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History of Wakeman, (Huron County) Ohio
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Local History Notes:
On the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern RR and US auto route 20, eleven miles east of Norwalk, is the village of Wakeman (population 452). It is also on auto route 60 and the Vermilion River. It is in a beautiful region. The Vermilion River enters the township from the south, runs a crooked course and leaves the township a short distance west of the township line. Other streams of the township are Brandy Creek and LaChapelle. The latter is said to have been discovered by a Frenchman long before the first settlers located here.
Until February, 1824, Wakeman was attached to Florence Township. In that year it was set off and organized independently. Mention has been made of the school which Mrs Clark taught at Wakeman in the summer of 1818. The first religious service in Wakeman was conducted Jan 10, 1819 by Augustin Canfield. Marcus French kept the first public house west of the center.
The first settlers had to journey fourteen miles to Squire Merry's mill at Milan to have their grinding done. In 1823 Burton Canfield built a sawmill on the Vermilion River, east of Wakeman, and a grist mill the following year. Elder Canfield took the job of making the millstones, but the contract price of $35 yielded him a very small wage, for the stone wasw much harder than he had anticipated.
The schoolhouse which Augustin Canfield built on his farm in 1820 was also used as a house of worship. In 1829 the Wakeman people had a weekly mail service, the route from Grafton being extended to Norwalk. There was so little mail at first that the carrier used a large pocketbook, but presently it increased and he secured a more capacious receptacle. When the postoffice was established ninety-eight years ago, Justin Sherman, who in 1817, with his family, took up his abode in the wilderness on the site of Wakeman, became the postmaster, serving for seven years. He erected the first store in Wakeman. He bought his goods in New York. They were brought by boat to Huron and from there to Wakeman by team. The first physician in the township was Dr Harmon Clark, who had been a surgeon in the US Navy during the War of 1812.
FROM: History of North Central Ohio, by William Duff. Historical Publishing Co, Topeka-Indianapolis, 1931.
Flower: scarlet carnation
Nickname: Buckeye State
Motto: With God, All Things Are Possible
Area (sq. mi.): 41,222
Admitted: 1 Mar 1803
Huron County Facts:Seat: Norwalk
Formed from: Portage and Cuyahoga
Some Historic Photographers from Wakeman
Courtesy of Classyarts.com
Additional Local History Notes:
The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin shows:
WAKEMAN, a post-township forming the N. E. extremity of Huron co., Ohio, intersected by the Vermilion river, and the Cleveland, Norwalk, and Toledo railroad. Pop., 704.
Wakeman is situated 253 meters above sea level.