These 9 Historic Villages Near Cleveland Will Transport You Into A Different Time
Northeast Ohio is a gem of a region, hiding historic structures and lovely landscapes alike. Locals can’t get enough of the culture here, and it seems that every day brings new discoveries. That’s especially true when it comes to history, which is abundant in our region. In fact, you may even find yourself living in an incredibly historic community. See if your hometown made the list!
1. Medina, Medina County
This enchanting community is just a short drive south of Cleveland, and roughly 27,000 residents call this lovely place home. Despite its growth over the years, Medina maintains a small town friendliness that visitors can't get enough of. Medina was founded in 1818, but its appearance has been largely shaped by two destructive fires in that same century. For the full story on this gorgeous city, click
2. Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga County
Chagrin Falls is a suburban gem, as visitors will be delighted to discover an impressive waterfall at its center. The village is home to about 4,200 residents, and locals have adored this quaint destination since it was laid out in 1837. This community is overflowing with history, much of which will surprise you. It hosts one of the oldest community theaters in the nation, the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, and one beloved little popcorn shop (pictured) that has been in operation since 1875.
3. Vermilion, Erie and Lorain Counties
This enchanting little New England-style town is located right on Lake Erie's shore. It's home to about 11,000 residents and it was once known as the Village of Lake Captains, as it entertained the domestic life of Lake Erie sailors. This community was first incorporated as a village in 1837, and its historic district has been flawlessly maintained. For the full story on this gorgeous destination, click
4. Boston Township, Summit County
Hidden in the midst of the incredible Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a tiny town where less than 2,000 people reside. This quaint community is located about 23 miles outside of Cleveland, and it's been an established community since 1811. Two villages exist within its expanse; Boston Heights and Peninsula. Over the years, Boston Township has accumulated some
unusual local lore
5. Huron, Erie County
With just over 7,000 residents, Huron is still a fairly small community on Lake Erie's shore. The area hosted French traders as early as 1780, but the community wouldn't become a township until 1809. It grew into a bigger economic port thanks to the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, the influence of which is still apparent throughout the historic community.
6. East Cleveland, Cuyahoga County
Clevelanders don't need to look far for incredible history, as they're always immersed in it. However, neighboring East Cleveland has a history all its own that's worth exploring. It was first incorporated as a village in 1895, founded in part by immigrants from Scotland. It once hosted part of the iconic
, and it is famous for destinations like General Electric's Nela Park, which puts on an
incredible holiday lights display
. Nela Park puts on one of the best light shows in the area, no surprise considering that they are known as the world's first industrial park.
7. Middleburg Heights, Cuyahoga County
Though Middleburg is densely populated today, you can still see the lingering effects of quaint small-town charm hiding beneath the surface. The community is nearly 200 years old, after all, and settlers were in the area even before the War of 1812. This quaint farming community became the Middleburg Heights we know and love around 1928 when residents gathered in their Little Red Schoolhouse/City Hall and voted to establish a village. The farmland of the community began to disappear after the population boom following WWII.
8. Ashtabula, Ashtabula County
The area of Ashtabula has long been familiar to indigenous peoples, but the first European settlers came to the area around 1803. The city's location on Lake Erie made it ideal for trade, and as a result, the community grew over the years. It eventually became an important site on the Underground Railroad, serving as the last site runaway slaves would see before escaping into Ontario, Canada.
9. Fairport Harbor, Lake County
This lovely little village entertains a mere 3,100 residents, but it has a personality that will leave an impression on you. This community first joined the Connecticut Western Reserve in 1796, but it wasn't until 1812 that a formal town was established. This village is home to two breathtaking and historic lighthouses.
There is much to discover right here in our own backyards, but we’ve grown accustomed to the scenery and often fail to notice it’s historic significance. What historic communities would you add to this list?
If you enjoyed this article, you will love learning about these
unusual moments in Cleveland history.
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