The History of Conneaut, Ohio Established in 1747

Home  »  Conneaut's History  »  The History of Conneaut, Ohio
Jan 12, 2012 48 Comments ›› Historic Conneaut

The City of Conneaut is located on an old Native American trail, later used by early westbound pioneers. The word conneaut comes from the Seneca language, and has a disputed meaning. A Mississauga village was located at or near Conneaut, c. 1747. The city has been operated under a council-manager government since 1992. The current city manager is Timothy Eggleston. It is a mixture of urban areas and rural farmland. The city’s historic business district and its harbor business district are not as thriving as in the past. However new management within the city’s structure brings promise to the area as it looks to thrive on the local community.

Industry related to the shipping of ores.

Conneaut was originally named “Salem”, and the parts surrounding it were named “Lakeville” from 1944–1964, though these were eventually combined into what is now known as “Conneaut”. People still refer to parts of Conneaut as Lakeville or Amboy.

Geography

Conneaut is located in the northeasternmost corner of Ohio, bordering the state of Pennsylvania to the east and has 27 square miles (70 km2) within its corporate city limits. The city has over seven miles (11 km) of shoreline along Lake Erie, with beaches, boating facilities and a healthy summer tourist trade. Transportation services Conneaut via Interstate 90, which bisects the city, along with an international shipping port and three railroads. Major industries within the city include CSP of Ohio (formerly Venture Industries), General Aluminum (automotive parts), and CW Ohio (windows and pillars). Conneaut is located at 41°56′36″N 80°34′10″W (41.943313, -80.569476).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.4 square miles (68.5 km²), of which, 26.4 square miles (68.3 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.23%) is water. Conneaut is situated along Lake Erie at the mouth of Conneaut Creek.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 12,485 people, 5,038 households, and 3,410 families residing in the city. The population density was 473.4 people per square mile (182.8/km²). There were 5,710 housing units at an average density of 216.5/sq mi (83.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.33% White, 1.12% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.23% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population. 19.7% were of German, 16.0% Italian, 13.7% English, 12.0% Irish, 6.2% American and 6.2% Finnish ancestry according to Census 2000.

Government

The government for the City of Conneaut is comprised of a City Manager, who oversees and manages the day-to-day functions and operations of the City, and a City Council. City Council serves as the legislative arm of the City, and makes public policy and guides the direction of the City of Conneaut. The City Manager serves as the CEO of the City.

References

Wikipedia.com

Have Conneaut History Knowledge?

Tell us your knowledge of Conneaut history by leaving a comment. There’s limited information about Conneaut’s history on the internet and it’d be great to change that. Thanks!!


Comments

  1. Bruce Pennington says:

    I am from South Carolina and visit your city at least once or twice a year. It would be great to have a boat that would take visitors out on the lake and offer sun setting dinners.

  2. William Lillie says:

    My folks and sister were all born in Conneaut. Looking back at the pictures of them when they were young (they are all gone now, I’m the only one left) is fun and interesting. It would be awesome to be able to post and view family photos of the by-gone era in and around Conneaut and maybe touch base with new generations of families who are still in there. I was born in Lorain, Ohio (and later moved out of state) but we visited Conneaut many times when I was a kid (1950s and 1960s) and had big gatherings of friends and family.

    • Dale Griffis says:

      There are plans for a B&B that will take visitors to surrounding attractions to include dinner boat out of Erie, PA. Check back next summer for updates.

  3. Mike Champlin says:

    what are the disputed meanings of the name Conneaut

    • Louise Legeza says:

      The meaning will be in the upcoming set of history books about the Conneaut Area, plus much much more. I have studied and gathered local history since mid-late 1960s. I would love to talk to a lot of you whose families lived here way back when (1800s-1900-1960). I am a Cleveland native and fell in love w/Conneaut after my parents moved to Monroe in 1948. Am a grad of CHS 1953. I became friends with John Albert Tyler and Maxzine Morgan in the 1960s. John spurred on my interest and before he passed away gave me his remaining photograph collection in the presence and with the knowledge and blessings of his daughters. A lot of his collection had disappeared while he was ill in bed and home bound. Maxzine was a writer for the Erie Times News and her work, mostly local PR, appeared in their special Sun. edition that circulated in Conneaut on that day. She did on occasion write history too. She was an invalid and John helped her out in some ways. This set of books will be dedicated to Mazine and John as well as our families. For definition of “our” see my other reply posts. Readers will be in for some big surprises when the set comes out eventually. Vol. 1 and 2 are in the works, despite the fact that I (and the co-author/friend) are too busy, w/me working part time 2 jobs.

