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.
It's a nightmarish scene in the countryside of Vermilion on Gore Road over one hundred years ago. A gigantic fire engulfs an old orphanage burning dozens of young children alive. Desperate to escape the inferno, the children on the second floor found the stairs blocked by flames. Dreadful screams of the children trapped inside the blazing building pierce the ears of horrified onlookers unable to stop the carnage.
Downtown Vermilion, Ohio, "Harbour Town", is home to dozens of retail shops, restaurants, professional businesses, marinas, accommodations and tourist activities. Main Street Beach is a public swimming beach in downtown Vermilion, Ohio on the north end of Main Street. The Vermilion Lighthouse is located next to Main Street Beach in downtown Vermilion, Ohio. Enjoy the sandy beach in downtown Vermilion, recreational boating of every kind, jet skis, canoeing, sailing and more.
Main Street Beach is a public swimming beach in downtown Vermilion, Ohio on the north end of Main Street. Main Street Beach features an observation deck, a kayak/canoe launch, benches, an ADA mobility mat, and a concession stand. Vermilion's Main Street Beach is a popular destination for wading in the water, swimming, bird watching, building sand castles, beach glass hunting and viewing remarkable sunsets. Locals and visitors congregate on the observation deck.
Vermilion River Reservation is home to the the picturesque Bacon House Museum at Mill Hollow. Walk through the original settler Benjamin Bacon's house, built in 1845. The museum features themes of daily living and puts an emphasis on the community life, including the profound effect the railroad had on the economy and on people's lives. The Vermilion News Print Shop Museum, former home of Vermilion’s weekly newspaper 1905-1964, houses two linotypes.
Vermilion is home to two golf courses. The 18-hole "Willow Creek" course at the Willow Creek Golf Club facility in Vermilion, Ohio features 6,356 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 68.1 and it has a slope rating of 108. Designed by Dick Palmer, the Willow Creek golf course opened in 1945. The 9-hole "Vermilion" course at the Vermilion Country Club facility in Vermilion, Ohio features 3,285 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 36. Vermilion golf course opened in 1914.
The City of Vermilion, population 10,927, is nestled in both Erie and Lorain Counties and borders Lake Erie and the scenic Vermilion River. Our 16 block Historic Downtown Vermilion serves as the Central Business District (CBD), which consists of City Administration Offices and Municipal Court, many retail businesses, professional offices, waterfront restaurants, marinas, and cultural entertainment and activities. The City of Vermilion is located just 35 miles west of Cleveland with world class cultural activities.
The Arts Guild features rotating exhibits of a new Artist of the Month, as well as special art shows and events. A wealth of art galleries abound in the Harbour Town district. The Vermilion Community Music Association, which features the Community Band, Community Chorus, and the Wind Jammer Dance Band, provides professional music services to numerous events throughout the year. The Vermilion Opera House, built in 1883 in the Vermilion Town Hall, is being restored.
In 1817, Benjamin Bacon settled with his family along the top of the cliffs overlooking an oxbow in the Vermilion River that would eventually be called Mill Hollow. Soon afterwards, and at an early age, Benjamin was elected to the prestigious position of Justice of the Peace, and in 1824 was selected as one of the first commissioners for Lorain County. In 1835 he purchased an interest in a saw and grist mill that had been relocated to the oxbow in the river.
Nothing is more iconic to the local landscape than the Vermilion Lighthouse, which looks out over Lake Erie at the foot of Main Street. There's a rich, deep history to this marvelous structure. A dedicated, ongoing effort seeks to preserve it for generations to come. Main Street Vermilion's Lighthouse Preservation Committee is dedicated.
Swimmers of all ages enjoy our sandy beaches located in Historic Downtown Vermilion and either side of the city. Recreational boating of every kind, jet skis, canoeing, and sail boats adorn the Vermilion harbor, where ship building was once the major industry. On summer nights, residents and visitors congregate on the large deck at Main Street Beach to watch boats sail back and forth in front of the beautiful Lake.
The Shore Thing is located at the Main Street Beach in Downtown Vermilion. Look for the delightful yellow beach shack hosted by volunteers who will welcome you to Vermilion and provide help and suggestions for finding your way around town, from where to eat, drink and stay, attractions, directions and more. They are truly ambassadors to our "Small Town on a Great Lake."