On December 31, 1805, the Ohio government authorized the creation of Geauga County. It originally was a portion of Trumbull County and was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve. The county is named for an Indian word for “raccoon.”
Geauga County is located in the northeastern corner of Ohio and covers almost 404 square miles. The county has grown dramatically in recent years, as residents of nearby Cleveland in Cuyahoga County have moved to Geauga and surrounding counties to escape the busyness of the city. Between 1990 and 2000, Geauga County’s population increased by 12.1 percent to a total of 90,895 residents in 2000. Chester Township is the largest community in the county, with almost eleven thousand residents in 2000. The county seat of Chardon ranked a distant seventh in size, with just over 5,100 residents in 2000. The county averages 225 residents per square mile.
Geauga County is overwhelmingly rural, but most residents earn their livings by working in manufacturing, sales, or service positions. Farming is a distant fourth, although county residents produce almost all of Ohio’s maple syrup or other maple products, earning Geauga the nickname “Ohio’s Sweetest County.” Many residents also commute to Cleveland to work. The county’s average income was approximately thirty-four thousand dollars per person in 1999, with five percent of the population living in poverty.
Most voters in Geauga County claim to be independents, yet in recent years, they have supported Republican candidates at the national level.
Ohio Governor Seabury Ford ranks among Geauga County’s most famous residents.