The Story of Cleveland’s 1st Neighborhood (video)

The Story of Cleveland’s 1st Neighborhood (video)

The link is here

In this episode of the History and the Stories of our Neighborhoods, we will tell the story of Cleveland’s first neighborhood, which is the Flats and the Warehouse District – some of the most popular neighborhoods in which to visit when in town. The rich history of the city, starts here, and as we celebrate Cleveland’s 225th birthday of it’s founding, this is a great way to tell the story of such a prominent place in the city’s history.

Connecticut Western Reserve from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland

Overview from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The link is here

The WESTERN RESERVE encompassed approx. 3.3 million acres of land in what is now northeastern Ohio. Bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the east by Pennsylvania, it extended 120 mi. westward. On the south, the Reserve’s line was set at 41 degrees north latitude, running just south of the present cities of Youngstown, Akron, and Willard. The state of Connecticut exempted the land from 41 degrees to as far north as 42 degrees 2 minutes (western extensions of its own boundaries) when it ceded its western claims to the U.S. in 1786. In its 1662 royal charter, Connecticut’s boundaries were established as extending “from sea-to-sea” across North America; royal grants also had created New York and Pennsylvania, both of which intruded on Connecticut’s lands. In the 1750s, a group of Connecticut speculators began to sell lands in the Wyoming Valley near present-day Wilkes-Barre, PA. In 1782, under the Articles of Confederation, a federal court determined that the Wyoming lands belonged to Pennsylvania. At the same time, Congress was encouraging states that claimed western lands to cede them so that it could regulate their sale and governance. Following the example of Virginia’s cession in 1784, which had exempted lands promised to war veterans, Connecticut reserved lands roughly equal in dimension to the Wyoming Valley lands from her cession. Congress took 2 years before reluctantly accepting the Connecticut cession, and then only because the Pennsylvania delegation championed Connecticut’s offer. It is assumed that threats to reopen the Wyoming Valley case motivated Pennsylvania’s support of Connecticut.

Connecticut ceded to the U.S. all her western lands claims, except the area of the Reserve, on 14 Sept. 1786. Indian title to the lands east of the CUYAHOGA RIVER was extinguished in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. That same year, the State of Connecticut sold most of the reserved lands to the CONNECTICUT LAND CO., and established a school fund with the proceeds from the sale. The actual survey and division of the lands would be directed by the company. Connecticut had exempted the “Firelands,” some 500,000 acres in the western part of the Reserve, in order to compensate citizens whose property had been destroyed in British raids during the Revolutionary War. The year after the Connecticut cession, Congress created the Northwest Territory, but it was assumed that Connecticut, not the territory, was empowered to exercise political jurisdiction over the Reserve. The ambiguity lasted until 1800, when Congress passed the “Quieting Act”; Connecticut surrendered all governing authority and shortly thereafter Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, designated the Western Reserve as Trumbull County, fixing the county seat at Warren.



“Connecticut Western Reserve” A Brief Overview of Early Cleveland History

From the “Cleveland and Its Neighborhoods” website

The link is here

“Connecticut Western Reserve”

A Brief Overview of Early Cleveland History

The origins of Cleveland history actually begin in 1662 when King Charles II of England issued a charter to the colony of Connecticut giving them the strip of land between the 41st and 42nd parallels of north latitude and extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. In 1687 this charter became called the “Charter Oak” because it was once concealed in an oak tree for safe keeping. The Charter Oak was confirmed in 1689 by William and Mary of England.

Many groups laid claim to lands in the Western Reserve including the Native Americans, the French, and even other colonies, such as Virginia, Massachusetts, and New York. After the Revolutionary War, the newly formed republic was confronted with the problem of colonial claims to the western lands. It became apparent that these claims would create rivalries among the newly formed states. Therefore, as a requirement to be admitted to the confederation of the “united states”, each individual state was required to give up its claim to their western lands to the new federal government. 

But in 1786, the state of Connecticut asked the Federal Government to allow them to keep a part of her western lands in compensation for her small size. This land was called the “Connecticut Western Reserve.” In 1792, Connecticut set apart a half million acres in the Reserve to compensate citizens who had suffered losses by fire during the Revolution, and they called this land “The Firelands” (which is now part of Erie and Huron counties). The remaining three million acres was sold to the Connecticut Land Company on September 2, 1795 for $1.2 million. The proceeds from this transaction were used by Connecticut for a permanent school fund. 

The Connecticut Land Company consisted of forty-nine men who purchased land in the Connecticut Western Reserve for only 40 cents per acre. The Board of Directors was Moses Cleaveland, Oliver Phelps, Henry Champion, Samuel Johnson, Ephraim Kirby, Samuel Mather and Roger Newberry. Moses Cleaveland was chosen as the general agent and led the surveying team. A detailed description of the Connecticut Land Company can be found in an article written in 1884 by Samuel J. Barker. 

Copies of the deeds for the land sold to the Connecticut Lane Company are on record in Trumbull County Ohio in the Western Reserve Draft Book pp. 5-73. An interesting account of how the lands were portioned out into shares and lots is at the Cuyahoga County Recorder’s website. 

Cleveland: The Best Kept Secret”, by G. E. Condon, 1967.
Cuyahoga County Recorder’s Office
Ohio Lands: Chapter 7
Original Survey of Cleveland, Samuel J. Barker, 1884,

Connecticut Western Reserve Overview

from the Ohio Historical Society

The Connecticut Western Reserve was an area in the Northwest Territory held, sold and distributed by the State of Connecticut in the years after the American Revolution.

Connecticut was one of several states that had land claims in the Ohio Country going back to the colonial period. Connecticut gave up most of its claims to the federal government so that the Northwest Territory could be created. However, it reserved the northeast corner of the territory for itself. This area came to be known as the Connecticut Western Reserve.

The Western Reserve had two parts. The western part of the region was known as the Fire Lands. The state gave plots of land in this area to people who had lost their property in the American Revolution. The Connecticut government sold the eastern portion of the reserve to the Connecticut Land Company in 1795. The $1.2 million earned through the land sale was spent on public education in the state of Connecticut.

The Connecticut Land Company sent General Moses Cleaveland to survey the territory and lay out townships. In federal surveys such as the Seven Ranges, townships were 36 square miles. Cleaveland created townships of 25 square miles. One of the earliest towns established in this region was named Cleveland in his honor. Many people moved into the Western Reserve because it was accessible from Lake Erie. In the early years of settlement, many people from New England came to the Western Reserve.

Settlers in the western part of the reserve faced struggles with Native Americans over ownership of the land. The westernmost part of the Fire Lands had been granted to Native Americans as part of the Treaty of Greeneville of 1795. As the population increased, Ohio Indians were forced from the region.

Teaching Cleveland Digital