During the Revolutionary War in the late 1700s many Connecticut residents were burned out of their homes by the raiding British. To compensate these citizens for their losses, the Connecticut Assembly awarded the "Sufferers" 500,000 acres in the western most portion of the Western Reserve, which came to be known as the Firelands. Settlement was slow due to the remoteness of the tract and the difficulties in reaching it.

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.

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.

Captain William Austin was a man of energy and built the first schooner along the river in 1812. She was the FRIENDSHIP, a schooner of the times, about a fifty footer registered at 57 tons in Cleveland in 1817. Solomon Parsons built the second schooner, the VERMILION, in 1814 and registered in Detroit at 36 tons about 40 feet. Where these ships were built is not exactly known but the builders chose a flat place along the riverside.

In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued General Order Number 11 designating May 30 as a memorial day “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.

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.

Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington, first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mrs. Dodd wanted to celebrate the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910.

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.

Celebrate Arbor Day. Plant a tree! Arbor Day is a national holiday highlighting the importance of trees. The holiday is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April. The most common way to celebrate Arbor Day is to plant trees.

Take action on Earth Day, April 22, and everyday to preserve and protect our natural environment and its animals. Picking up litter, removing invasive plants, cleaning up parks and roads, recycling programs and simply encouraging friends, family and youth to get outside to experience nature.

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.