About This Place
Toledo is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Lucas County. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, on the western end of Lake Erie, and borders the State of Michigan. The city was founded in 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River, originally incorporated as part of Monroe County, Michigan Territory, then re-founded in 1837, after conclusion of the Toledo War, when it was incorporated in Ohio. Toledo grew quickly as a result of the Miami and Erie Canal and its position on the railway line between New York and Chicago. It has since become a city well known for its industry, particularly in glass and auto assembly, as well as for its art community, education, and local sports teams. The population of Toledo as of the 2010 Census was 287,208, while the Toledo metropolitan area had a population of 651,409.
French trading posts operated in the area as far back as 1680. The area was first settled by Americans in 1794, after the Battle of Fallen Timbers, with the founding of Fort Industry. However, many settlers fled the area during the War of 1812. Resettlement began around 1817 when a Cincinnati syndicate purchased a 974-acre (3.9 km2) tract at the mouth of Swan Creek and named it Port Lawrence, creating the modern downtown area. Immediately to the north of that, another syndicate founded the town of Vistula, the historic north end. These two towns physically bordered each other with Cherry Street dividing them (this is why present day streets on the northeast side of Cherry Street run at a slightly different angle from those to the southwest of it).
In 1825, the Ohio state legislature authorized the construction of Miami and Erie Canal and later its Wabash and Erie Canal extension in 1833. The canal's purpose was to connect the city of Cincinnati to Lake Erie because at that time no highways existed in the state and it was thus very difficult for goods produced locally to reach the larger markets east of the Appalachian Mountains. During the canal’s planning phase, many small towns along the northern shores of Maumee River heavily competed to be the ending terminus of the canal knowing it would give them a profitable status. The towns of Port Lawrence and Vistula merged in 1833 to better compete against the towns of Waterville, Maumee, and Manhattan.