Millions of people traveled from the east to settle or pass through Northwest Ohio during the latter part of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The main road block in the early days was the habitation of the Native Americans in this area and the Black Swamp.
Northwest Ohio had a large Indian population located primarily along the Maumee River Basin. Many tribes were in this area from Ft. Wayne, IN to the mouth of the Maumee at Toledo. It was not until after the War of 1812 that these tribes began their journey out of this region further west. After this time Europeans began to locate in this area in larger numbers. When water travel improved on the Great Lakes this became a common way of traveling to this area.
The use of water travel was best due to the Black Swamp that covered this area. The swamp area covered wide parts of Lucas, Wood and Fulton counties. Travel by land was very difficult and created a natural barrier to settling this area and western travel. It was not until the 1830's that farmers started coming into these areas to drain the water from the land. What was left after the water was removed was some of the best farming land in the world. This would become a major attraction for the migrants looking for farm land. This would mark the beginning of this area becoming the bread basket of America.