Monday, July 29, 2013

New Market, Ohio 1806-1809

Located at the corner of what is now known as Skinner Avenue and North State Street, on the east side of the Grand River was our first settlement.  It was known as Tract 4 of the Western Reserve and soon became  New Market.  Purchased by Revolutionary Soldiers, Capt. Abraham Skinner and Col. Eleazer Paine, the 3200 plus acres embraced the current villages of Fairport Harbor, Grand River and NW Painesville.  Laid out in 1803 on the former site of an old Indian Village formerly referred to as NEMAW WETAW.

Paine died just months after arriving.  Capt. Skinner and John Walworth, whose cabin was to the northeast of New Market were the earliest residents in our future county.  New Market was part of Trumball County  until March 1806 when Geauga County became the seat of government and New Market its epicenter.  Court sessions were held in Skinner's barn.  Deliberations were held in the nearby woods.  A jail was soon constructed and court moved into the log structure's second story.  Growth was inevitable.  Three warehouses, two stores, a tavern, distillery, and residences marked New Market's zenith.  A hollow tree even served as the official mailstop for postman McIllvaine.  By 1804 a school was formed at the Walworth homestead and Abram Tappan served as schoolmaster.

Gen. Edward Paine's home to the North became a key to the future.  In 1807 a bridge spanned the Grand River and settlement migrated to Oak Openings (Painesville).  New Market declined in importance and in time served as a footnote in history but for three years the initial pioneers efforts encouraged future land purchasers to consider this hub of the Western Reserve.

Source- The Historical Society Quarterly, Fall 1959

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