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.
Ottawa County, located in the state of Ohio, has a rich and varied history. The county was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ottawa, Miami, and Wyandot peoples. European exploration and settlement began in the late 18th century, when British and French traders established contact with the Native Americans in the area.

In 1831, Ottawa County was officially established, named after the Ottawa tribe who once inhabited the region. The area experienced significant growth and development in the mid-19th century, particularly with the advent of the railroad. The construction and expansion of rail lines facilitated the transportation of goods and people, stimulating economic growth and attracting new settlers to the county.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Ottawa County's economy was predominantly driven by agriculture and fishing. The fertile lands of the region made it ideal for farming, and many farmers cultivated crops such as wheat, corn, and soybeans. The proximity to Lake Erie also made fishing a lucrative industry, with fishermen catching a variety of fish species, including walleye and perch.

In the 20th century, Ottawa County saw the growth of tourism, largely due to its location on the shores of Lake Erie. The county's picturesque landscapes, sandy beaches, and recreational opportunities attracted visitors from both nearby cities and other states. The construction of resorts, marinas, and amusement parks further enhanced the region's appeal as a vacation destination. Today, Ottawa County continues to thrive as a popular tourist spot while also maintaining its agricultural roots.

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

  • 1831: Ottawa County is established and named after the Ottawa Native American tribe.
  • 1837: The first courthouse is built in Port Clinton.
  • 1840: The first official census puts the county's population at 903 residents.
  • 1873: The iconic Marblehead Lighthouse is completed.
  • 1900: The population of Ottawa County reaches 15,672.
  • 1929: The Great Depression begins and has a major impact on the county's economy.
  • 1940: The population surpasses 20,000 for the first time.
  • 1957: The Ohio Turnpike opens, providing improved transportation access to the county.
  • 1972: The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is established.
  • 1992: Catawba Island State Park is opened to the public.