Vermilion Ohio News #History


Juneteenth is the oldest known US celebration of the abolition of the chattel slave system, and the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in Texas. The question of slavery divided the nation during the decades leading up to the Civil War. But by September of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln made abolition a formal position of the US government when he announced the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1919 a group of investors from the Cleveland area purchased a wooded property with 600 feet of Lake Erie frontage in tiny “Vermilion-on-the-Lake”, Ohio. They cleared the land, and using the very logs they felled, built an approximately 10,000 square foot private community center known as the Vermilion-on-the-Lake Clubhouse. The big bands of that era were soon accompanied by couples.

Phoebe Goodell Judson grew up in Vermillion, Ohio. Her pioneer story begins when she married her husband Holden Allen Judson. After three years of matrimony they both decided "to obtain from the government of The United States a grant of land that "Uncle Sam" had promised.

Each year on June 14, we celebrate the birthday of the Stars and Stripes, which came into being on June 14, 1777. At that time, the Second Continental Congress authorized a new flag to symbolize the new Nation, the United States of America.

Lester Allan Pelton (September 5, 1829 – March 14, 1908), considered to be the father of modern day hydroelectric power, is one the most famous inventors of American history. Pelton invented the impulse water turbine. Lester Pelton was born in Vermillion, Ohio in 1829. His father was a farmer. He lived on Risden Road and attended the Cuddeback School.

Vermilion, Ohio straddles a river of the same name as it empties into Lake Erie, and it has a past as colorful as the clay for which the river was named. Once known as the “city of sea captains,” the city was a popular drop-off point for illegal liquor from Canada during the days of Prohibition. The city has been home not only to many captains and sailors, but also to an amazing lighthouse story that spans two centuries and two Great Lakes.

In May of 1816 began an event that has been referred to as the “Year without Summer” in New England. Frost had killed off most of the crops that had been planted; soon most of New England was gripped by the cold front. There was widespread loss of crops with the result of regional malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic.

The Brownhelm Historical Association works to preserve the rich history of Brownhelm, Ohio. This dedicated group of volunteers is restoring local landmarks, saving historic tombstones and plans a variety of community events throughout the year. The mission of the Brownhelm Historical Association is to honor Brownhelm’s rich heritage.

Louis Wells, a Cleveland contractor, began the Vermilion Lagoons project as a means of keeping his men busy during the Great Depression of the 1930s. By 1931 the first house and the beach house had been built and the lagoons were dredged and most of the wooden piling secured. The first house was located just to the south and west of the beach house on the Erie Lagoon and belonged to a Mr. Comstock.

John Mercer Langston was one of the most extraordinary men of the 19th century. Slim and debonair, and of mixed-raced parentage, Langston was highly educated, an expert in constitutional law, a community organizer and a gifted orator who sought to unify a divided country after the Civil War. He was the first African-American elected to a local office, winning the office of Clerk of Brownhelm Township.

History tells us that the Erie Indians lived along the south shore of Lake Erie until their murderous extinction by the warlike Iroquois from upper New York State in 1655. Then around 1700 the Ottawas, Hurons (Wyandottes) and Chippewas gradually returned to the area for furs to sell to the French traders until they too were pushed out of their hunting and trapping grounds by the pioneering white man.

Vermilion was once known as the "Village of Lake Captains," and no other place has so many captains' homes in its historic district. Vermilion was initially settled in the early 19th century and formed as a village in 1837. In 1840, the US Corps of Engineers finished building the tow piers at the mouth of the Vermilion which provided the depth builders needed to take boats into the lake. Thus began the "Golden Age of Ship Building" on the river, in tune with great demand for the shipping on the lakes.