The Firelands, or Sufferers' Lands, tract was located at the western end of the Connecticut Western Reserve in what is now the U.S. state of Ohio. It was legislatively established in 1792, as the "Sufferers' Lands", and later became named "Fire Lands" because the resale of the land was intended as financial restitution for residents of the Connecticut towns of Danbury, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, and Ridgefield. Their homes had been burned in 1779 and 1781 by British forces during the American Revolutionary War. However, most of the settlement of the area did not occur until after the War of 1812."Fire Lands" was later spelled as one word: "Firelands."
In 1792 the Connecticut legislature set aside 500,000 acres (2,000 km²), at the western end of the "Western Reserve" for the Connecticut "Sufferers". The area consisted of nearly all of the present-day Huron and Erie counties, as well as Danbury Township (Marblehead Peninsula) and much of Catawba Island Township now in Ottawa County; and Ruggles Township now in Ashland County. [The 1792 legislative decree should not be confused with the actual pioneer settlement of these lands, which began to occur about 1807.]
It is not known if any of the actual "Sufferers" eventually settled in the Firelands. Prior to any settlement here, land speculators had purchased all of the original claims for re-sale. On April 15, 1803, the investor proprietors formed a corporation to manage the lands to which they were entitled in the newly formed state of Ohio. km) square survey townships, which were further subdivided into 120 quarters, each containing 4,000 acres (16 km2). (Note: Although the standard for U.S. survey townships in the Northwest Territory was six miles (approx. 10 km) square at that time, the older standard for survey townships in the Western Reserve was employed.) A drawing was held to determine which land each individual investor share-holder would receive.The land was later divided into 30 five-mile (8
Some of the original townships in the Firelands took their names from locations in Connecticut, or from the land-speculators who had purchased them. (In some cases the pioneer settlers took a dislike to these speculators, and so changed their township names.) Later, after the War of 1812, when villages began to be established here, many of these villages were also named for Connecticut villages.
In 1811, Huron County encompassed the entire Firelands (and also included a portion of later Lorain County). Until 1837, all of the Firelands would lie within — and therefore co-exist with — Huron County.
Modern sign-posts erected within this area have the "established 1792" designation date, as mentioned above. The lands were physically surveyed from 1806–1808, and very slowly settled after 1808. No villages had developed within the Firelands until about the end of the War of 1812.(The 1806–1808 surveys were not entirely accurate, and exceeded the legislative parameters for the entire "Western Reserve" boundaries; resulting in 'Surplus lands' directly east of the boundary-line of the Firelands.)
For further information see:
(Publications with CSL call numbers are in the collection of the Connecticut State Library)
Huron County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 59,626. Its county seat is Norwalk. The county was created in 1809 and later organized in 1815.
Huron is a city in Erie County, Ohio, United States. The population was 7,149 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Sandusky, Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area. Huron Township surrounds the City of Huron.
Norwalk is a city in and the county seat of Huron County, Ohio, United States. The population was 17,012 at the 2010 census. The city is the center of the Norwalk Micropolitan Statistical Area and part of the Cleveland-Akron-Canton Combined Statistical Area. Norwalk is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of Lake Erie, 51 miles (82 km) west/southwest of Cleveland, 59 miles (95 km) southeast of Toledo, and 58 miles (93 km) west/northwest of Akron.
The Connecticut Western Reserve was a portion of land claimed by the Colony of Connecticut and later by the state of Connecticut in what is now mostly the northeastern region of Ohio. The Reserve had been granted to the Colony under the terms of its charter by King Charles II.
The Ohio Lands were the several grants, tracts, districts and cessions which make up what is now the U.S. state of Ohio. The Ohio Country was one of the first settled parts of the Midwest, and indeed one of the first settled parts of the United States beyond the original 13 colonies. The land that became first the anchor of the Northwest Territory and later Ohio was cobbled together from a variety of sources and owners.
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Catawba Island Township is one of the twelve townships of Ottawa County, Ohio, United States. The 2000 census found 3,157 people in the township.
Danbury Township is one of the twelve townships of Ottawa County, Ohio, United States. The 2000 census found 4,631 people in the township, 3,869 of whom lived in the unincorporated portions of the township.
Berlin Township is one of the nine townships of Erie County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Sandusky, Ohio metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2010 census the population was 3,723, of whom 3,009 lived in the unincorporated portions of the township.
Florence Township is one of the nine townships of Erie County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Sandusky, Ohio metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,448.
Milan Township is one of the nine townships of Erie County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Sandusky, Ohio metropolitan statistical area, which is also the county seat of Erie County. As of the 2010 census 3,606 people lived in the township, 2,602 of whom lived in its unincorporated portions.
Vermilion Township is one of the nine townships of Erie County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Sandusky, Ohio metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2010 census the population was 4,945.
Ruggles Township is one of the fifteen townships of Ashland County, Ohio, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 905.
Avery is an unincorporated community in western Milan Township, Erie County, Ohio, United States. It is part of the Sandusky Metropolitan Statistical Area. Avery is located along US Route 250 near that road's interchange with Interstate 80 and Interstate 90, the Ohio Turnpike. The area is characterized by hotels and some industry. It once had a post office, but is now included in the Milan, Ohio postal zone (44846).
The Firelands Conference is an Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) athletic league located in north-central Ohio. The league was formed in the 1960–61 school year and is named for the Firelands area of the old Western Reserve, where most of the member schools reside. High schools in this conference are located in Ashland, Huron, and Richland counties. Some of the schools' district boundaries extend into the neighboring counties of Crawford, Erie, and Lorain. Most of the founding schools came from the defunct Huron-Erie League.
Elijah Wadsworth was a captain in the American Revolutionary War and a major general in the War of 1812. He was a prominent military officer, Ohio pioneer, local organizer and leader, and wealthy land speculator.
The United States Military District was a land tract in central Ohio that was established by the Congress to compensate veterans of the American Revolutionary War for their service. The tract contains 2,539,110 acres (10,275.4 km2) in Noble, Guernsey, Tuscarawas, Muskingum, Coshocton, Holmes, Licking, Knox, Franklin, Delaware, Morrow, and Marion Counties.
The Congress Lands North of the Old Seven Ranges was a land tract in northeast Ohio that was established by the Congress early in the 19th century. It is located south of the Connecticut Western Reserve and Firelands, east of the Congress Lands South and East of the First Principal Meridian, north of the United States Military District and Seven Ranges, and west of Pennsylvania.
Maumee Road Lands were a group of land tracts granted by the United States Congress to the state of Ohio in 1823 along the path of a proposed road in the northwest corner of the state.
Benajah Wolcott House is a stone structure on the Danbury-Marblehead Peninsula, north of Sandusky Bay near Marblehead, Ohio. It is the oldest surviving home in Ottawa County. Historians believe it may have been the family home of the Wolcott family during the 1820s. It should not be confused with the wooden lighthouse keeper's house adjacent to the Marblehead Light, built in 1880.