Last week I mentioned the fact that this year marks the bicentennial of the settlement of several townships in our area. The townships were surveyed in 1808 and the sufferers' claims were allotted out late in 1808. This allowed a landowner to sell a farm to an actual settler.
Actually, most of the first settlers who came here to the western edge of civilization were at first "squatters" who built a cabin and cleared a small farm on someone's land, and then tried to but the land when they could learn who owned it. This was commonly used, and sometimes they "squatted" on a tract of land with the approval of the absent landowner.
I made the statement in the last paragraph that Huron and Erie counties were at the edge of civilization. Actually, they were several miles beyond the edge of civilization. The closest doctor was in Cleveland, and there was just one store south of Huron on the east side of the river. A number of the earliest residents came here in the spring, cleared and improved their little farm and then returned to the east for the winter season.
It's difficult to determine exactly where and when the first settlement was made. When Americans arrived at Huron in 1809 they found a few people living there already, and John B. Flamand had his trading post along the river. There were Moravian Indians and their missionaries living at Milan even before 1808, and they welcomed the Americans in 1809.