Vermilion Historical Society
Preserving The History Of Vermilion Ohio
Website made possible with a grant from

The Mylander Foundation

165 E. Washington Row, Sandusky, OH 44870

Vermilion Historical Society

History Living On In Vermilion Ohio

The Vermilion Historical Society is comprised of the VAAS and the Vermilion History Museum in collaboration with the Ritter Public Library.

The Vermilion Area Archival Society diligently works to preserve and protect the fascinating history of Vermilion, Ohio by cataloging collections of historical documents, photographs and artifacts.

The Vermilion History Museum promotes an appreciation of Vermilion's history through featuring historical artifacts and photos available for public viewing in Vermilion, Ohio's historic downtown, Harbour Town.

Historic Photos of Vermilion Ohio

Discover Vermilion, Ohio's fascinating history in photos. Explore a small sampling of the Vermilion Historical Society's photo archive collection.


Historic Vermilion Photo Gallery

Stories of Vermilion

Oral History Videos Series

Stories of Vermilion, Oral History Video Series, is a series of local history interview video programs by Ritter Public Library hosted by Rich Tarrant, local historian and curator of the Vermilion History Museum.


ORAL HISTORY VIDEO SERIES


Vermilion History Museum

The Vermilion History Museum, in downtown Vermilion, served as a print shop and a weekly newspaper from 1905 to 1964. The print shop houses two linotypes (c.1915), and 4 letter presses: A Stonemetz 2 revolution newspaper press (c.1919); a Kelly press (c.1917); a Chandler & Price 8"x12" Gorden Jobber Press (c.1900); and a Heidelberg windmill Press (c.1954). There is a book bindary and storage room with a manual paper cutter, electric stapler, and a manual hole punch machine.


VERMILION HISTORY MUSEUM

Vermilion Area Archival Society Calendars

From Okagi’s to McGarvey’s, from Goody Goody Bar to Baumhart’s Drug Store, the 2020 Vermilion Area Archival Society calendar features “The Places We Dined”.   This calendar features drive-ins such as Lake Erie Drive Inn, the A&W Root Beer Stand and the Dari-Delite. It also features drug stores that had wonderful soda counters and restaurants located along the Vermilion River. Some of the establishments are long gone, but some are still standing, being used in very different ways, having undergone name changes and facelifts.


VERMILION HISTORY CALENDARS

Discover the History of Vermilion Ohio

Native Americans

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. Few Indians remained by 1800. One historian said, "Lake Shore Ohio was an Indian borderland. Indian habitation was a nervous, restless one punctuated by wars, international rivalries and...


Native Americans

Early Explorers

French names abound from Vermilion westward: La Chapelle Creek, Huron River, Portage River, La Carne, La Carpe Creek, La Toussaint River, etc. Vermilion itself is of French derivation - vermilion, meaning red of course. Yet very little is known about French exploration along the south shore of Lake Erie. Sanson's map of 1656 names and outlines the lake with reasonable accuracy, no doubt from Indian descriptions. It wasn't actually "discovered" until 1669 when Adrien Jolliet traversed the north shore west to east. That year two missionaries met Jolliet who told them of his passage on the lake. They recorded their visit to Lake Erie at Grand River near Long Point, where they spent the winter. On March 23, 1670, they erected a cross and took...


Early Explorers

Settlers & Incorporation

Between 1808 and 1811 the first settlers struggled into the Township to claim land already surveyed by Almon Ruggles.  The area was part of a tract offered by the State of Connecticut to the Fire Sufferers whose property had been plundered by the British during the Revolutionary War. A section of Connecticut's Western Reserve, it was appropriately called the Firelands. And using the name the Indians had given the river; the Firelands Company named Township No. 6, Range 20, Vermilion.  However, so many years had passed and so much red tape was involved...


Settlers & Incorporation

Vermilion River & Industries

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. This most certainly had to be near the foot of Huron Street where the later shipyard stood when ship building became the main industry in the village. Small schooners were ideal for scudding along the lake shore bringing in supplies from Buffalo and other ports. They were as large as the natural river bars would allow and enough cargo capacity to supply the needs of the early settlements. The schooner was the "work horse" and a very important transportation means in the opening of the vast Great Lakes Country. They reigned supreme until a new form of transportation arrived along shore - the steam railroad...


River & Industry

Railways

With the first trains running through Vermilion starting in 1853, we have been hearing whistles ever since. In fact, our town has been a railroad town for a long time now, over 140 years of rumbling, roaring, shaking, screaming tornados rushing through the quiet village. Ships have come and gone but they were never the acoustic monsters like the trains which roll along like wild demons in a race; freight of all kinds flies through the city, and as far as we can foresee, it will continue for 140 more years. Such is life in a railroad town...


Railways

Recreation

The year 2002 marks the 118th birthday of Linwood Park, originally Evangelical United Brethren, now United Methodist-oriented; it is a semi-private family park, owned and operated by the Linwood Park company, maintained by the Park Superintendent with admittance gate fees collected by the Board of Directors during the season from early June until Labor Day. Just east of downtown Vermilion on Rt. 6 on the north side of the road are an easily overlooked apartment complex, a gas station and a bank. On this acreage, as early as 1870 stood a picnic grove called Shadduck Lake Park. This pleasant grove became popular because the tree shaded area was accessible to horse-drawn buggies. In 1906 George Blanchat purchased the park and named it Crystal Beach Park after his wife, Josephine's, description of the "crystal-like" sand on the beach. With rides and concessions added, Crystal Beach opened on Decoration Day, 1907. Along with the transition of ownership and name...


Recreation


Historic Vermilion Ohio Walking Tour

Take a walk back through time in historic downtown Vermilion, Ohio. Our tour begins in The Commons area of the Ritter Public Library at 5680 Liberty Avenue in downtown Vermilion, Ohio.


Historic Vermilion Walking Tour

Vermilion Area Archival Society Online Collections Database


Online Archives Collections

Vermilion Historic Register


Vermilion Historic Register

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