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Sheffield History 1799 to 1860

In the 1790's the area now known as Sheffield Village, Ohio, was mostly forests. Indians lived along the Black River, by French Creek, and an island downstream. It was known on maps as Township 7 of Range 17, of the Western Reserve. In 1795 Genernal William Hart of Saybrook CT. owned the land. A group of people bought the land from him in January, 1815. In April of 1815 Captain Jabez Burrell and Captain John Day traveled west from Sheffield Mass. They surveyed the township in June and and kept the choice lots for themselves. The rest they sold to friends and other people. In 1816 the Burrell and Day families came by horse and boat. From Buffalo, NY they sailed across Lake Erie, then up the Black River. Where French Creek joins the river is where they unloaded thier belongings. The Burrell' s settled on Lots 65, and 21, while the Day's settled on Lot 66. The Day farm was just south of the Burrell's. Others soon joined them such as the Root's and the Garfield's. The Root's settled on Lot 11, which is now the area around Rt. 611 and 301. The Garfield's settled on Lots 72 and 73, which is now the land around Detriot Road, and East River Road. In 1824 Sheffield Township was the first to be organized, in the newly formed Lorain County. The township grew as more people came to farm the rich soil. In 1846 a group of German settlers came to start a new life. They bought the land arond the eastern edge of Sheffield. To this day you can see thier names., such as the Alten's, Jungbuth's, Conrad's, and the Klingshirns. During the Gold Rush of 1849, several people left to seek their fortune in California. Lyman Burrell was one of the 49'ers. People at this time settled on the lake front, William Root had a large farm house built on Lake Road. At this time Lake Road was behind the house, along the shores of Lake Erie. The house still exists at 3535 East Erie Avenue.


Sheffield History 1860 to 1920

During the Civil War many of Sheffield's sons fought for the Union Cause. Others in the township aided by sending food and other items to the troops. In 1866 along the lakeshore by where the Lake Breeze Hotel stood, Jay Terrell, made an interesting discovery. He found in the shale cliffs fossils of a fish which lived in Lake Erie, 300 million years ago. The fish fossills were 16 feet long, and they were named "Dunkleosteus Terrelli", of Terrell's terrible fish. After the war the railroads came across the land. in 1872 the Baltimore & Ohio Railroand cut across the southwest corner. In the 1880's the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad went across the northern section of the township. In 1882 the building pictured on this page was built. It was District 2 Schoolhouse, now it serves as the Sheffield Village Hall. In 1894 a group of investors from Pittsburgh came to Sheffield. They went to a hill overlooking the Black River and said this is where we want to build our steel mill. On a night in April of 1895, the sky glowed with light as the first blast furnace was lit. The Johnson Steel Company was here to stay. After that Sheffield was never the same. In 1894 the small city of Lorain annexed a third of the township. The land east of the river, Lorain annexed up to Root Road. And west of the river, Lorain annexed southward to present day East 36 Street. At this time there were three post offices in the township. The Sheffield P.O. was on East River Road at the Burrell home, The Crandell P.O. was on Conrad Road(Colorado Ave), a 1/4 mile East of Harris Road. The thrid Post Office was called Lake Breeze, a it was on Lake Road, a 1/4 mile east of Root Road.

More railroads bisected the land at this time. The Lorain & West Virgina R.R snaked across the town from the southwest. Another, the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie came from the south east and went to Lorain. A large railroad yard was built south of French Creek Road. Many summer cottages were build along the lake shore at this time. People were enjoying the beauty of Lake Erie. During World War 1 an another steel mill was planned. It would be built along the Black River south of East 36 Street. But the recession after the war, canceled the project.


Sheffield History 1920 to 1950

In 1920 an another major change came to Sheffield Township. The section east of the river separated from the township. The new village was called Sheffield Lake Village. The area west of the river became Sheffield Township. The township was slowly being build up because of the steel mill, while the village was mostly farmland. In 1924 the schools were centralized, and the small shoolhouses were closed. Three new schools were opened, Brookside on Colorado Ave, Vincent on North Ridge Rd., and Highland on Broadway. In 1930 the school district split along the river. The western part became the Clearview District, While the eastern part became the Sheffield District. In 1933 the northern part of the village separated from the southern part. The northern section was becoming urbanized while the rest was still large farms. Plus the farmers in the southern part felt they should not have to pay for the improvements along the lakeshore. Such as water and sewer lines. The northern section kept the name Sheffield Lake Village, while the south became Sheffield Village. During the Second World War, many of Sheffield's sons served in the armed forces. Others helped the war effort by working at the steel mills and other area factories. After the war the area grew as more people moved into the area.


More Sheffield Pages

Sheffield History 1950 to 1999: A short history of Sheffield after World War 2
The Burrell Homestead: The Burrell Homestead and the Underground Railroad

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