  4. brenda pavlisin says:

    The disputed meanings as I know them are: Conneaut means either,River of Many Fish, Or Where The Snow Stays Late In Spring.

  5. Jane Black says:

    My parents published the Conneaut Ad-News in the early 1950′s.It was a weekly paper.In 1953 they printed the Conneaut Sesquicentennial book and
    gave them away all over town.Perhaps that would be a great history scavenger
    hunt-looking for early 1950′s-1960′s periodicals,pictures,newspapers,etc.
    There was a very popular music store where you could go in and buy sheet
    music and records,instruments.They had booths where you could play the records before you bought them.
    The skating rink was down by the lake and had wooden floors.That was there
    when my parents were young.
    Hope a little remeniecing was some of what you were seeking.

    • Gary Phillips says:

      I have one of those 1953 books.

      My Dad told me it was “the law” that year that all the local men were to grow beards. They could be “fined” otherwise!

      (I’ve had mine 40 years now.)

    • Louise Legeza says:

      Right on Jane with the bits about the music store and skating rink. Interesting to know about the Conneaut Ad-News. I have a copy of the Sewqui…. bookl as I was in it as a queen contestant. Were you by any chance a Hollingshead? I don’t know who published the book but I do know that Mr. Hollingshead, whose main job was at the dock, worked in supply store there in 1947 and later became a printer and worked from home. I had something printed by him and have a tiny story about him and a woman friend of mine, long now deceased. One time she went to his shop and they learned something about each other. Don’t now accurately remember what it was, either that they were related (she was from VA) or they went to the same school in VA, but both at that time (about 1970′s) lived in Conneaut.

  6. Kelly (Salisbury) Daniels says:

    My grandparents generation (Salisbury’s) were all born in Conneaut. We have pictures of the old homestead, as well as pictures of a train crash behind their old farm – the pictures are dated 1905. My great grandfather worked for Bessamer Railroad Company. Also have original newspaper articles – mostly on relatives who passed away. I’m happy to share if you are interested? Also have old land ownership maps, census data, and a book called The History of Ashtabula County – our Salisbury family is mentioned in there. My g-g-g-grandfather built the old flouring mill – also sailed on several vessels (Capt. Oney Salisbury). The family (50 of us or more) are all hoping to come up and visit next summer for a reunion. Any suggestions on where to stay – or a park/RV type place to stay?

    • Michael Zang says:

      Hello, I just came back from a stay a Virgina’s beach camp ground in my motor home. It is located just about 8 miles east of conneaut in Pa. It is right on the lake, a great place. They have a web site that you can go to. Mike

    • Gary Phillips says:

      I grew up at 1375 West Lake Road. For a number of teenage years I mowed, painted, shoveled snow, etc. for the Tuttle family of Pittsburgh. They were then owners of the great big white house with the REALLY, REALLY long back yard at the north end of SALISBURY ROAD.

      I had always heard that this home was originally built for a Captain Salisbury and that the road was named after him as he was one of the first to settle on the west end in that area.

      Would that be YOUR g-g-g-grandfather?

    • Rob Mummey says:

      Hi Kelly. I lived in Conneaut from the 1966 to 1987. How my family ended up there is when my Dad worked for the US Army Corps Of Engineers and they built the break walls in the harbor that year. My Mom liked the town so much, we decided to stay there instead of returning to Oswego, NY. As a kid there, I used to go to Doc & Cottons Antique Store and find old post cards, pictures and news papers about Conneaut in the early days. I’d Love to see any old pictures you may have. I still collect old post cards, Pop bottles that were bottled in Conneaut and etc. I recently just purchased 2 CHS Tattlers from 1952-53 that I found on eBay. I’d really love to see what you have. Take care.
      Rob Mummey

      • Louise Legeza says:

        Rob, I frequented Doc and Cotton’s for a while also and we bought our first furniture from there, $25 for a neat old chest. I have been into local postcards etc. too. Several of us ought to get together and share stories etc.

    • Sandi Ogren says:

      Where was the flourmill?/ Also did any of them live on Old Mill Rd(Org.Rt.7) I have a picture of a house on Old Mill That supposedly belonged to a Salisbury..

    • Louise Legeza says:

      Re-reading your post again. Did you get up here the summer of 2013? The Salisbury house wasn’t very far from mine on the Lake Rd. I have a picture or two of the demolition being done on the house, still in my camera. I think I know where the front door is if you are interested. A Kingsville man collects such things and re-sells them some times, other times uses them himself.

