When people ask you, “What’s so special about Geauga County?” you probably have a bunch of warm memories of growing up here and other things that make this place special. From the Great Geauga County Fair, to warm sunny days in one of our beautiful Geauga County Parks, there are so many things that make our wonderful county special to its residents. But when it comes to some historical facts about the place, here are five things you should know when it comes time to represent our county to an outsider.
What’s so special about Geauga County?
Here are just a few of those trivia facts you can store away for the next time someone asks:
1. Burton was a leader in technology back In 1876!
Burton set an Ohio first when a telephone line was installed from the train station to the bank two and one-half miles away, thus leading the way for installation of telephone service in the state.
2. It is rumored that James A Garfield visited Newbury.
The Congregational Church that was built on land donated by Ansel Mathews became known as the Union Chapel, and the sermon of dedication was given by a college teacher who went on to become the twentieth president of the United States—James A. Garfield! Many well-known people of that day, including Susan B. Anthony and Louisa May Alcott, spoke here as well.
3. Stephen Pomeroy was the founding settler of Huntsburg
In 1817, a man by the name of Stephen Pomeroy made his way through the northern Ohio wilderness. On the promise of free land, Pomeroy made the decision to be the first settler on a tract of Connecticut Western Reserve land owned by Ebenezer Hunt and John Breck. Upon arrival in the area, the first settler of Middlefield, Isaac Thompson, led Pomeroy north to the vacant land. Right as they crossed the line between the town properties, Stephen proudly proclaimed, “Here is where I shall set my stakes.”
4. This man was called the “Orchard King” in Chesterland
Charles Bingham boasted the largest orchard east of the Mississippi River in Chesterland back in the early days and pioneered the frozen food industry.
5. Over 200 years old now, Chardon’s square burned down in 1868
One thing I didn’t know until I started Geauga News, is that In 1868, a fire started in Parlin Parker’s grocery store. By the time the fire was done, the square was destroyed, including the courthouse and several businesses. The town was devastated, but rose to the challenge of reconstruction. Two days later, the county commissioners and Chardon citizens met and vowed to “work unitedly and make every personal sacrifice that a renewal of our general prosperity may require.” A new courthouse, the one that still stands today, was completed in 1869, and the business district was also rebuilt.
The history of where we’ve come from, and how our county got started, is very interesting to me. I like to think back and wonder what those early pioneers would have been thinking about when they looked forward into the future at us in our present day time.
What will our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren be experiencing here in Geauga County in years to come? It is an interesting thought to consider.
One thing I am certain of, is that the good people here will continue to teach their children to be hard working entrepreneurs who care for their families, their neighbors, and their entire communities. That’s something that always makes me proud to say that I am from Geauga County.
Do you have a little known history fact about Geauga County, or a special memory of growing up here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.