During the War
During the War of 1812 most of the settlers fled in fear of being attacked and murdered. Several military actions took place in the Firelands including the first (and one of the few) battles on Ohio soil. Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie in 1813 was only a few miles off the north coast.
Settlement grew quickly after 1815 and soon the wilderness was being cleared and succeeded by farms with fenced fields, grazing livestock and well-tended crops. Several main roads crossed the area carrying immigrants west and providing stage coach service to the several towns. Towns along the lake were busy ports for sailing ships and steam boats. The advent of the Milan Canal in 1839 made that village a lake port for imports and exports.
Railroads eventually were built and the Firelands became known as much for manufacturing as for farming. Today it is a mix, and despite adaptation to the 21st century, several of the towns and villages retain much of their New England heritage and architecture. Several towns and townships still bear the names of their forebear Connecticut towns.
In the last census Huron County’s population was 59,500, while Erie County’s was 79,500. Norwalk is the seat of Huron County; Sandusky is the seat of Erie County.