Elyria is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Lorain County. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio at the forks of the Black River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 54,533. The city is named for its founder, Heman Ely . The city is home to Lorain County Community College.
Elyria was founded in 1817 by Heman Ely, who built a log house, dam, gristmill, and sawmill on the site. Ely began to build more houses to accommodate immigrating settlers. By the time Ely died in 1852, Elyria had 5 churches, 3 grocery stores, 3 flour mills, a newspaper, and a population of more than 1,500. Early postal service from Cleveland was provided by rider Artemis Beebe, who held the first contract to deliver mail across the Black River. As the 1900s arrived, Elyria was a small town of about 8,000. In 1908, Elyria Memorial Hospital was built and has since evolved into an award-winning regional healthcare system. In August 1967, at the peak of Elyria's population, Midway Mall was opened and changed the face of the local economy as local businesses either moved into the mall or closed down. In the August of 1975, interracial tensions between blacks and whites erupted in a riot that resulted in broad vandalism and burnt buildings and shops particularly in the southern and western portions of the town, finally brought under control by State Guard troops. Meanwhile, 3 major car plant closings in the area lead to economic stagnation and joblessness in the 1970s and 80s that affected communities throughout the region, later referred to as "the rustbelt." A minor and only temporary revival of Elyria in the 1990s saw the addition of some new roads and housing in Elyria, now serving more as a residential "bedroom community" for Cleveland as new industries are being attracted in.
Elyria, part of the Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor metropolitan area, is located at 41°22′24″N 82°6′6″W / 41.37333°N 82.10167°W / 41.37333; -82.10167 (41.373396, -82.101692). Elyria's primary zip code is 44035 with post office boxes being assigned the zip code 44036.