RailsandTrails.com - Texts - 1916 Pennsylvania Railroad Guide

Mansfield to Toledo

The Toledo Division,which branches from the Fort Wayne main line at Toledo Junction, a few miles west of Mansfield, traverses a section of fine farm land, watered by the Sandusky, Portage and Maumee rivers.

Tiffin, the largest city on the division, lies on the Sandusky River, and is not only the center of the agricultural district surrounding it, but a noted glass manufacturing point.

Beyond the crossing of the Portage River, near Woodville Station, one enters the valley of the Maumee, which was noted as the northern end of the Indian trail from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi Valley. Canoes were paddled up the Maumee to near Fort Wayne; thence by a short carry to the Wabash, an all-water route for hundreds of miles was obtained.

It was along the Maumee, which is crossed just before Toledo Station is reached, that many noted fights with the Indians were waged in the campaign of 1794, when General Anthony Wayne utterly routed the Miamis at the battle of Fallen Timbers.

Toledo is one of the chief cities of Northern Ohio and one of the principal seaports on Lake Erie. As a producer of iron and steel, and the varied products of these two staples; of plate glass and fine art glass; of vehicles of all kinds, including wagons, carriages, automobiles, and bicycles, it is well known.

While it is probably true that the first actual settlement on the site now occupied by Toledo was made by the French, who invaded this section of the country in the early days of the eighteenth century, the first historic event was the erection of Fort Necessity, at the junction of the Maumee and Swan Creek, in which, in 1805, a treaty of peace was made between the Indians and the United States, by which the Red Men yielded final title to the "Fire Lands," claimed by the citizens of Groton and New London, Conn., as recompense for the burning of these two towns by the British during the Revolution.

The first actual settlement was made in 1817 at the mouth of Swan Creek, but it did not last. A second attempt was made in 1832 by Major Stickney, and after some rivalry between the two villages, which were a mile apart, a consolidation was effected, and the united town named Toledo at the suggestion of Willard J. Daniels, because no other town in the United States bore such a name, and it was euphonious.

The city's growth was slow until the opening of the Wabash and Erie Canal in 1843, when it began to increase in size and importance, and to-day it stands well to the forefront of the business world, with a population approximating 187,000 persons.

The city itself is well laid out with wide streets, many of them well shaded by old forest trees. It has a park system of nearly 900 acres. The wharves, with the enormous grain elevators, where is received the bumper crops of grains from the great Northwest, are always interesting to visitors to the city.

There are a number of important buildings in the city, notably the Lucas County Courthouse and the Toledo State Hospital for the Insane. Detroit, the terminus of through cars from Pittsburgh and the East, with a population of 537,650, is noted as the greatest automobile center in the world. Through the Detroit River is carried almost the entire tonnage of the Great Lakes.

Detroit was first settled by Cadillac on July 24, 1701, when Fort Ponchartrain was built. Taken over then by the English in 1760, the post was bitterly besieged by Pontiac from May 9 to October 12, 1763. The town was entirely destroyed by fire in 1805; then rebuilt and became the capital of the territory. In 1847 the capital was removed to Lansing.