Monday, August 15, 2011

What's in a name? - Some local trivia about your howntown.

Collectors of Ohio lore should love getting to know Lake County history.  While the early beginnings of N.E. Ohio and Lake County are filled with range numbers, townships, villages and lots (100), it is generally agreed upon that the Connecticut Western Reserve and Connecticut Land Company had a major impact on the early history of what was to become known as Lake County in 1840.  Below is a brief look back at some of the original names of your hometown.

Willoughby -  At one time or another, Willoughby has been part of six counties (Washington,  Jefferson, Trumball, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Lake) and has had three prior names.  They were Charlton, Chagrin River, and Chagrin.

LeRoy - This final name was selected for the New York hometown of many of its settlers.  In 1797, its first official designation was Chesterfield.

Painesville -  The area known today as Painesville has a long history.  Many noted people have had a storied part in the development of the county capital.  However, the first name given to Oak Openings (downtown Painesville) was Champion after General Champion.

Mentor -  Surveyed by Charles Parker, Mentor was a name taken from Greek literature.  Mentor was the tutor of Telemachus, son of Odysseus.  Solon, Macedonia, and Euclid are three other nearby cities named from Greek literature.

Grand River -  Its original name was Richmond.  Founded in 1832, Thomas Richmond was the NY businessman who laid out the first plots and harbor plans.

Fairport (Harbor) -  Surveyed and founded in 1812 as Grandon, the name was changed to Fairport in 1836.  Harbor was added in 1959.

Eastlake -  In the beginning, this area was known as the Village of St. John (1849).

Wickliffe - Originally known as Range 10, township 9, it had two other formal designations.  Known as Chagrine (1817) in early history, it was also part of the first Willoughby Township.

Timberlake -  This village was first known as the Lakeshore Boulevard Estates before the 1947 name change to Timberlake.

Willowick -  Many settlers claimed lands in what is today Willowick.  However, the city was originally a part of Willoughby Township.

Perry -  Township 11 of the Western Reserve took its name from Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (War of 1812).

Madison -  A major portion of early Ohio settlement history occurred in this area of Lake County.  Ellensburg, Unionville, and Chapintown were the three names used to indicate portions of the first settlement.

Concord Twp. -  Township #10, range #8 was first known as Wilson's Corners (1802).

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