Braddock, Ohio.
Fairfield County, Ohio, located in the southeastern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back to before European settlement. The area was originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples, including the Shawnee and Wyandot tribes, who relied on the fertile land and abundant wildlife. In the late 1700s, settlers from the eastern United States began to move into the region, establishing small communities and farms.

One of the earliest European settlements in Fairfield County was Lancaster, founded in 1800. The town expanded rapidly due to its strategic location along major transportation routes, such as the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Lancaster quickly became an important center of commerce and industry, attracting businesses and entrepreneurs.

Throughout the 19th century, Fairfield County flourished as it developed further infrastructure, including schools, churches, and government buildings. Agriculture remained a crucial part of the local economy, with farmers producing crops like corn, wheat, and tobacco. In addition to agriculture, manufacturing also played a significant role in the county's growth, particularly in areas such as textiles, pottery, and farming equipment.

In the 20th century, Fairfield County continued to evolve and adapt to changing times. The decline of the canal system and the rise of automobiles led to a shift in transportation and trade patterns. Manufacturing industries diversified, and new businesses emerged to meet the demands of an evolving economy. Today, Fairfield County is a mix of suburban, rural, and industrial areas, offering its residents a high quality of life, a vibrant downtown area in Lancaster, and access to natural attractions like Hocking Hills State Park.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Fairfield County, Ohio.

  • 1800: Fairfield County was established on December 9th.
  • 1817: The county seat was moved from Lancaster to Lancaster.
  • 1839: The Lancaster and Columbus Railway was completed, connecting the county to the state capital.
  • 1929: The Great Depression had a significant impact on the county, causing economic hardship.
  • 1953: The Fairfield County Fairgrounds were established in Lancaster.
  • 1983: Fairfield Medical Center, a regional healthcare provider, opened in Lancaster.
  • 1990: The population of Fairfield County surpassed 100,000.
  • 2009: The Fairfield County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places.