Vermilion Township History
Vermilion Township was named after the principal river emptying into the lake through its territory. Vermilion Township is bounded on the north by the City of Vermilion; south by Florence Township; east by Brownhelm Township, Lorain County; and west by Berlin Township. The surface of the Township is level in the northern portion, while in the southern part it is broken with alternate sandy ridges and low lands. The soil is variable and embraces sandy loam gravel and clay marl.
The Vermilion, LaChapelle, and Sugar Creek are the three streams passing through Vermilion Township. The Vermilion stream is the largest rising in Ashland County running through the eastern part of Huron and the western part of Lorain Counties emptying into Lake Erie near the east line of Vermilion Township. Sugar Creek acquired its name from the mound at the mouth of the creek that resembled a sugar loaf and the Indians who made sugar from the extensive sugar orchards along the stream. The LaChapelle rises in Huron County passing through Wakeman, Florence, and Vermilion Townships.
In 1792, the Connecticut State Assembly awarded 1,870 Fire Sufferer's whose property had been plundered during the Revolutionary War, 50,000 acres of land that became known as the "Firelands." In 1808, Almon Ruggles surveyed the Firelands which today encompasses the counties of Huron and Erie, the townships of Ruggles in Ashland County and Danbury in Ottawa County. Ruggles laid out each township in five-mile squares with township number 6 in range 20 being Vermilion Township.
Vermilion Township Timeline
1818—The first record of a township meeting to form the local government was held on April 6th. Elected officers included a clerk, judge or elections, trustees, fence viewers, treasurers, appraisers, and supervisors.
1820—First census taken by the Marshal for a report to the Federal Government reveals a population of 520 in Vermilion Township.
1821—The State of Ohio authorizes the "laying of taxes by public schools," although township schools still supported by subscription.
1829—September 5th, Lester Allan Pelton, considered to be the father of modern day hydroelectric power, was born in Vermilion Township, Erie County, Ohio.
1883—The Town Hall is completed at a cost of $21,000. The building includes a council chamber, election room, township trustee's hall, kitchen and dining room, a jail with six bunks, and a court room on the ground floor. The upper floor has an elegantly furnished opera house with a seating capacity of 425 people. There is a large shed constructed in the back for horses and vehicles.
1889—August 27th, the Pelton Runner (water turbine) invention was officially patented. And by 1893 the Age of Hydroelectric power was in full swing.
1908—March 14th, Lester A. Pelton passed away. He was cremated and his remains were transported back to the town where he was born and lived as a boy. There he was placed to rest with his family in Maple Grove Cemetery on Mason Road south of Vermilion.
1957—March, zoning was adopted in Vermilion Township.
2005—Vermilion Township Offices move to Ohio Edison at 1907 State Rd. Building is the headquarters for the Township Trustees, Zoning Department, Fire Department, and Erie County Sheriff's substation.
2005—February 1st, Township opens Vermilion Township Fire Department.
2006—Erie County Regional Planning begins work on Vermilion Township Comprehensive Plan at the beginning of March.