Vermilion, Ohio

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Vermilion is a city in Erie and Lorain counties in Ohio, on the North Coast of the U.S.A. The population was 10,927 at the 2000 census. The current mayor is Eileen Bulan. The Lorain County portion of Vermilion is part of the ClevelandElyriaMentor Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Erie County portion is part of the Sandusky Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The nickname of Vermilion High School sports teams is the "Sailors", and many prominent sailboat racers of the Great Lakes have lived here. The area is noted for its many orchards, wineries, and roadside fruit and vegetable stands.

Contents

History

Vermilion was initially settled in the early 19th century and formed as a village in 1844. It was noted as a fishing and small boat harbor. The gold mining business also was sparked in the early 1860s. The oldest permanent structure dates to 1811 (it is still a private residence). In 1847 the Congress of the United States built the Vermilion Lighthouse to aid navigation on Lake Erie.

As commerce grew in larger nearby cities, the Vermilion River proved inadequate to large commercial traffic but recreational boating became very popular. During the early 20th century the area became known as a resort community, featuring beaches and cottages. Although most structures were eventually converted to year-round use, many still are used as summer homes or vacation houses.

Merging with the nearby village of Vermilion-on-the-Lake in 1960, Vermilion grew and became a city (Ohio law provides a distinction between communities with populations under or over 5,000 people).

In 1953 the Great Lakes Historical Society opened the Inland Seas Maritime Museum in the former Wakefield Mansion. A local non-profit group, Friends of Harbourtown, run by Diane Chesnut, actively promotes tourism and the historical connection to Vermilion's roots as a maritime community, using the slogan "Harbourtown 1834".

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