      I’d be interested in talking to you. 440-599-2157 see another post about my hearing and phones. People need talk to me slower and directly into the mouth piece on a land line. It would be best if who ever calls starts the conversation with: “I’m calling about Conneaut history and your posts on the Conneaut Gov. website.” Then we could go from there.

    • John Tinney says:

      My relatives, the Tinney’s were from Conneaut. My g-grandfather was Chief of Police in the early 1900′s. He was Edward Tinney. One of his sons (Edward T. Tinn
      ey) was killed in a train accident in Wallace Junction, PA? They lived at 375 Mill St.
      Back further in time, my g-g-grandmother’s sister, Bridget Quinn , maried a Gaffney who built or ran the Gaffney Hotel on Mill St. by the RR tracks.
      I have a picture of my grandfather and his classmates sitting on the steps of the old St Mary’s School which I believe has been torn down and replaced. It is around the year 1910.
      Trying to find a picture of the Police Chief. My parents and grandfather saw it at a museum in the 80′s?, when they went to see his birthplace. Any help or info I can get would be appreciated. Thanks for the site.

  7. I think what makes history to such a wonderful place are the memories shared by the people who has lived in Conneaut. I have been there twice and it’s a place to call home. Amazing people, wonderful place! :)

  8. The History of Ashtabula County is so cool for me.good

  9. Douglas W Bell says:

    Re the history of Conneaut my parents Howard and Margaret Bell were residents of conneaut up untl they had to seek employment elsewhere I believe my father was a graduate of CHS in 1927, I was trying to reseach the recordsof the high school but apparently none is available . My grandmother (Fern D. Bell) was a registered nurse at brown memorial hospital, and my grandfather had a denistry business on liberty street his name was George F. Bell. It would be interesting if anyone remembers or had known them personnaly. I also spent several summers at the aunts residence her name was Gertude Redding she ran a local resturant for several years before moving to Calif.

    • Louise Legeza says:

      I hope you already know, but in case you don’t, the old Salisbury house is gone. It ‘s a shame, it was one of the earliest homes along Lake Rd. still standing, older even than my old home. I am working on a SET of Conneaut Area history books, have many pics etc. Of course Oney etc. are going to be in it. Have a huge amount of history. I’d be happy to talk to you about old times. My home phone is: 440-599-2157. I am VERY hard of hearing and have other hearing problems, so if you call, speak slowly and directly into the mouth piece. Hopefully it would be on a land line phone as it is harder for me to hear when people call me on cell phones. If you would like me to call you, please leave a reply re how I can contact you. I have been involved in other writing projects.

  10. John Gray says:

    Can anyone tell me where the nickel plate hotel used to be located.

    • Jane Greenfield says:

      At the link below, you can see a photograph and newspaper article about the Nickel Plate Hotel, which was apparently located at 307 Chestnut Street. After 65 years of service to railroad men, it was sold to The Hercules Packing Corp. on Madison Street.

      riverrun.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2075450

    • Duke Lebzelter says:

      John, it used to be on 307 Chestnut St. Hercules Packing Corp. then purchased the property. Mr. and Mrs. CR Wimer, owners of the hotel since the 1940′s, were forced to sell the building because the unemployment rate among the Nickle Plate RR employees were too high to sustain the business. This according to an undated newspaper excerpt.

  11. Rob Mummey says:

    I recently purchased two Conneaut High School Tattlers from 1952 – 1953. They were owned by a man named Lee Govin CHS Class of 53. Does anyone have any knowledge of who this man is and what happened to him? I feel that if he has family or if he’s still alive, they might want these Tattlers. I feel that this is a family heirloom that should be treasured. The people I bought them from do not have any idea who Lee is.

  12. Dr. Craig Shoemaker says:

    I grew up in the 50s and 60s in Conneaut. In the harbor, on Broad Street, stood an old, stone building referred to as the “Workers Hall.” I have often wondered about its history. I would appreciate an information and/or insight you might have on the history of the building or movement.

    Dr. Craig Shoemaker

    • Jane Greenfield says:

      John Kolehmainen’s book titled “A History of the Finns in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia” provides detailed information about Finnish-American Socialism and Conneaut’s involvement in the movement. In 1906, the Socialist movement in Conneaut received a charter from the State Socialist Party, and the Workers Hall was built in 1911 at the corner of Broad and Pearl Streets. It contained a stage for dramatic and musical performances and was a focal point for social activities of the Finnish community, such as athletic clubs, sewing circles, and educational pursuits. Apparently, the immigrant working class movement in general achieved more in the social, educational and cultural areas than in politics, although it encouraged naturalization and participation in politics and helped to increase the number of voting citizens. The book contains photographs, including one of the Conneaut Socialist Workers Hall and other places of interest in Conneaut and Northern Ohio.

