History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People
Ancient Native Americans, the Mound Builders, left
more than 6,000 burial mounds and forts throughout the Ohio region.
Many years later when European explorers first arrived in the
late 1600s, they found Delaware, Shawnee, Wyandot, and Miami Indian
tribes living there.
and Great Britain both held claims to the Ohio region.
Frenchman René-Robert Cavelier explored the Ohio region in 1670
and is believed to be the first white man to visit the area.
In 1750, the Ohio Company of Virginia sent Christopher Gist to
explore Ohio in preparation for the settlement of British colonists.
Disputes over land in North America started the French and Indian
Wars, and ended in 1763 with British control of most land in North
the Revolutionary War, the Northwest Territory was established in 1787.
On April 7, 1788, Marietta was founded and became the first
permanent white settlement in Ohio. Indian raids became common until their defeat in the Battle
of Fallen Timbers. The
Treaty of Greenville that followed gave the United States land that
accounts for almost two-thirds of present-day Ohio.
Thousands of settlers came to the region and soon Cincinnati,
Cleveland, Dayton, and Youngstown were established.
became the 17th state on March 1, 1803. Chillicothe was the first state capital, followed by
Zanesville in 1810, then Chillicothe again, and finally Columbus in
1816. River trade developed
after acquiring the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Products could be shipped from the Mississippi River through New
Orleans. The first
steamboat, New Orleans, went down the river in 1811.
important naval victory, the Battle of Lake Erie, was fought off the
Ohio shore in the War of 1812. In
1825, the Erie Canal opened. In
1832, the Ohio and Erie Canal connected Cleveland and Portsmouth.
The Miami and Erie Canal connected Toledo and Cincinnati in 1845.
Many mills and factories were built between 1830 and 1860 because
canals and railroads had created a much faster trade route.
the Civil War (1861-1865), Ohio fought for the Union but the state
showed mixed feelings toward slavery.
Many helped the Underground Railroad smuggle slaves to Canada
while others organized the Peace Democrats Party in opposition to
President Lincoln. In 1863
a Confederate cavalry raided Ohio, but almost all were captured.
the war, industry expanded rapidly.
Benjamin Goodrich opened a rubber plant in Akron.
John Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company in Cleveland.
Ohio became a top manufacturing state of machinery and furniture. Shipping of coal and iron ore increased on Lake Erie, and
farming continued to be a leading industry.
were the worst in Ohio history in 1913, killing almost 350 people and
damaging an estimated $100 million in property.
The Conservancy Act passed in 1914, allowing flood-control
districts to be established based on entire river systems.
This created many flood-control dams and reservoirs throughout
the Great Depression hit the nation in 1929, nearly half the workers in
Ohio lost their jobs. A
federal agency, Works Progress Administration, created jobs by
constructing dams. Entering
World War II in 1941 also helped to end the Depression.
Airplanes, warships, and weapons were all created in Ohio
continued to expand following World War II.
In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened, creating international
trade for eight Ohio cities on Lake Erie.
Aluminum plants and chemical factories were built along the Ohio
River. Many significant
changes also occurred to the state government during this time.
serious problems have occurred since the 1970s. Many schools were forced to close due to lack of funds.
Today, laws now require schools to borrow money from the
government when shortages occur for necessary school supplies.
Many businesses were forced to close in 1977, when a natural gas
shortage occurred in severe weather conditions.
Pollution killed many of the fish in Lake Erie and caused fire to
the Cuyahoga River. Today,
federal and state laws have now cleaned up state rivers and Lake Erie
for commercial and recreational use.