Friday, January 04, 2013

Migration Patterns- Northwest Ohio 1840

After 1820 the movement into this area increased at a very quick pace. The routes to get into Northwest Ohio were greatly expanded. The Seneca road was extended along the Erie shore past Cleveland and into Toledo. Two routes sprung up coming from the south that came from the area of current day Columbus. The water routes also increase dramatically over Lake Erie and the creation of the canal systems.

The overland routes were improved now to handle a steady group of migrants. Travelers were able to have some of the comforts from the East with the establishment of lodges and taverns. The roads were now built to better handle the wagons that were bringing folks to Northwest Ohio. The roads from the South went to Sandusky which during this period was a much more active area than Toledo. These routes would bring many people from the Mid Atlantic and Southern states. Travel on these routes was still very slow. Coming from Buffalo would take months to get to Toledo and some times years. Stop offs and temporary settlement along the way were common.

The water routes were the cheapest and quickest forms of travel. Buffalo was a very popular departure point for those folks coming out of New England that had traveled across the Erie Canal. The completion of the Erie Canal was a major boom to migration to the Midwest and Northwest Ohio. People were able to travel on a boat all the way from Boston to Toledo. Along the coast of Lake Erie Huron, Sandusky, Milan, Oak Harbor and Toledo became major stop off points. They also became major trading centers, because of the development in the overland routes. Items grown in Ohio had found a cost effective way to be transported back to the large populations located on the east coast. This would help in adding capital to fund the future growth of Northwest Ohio.

The canals that were built into Northwest Ohio helped to bring people from the south to Northwest Ohio. The Miami and Erie Canal was built from Cincinnati to Toledo. Many Irish and German immigrants moved into Northwest Ohio as a result of this route. The Irish helped dig the route and the Germans helped in designing the many locks that were necessary along the route. Counties like Allen, Putnam and Henry in Northwest Ohio were the benefactors of this route. The Wabash Erie Canal followed the edge of the Maumee River from far down into Indiana up to Toledo. The economic impact of these two routes to the area were tremendous as it brought migrants and capital to the area.

1 comment:

Linda Schreiber said...

Thanks, Derrick
This was really helpful! I knew about the east-west routes, but wasn't aware of the the southern connections, or that the Sandusky area was so active then. Many of my people were around Sandusky, Fremont, Green Creek, some moving later to Wood and Lucas Counties. They were from NY.
And you may have helped with a big mystery, with your comment on "stopovers and temporary settlements were common"....
Thanks again,