  13. Tom O'Grady says:

    I am interested in information or a photo of an old bank building in Conneaut. It was the Smith bank built by LT Scofield. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
    Tom O’Grady

  14. Diana says:

    Hello, i’m trying to find information about the Silver Diner that was located in Conneaut, Ohio., so I was told. This restaurant would have been there during the 1930′s-1940′s. Has anyone ever heard of this place? My Grandfather Frank Auger was the owner. Just curios, he passed away before I was born. Most of the oriiginal family were in Toledo at that tme. Thank you if you have the inclination to help with this search. Diana Sullivan

    • Bill Schor says:

      Hello,

      I grew up in Conneaut from 1946 – 1965. Vietnam took me far away from Conneaut and I never returned. I’ve eaten at the Silver Diner many times as a child. We called it the greasy spoon. It was owned by the Simmons family.

  15. Onno Vocks says:

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll forward this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a great read. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Jim Donnelly says:

    The Silver Diner was on State Street near St. Mary’s church. The building still stands today.

  17. Priest says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely feel this site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

    • Gary Bowers says:

      I agree that this site needs attention. I just found it and was amazed that there are so few postings.

      Anyone interested, I have a yahoo group set up for CHS and RHS alumni. Do a search on Yahoo Groups, then Conneaut classmates. Join for free.

  18. cathy says:

    hello. I visit Conneaut yearly, staying with friends who are second generation cottage owners and would love love to learn more about it’s heyday as a vacation destination for the many families and the mutliple generations who summered there. I’m also fascinated by the lake and it’s shoreline, as well as local lore regarding fighting the erosion of it. Actually, I can’t think of anything I don’t want to know about the area :) I would like to track down people who recall staying in the cabins which are located by the christian camp on lake road, especially the mysterious cabin 17 on the water.

  19. Louise Legeza says:

    This has been interesting reading and am glad so many of you are interested in these subjects. See my reply to Kellie (way above) re a set of Conneaut history books my best friend (Martha) and I are working on for the Conneaut Area. I got this idea back in late 1960s and have researched and gathered and bought things I would need for the set. I have a huge amount of info. Best friend and I are age 78/79 and were involved with writing some of the text for two of Dr. Sing’s coffee table photo books (modern pics). I was the head of a HUGE project in the 1980′s writing a book called “Ashtabula County, Then and Now” (long sold out!) but in libraries, it is over 600 pages. Martha and I also wrote, for the CHS Alum group, a book titled “Conneaut High School 100+ years. It is over 200 pages with lot of photos of school & people, and very interesting text. Also sold out. The pics in it aren’t the best as the printer did not do a good job on the pics. But the text is VERY interesting. Most local libraries have the County “Then and Now,” book but I don’t know about whether they have the CHS 100+ book. I do know that Geneva Public Library has the CHS 100+ book. It is in the genealogy dept. but doesn’t circulate since nothing in genealogy circulates. We wish we could reprint at least the text part of the 100+ book. But the “Then and Now” set is most important.

  20. Louise Legeza says:

    This has been interesting reading and am glad so many of you are interested in these subjects. See my reply to Kellie (way above) re a set of Conneaut history books my best friend (Martha) and I are working on for the Conneaut Area. I got this idea back in late 1960s and have researched and gathered and bought things I would need for the set. I have a huge amount of info. Best friend and I are age 78/79 and were involved with writing some of the text for two of Dr. Sing’s coffee table photo books (modern pics). I was the head of a HUGE project in the 1980′s writing a book called “Ashtabula County, Then and Now” (long sold out!) but in libraries, it is over 600 pages. Martha and I also wrote, for the CHS Alum group, a book titled “Conneaut High School 100+ years. It is over 200 pages with lot of photos of school & people, and very interesting text. Also sold out. The pics in it aren’t the best as the printer did not do a good job on the pics. But the text is VERY interesting. Most local libraries have the County “Then and Now,” book but I don’t know about whether they have the CHS 100+ book. I do know that Geneva Public Library has the CHS 100+ book. It is in the genealogy dept. but doesn’t circulate since nothing in genealogy circulates. We wish we could reprint at least the text part of the 100+ book. But the “Then and Now” set is most important. I also write a genealogy column weekly for the Star Beacon AND at this advanced age, work part time too!

