Erie County

From Ohio History Central
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Erie County map.jpg

On March 15, 1838, the Ohio government authorized the creation of Erie County. The county was originally parts of Huron and Sandusky Counties. Residents named the county after the Erie natives. The county was originally a portion of the Connecticut Western Reserve and was part of the Fire Lands. Located on Lake Erie, the county and its residents played an important role in the Underground Railroad during the first part of the nineteenth century. Residents commonly ferried runaway slaves across Lake Erie to Canada. Sandusky and Huron were once busy ports, allowing Ohio farmers and businesses to ship their products all over the world.

Erie County is located in the north-central portion of Ohio. The county seat is Sandusky, which is the county’s largest population center, with almost twenty-eight thousand residents in 2000. The county’s next largest community is Huron, with a population of approximately eight thousand people in 2000. The county experienced almost a four percent increase in population between 1990 and 2000, raising the number of residents to 79,551 people. An average of 312 people live in each of Erie County’s 255 square miles.

Erie County is heavily rural, with urban areas comprising six percent of the county’s land mass. Most residents find employment in service industries, with manufacturing establishments and sales positions coming in second and third respectively. The county is a major tourist destination, with Cedar Point Amusement Park residing within its borders. Lake Erie also attracts a large number of visitors, who participate in boating and fishing. The Ohio Historical Society also operates two sites in the county, Inscription Rock, where Native Americans left pictographs, and Glacial Grooves, which provides visitors with the opportunity to see gouges made by glaciers. The county’s average income was approximately twenty-eight thousand dollars per person in 1999, with just over nine percent of the population living in poverty.

Most voters in Erie County claim to be independents, yet in recent years, they have supported by slim majorities Democratic Party candidates at the national level.

Erie County’s most famous resident was inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who was born in Milan, Ohio.

See Also