Western Reserve, tract of land in NE Ohio, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, retained by Connecticut in 1786 when it ceded its claims to its western lands (see Northwest Territory). In 1792, Connecticut gave 500,000 acres (202,350 hectares), called "firelands," to citizens whose property was burned during the American Revolution. The Connecticut Land Company bought (1795) the remaining land, and Cleveland was established (1796) as the first permanent settlement in the reserve. In 1800 the reserve gained government when it was included in the Northwest Territory as Trumbull co.; later this region was divided into 10 counties and parts of 4 others. The chief cities are Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Ashtabula, Lorain, and Sandusky.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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