  21. Mike Mcleod says:

    My Grandfathers body was picked up in Niagara falls after his ship sank.
    The Marquette & Bessemer 2, by a funeral director from Conneaut By the name of Leo Cunningham on April 7th 1910.
    I am wondering if his business still exists under a new owner scene he would not be alive any more.
    I am looking for my Grandfathers death certificate and may bee a list of items he may have had on him when his body was recovered any idea’s on where to look would be greatly appreciated.
    My Grandfather was John McLeod And died with his brother and whole crew on the Marquette& Bessemer.
    Thank You
    Mike McLeod

    • Sue Carberry says:

      I am assuming that you might already have a reply. Cunningham’s Funeral Home is now Raisin’s.

      • Nick Sanford says:

        Actually, Cunningham’s Funeral Home was at the corner of Orange and State Street, near St. Mary’s. The building is still there, home to a hair salon. I presume that upon Leo Cunningham’s death the business closed (based on stacks of old funeral cards belonging to my grandparents, I’d date this at about the early 1960s). Raisian Family Funeral Home has been in business since the early 1950s in the same building on Harbor and 12th Streets.

  22. Kim Clemons says:

    I was wondering if anyone remembers Doris and Gail Flick and Jack and Rita Koster from the late 50′s and early 60′s?

    There was a City Loan Ofificemat one time?

    I was born at Brown Memorial in 1958

  23. John Tinney says:

    My great grandfather was Chief of Police for Conneaut in the early 1900′s. His name was Edward Tinney. One of his sons, Edward T. Tinney was killed in a train accident in Wallace Junction, PA? about 1917. I believe they lived at 375 Mill St.
    My gggrandfather came from Ireland. His wife was Ann Quinn. Her sister Bridget was married to a Gaffney who had the Gaffney Hotel on Mill St. by the RR tracks. I have a picture of my grandfather as a child on the steps of the St.Mary’s School with his classmates. I am glad I found this site. I am trying to fill in some blank spots in the family history. Most of what I have found has come from St Mary’s Catholic Church. I have had a lot of help from the Conneaut community when our family has visited. Thanks. If anyone has info on my relatives, I appreciate all the help I can get.

  24. Barb Fisher says:

    We moved to Conneaut in 1944. I lived at Tarry-A-While on Lake Road. The actual hotel was behind the house you see today. The entire property encompasses the southside of Lake Road from Millard Avenue back to Detroit Street on the east, and Lakeview Avenue to Detroit on the west. The parcel on the north side down to the lakefront is also part of the Tarry-A-While property. My maiden name was Angle and my Dad was a sales engineer for the Astatic. I graduated from CHS in 1960.

  25. Paula Wagoner says:

    Diana,
    My stepmother Virginia (Wakeman) Wagoner was a waitress at the Silver Diner in the 1950s. It was then owned by Paul and Needa Simmons. She met my father, Ray Wagoner there. I worked there briefly around 1967. It was a real diner!
    Paula Wagoner

  26. bart woloson says:

    You need to investigate the relationship of two families to Conneaut:
    Benjamin Franklin Wade was President Pro Tem of the Senate during the Civil War and the principal abolitionist. He was part of the group impeaching Pres. Johnson and would have been President of the USA if the trial had won (lost by one vote).

    Samuel Ward and his brother Eber lived here for several years in the 1830s. Eber’s children were sent back to Conneaut for education after the families moved to Detroit/Newport, MI. Eber Brock Ward married Kate Lyon in Conneaut in 1869. She was a niece of Ben Wade . EB Ward was the richest man in Michigan at the time and Kate Lyon inherited his lumber fortune and continued to summer in Conneaut.

  27. Eva Carducci says:

    I remember most fondly my grandparents house right across the street from the pharmacy. Cobblestone or brick roads, 1 traffic light in the town & the swing my sisters & I would climb into & watch the cars go by back in the day. I also remember living next to a pizzeria that had the best pizza. My aunt & grandmother both cooked some great original italian food. My grandfather would take me to Lake Erie where he had some concession stands. I was very young but remember it well & my uncle would play piano & sing. Simple times, happy times.

  28. Brenda Hall Kresse says:

    I was raised in Conneaut during the 60′s and 70′s. It was a great city to raise a family. Anything seemed possible to achieve: even for small town kids! I was blessed to receive a George Record scholarship for 4 years to Wittenberg University. I did indeed become a History teacher. My question is this: Can anyone fill me in on the Geo. Record family and their contributions to the city? Is the family still involved with the community in any way? I grew up in the shadows of the old Cummins canning factory. Can anyone fill me in on that family and their contributions to the city as well? I love this site and will be checking in. I want to share my childhood and roots with my own children. Any information is appreciated!

Leave a Reply