an all volunteer, 501C3, organization dedicated to the education,
preservation and promotion
the rich heritage of the greater Clinton area and its role along the
Ohio & Erie Canal Corridor.
Summit County, Ohio 44216
of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall
VILLAGE OF CLINTON
CANAL TOWN AND PROUD OF IT!" That pretty well sums up this now
quiet little village that owes its beginnings and character to the
Ohio & Erie Canal. "One of the most historic communities in
the Akron/Canton area" it is, as near as possible, an unmatched
look into the past of the historic Canal Era.
simply cannot stand in this village, today, much the same as it was
one hundred and fifty plus years ago, and not have an overwhelming
sensation of its storied past. Its heritage speaks of the canal from
every shadow of the historic landscape. It tells how this community
came into being because "a canal ran through it"; what
previous generations dreamed of and what they achieved.
Clinton owes its early brawling boomtown character to the Ohio &
Erie Canal, today, nestled among the foothills of the extreme
southwestern tip of Summit County; it has a natural resource not
found in many places...
CLINTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY stands passionate in their vision and
commitment to provide leadership and service to the community,
thereby fostering both historical and recreational interest.
are headquartered in the pre-civil war Rhoads-Harter House located
in one of the two Historic Districts listed on the National Register.
is our intent to offer quality programs, in conjunction with our
history that will be instrumental in shaping the future social,
cultural and economic climate of the greater Clinton area.
are an extremely ambitious group, totally dedicated to do whatever
it takes to develop our plan and manage all resources entrusted to us
with integrity, accountability and unselfishness.
YOU JOIN US?
Farmers Milling Company located at the corner of Water and North Streets.
burned to the ground during a raging fire July 5th 1909 that
destroyed the North Street business district.
small crossroads of a village now known as Clinton has a past as
intriguing as the canal that flowed through it. The land belonged to
the Indians until 1807 when land west of the Tuscarawas River was
added to Franklin Township. Settlers were attracted to the rich soil,
the river and the Chippewa Creek water supply. Like most communities,
Clinton was shaped and its identity defined by the history that
Village was laid out in 1816 and grew in a slow, quiet fashion until
1827 when the Canal Builders arrived. A flood of residents from
everywhere poured in. Doctors, Lawyers, Merchants and Farmers
flourished along the canal. Homes, Stores, Taverns and Warehouses
were hammered together above the swampy soil and the village grew up
overnight. Clinton became the business and transportation center for
several counties. Between the years of 1827 and 1840 Clinton rivaled
Akron as the coming big city along the canal corridor.
histories also note that the Clinton area provided assistance to
runaway slaves during the antebellum era. Many African-Americans
worked as boatmen and muleskinners. A common passage through Ohio for
runaway slaves was situated just west of the village in a heavily
wooded area called "Chestnut Ridge".
the canal business was still flourishing, Clinton was blessed with a
second boom, the discovery of Bituminous Coal, which undershot the
entire area. Shipping to Akron and Cleveland via the canal was a
businessman's dream. Deals were made and an army of Miners descended
upon the area. Saturday nights, guns were more prevalent than baths
as Main Street surged with fights, shootings and cuttings.
the coming of the "Iron Horse" canal business dwindled and
the boom days ended in the 1880's. The canal was in need of major and
costly repairs to continue to function efficiently. A feeble attempt
to overhaul the system failed and tolls no longer covered expenses.
Already in a decline, the 1903 flood left destruction which despite
tries at restoration; it was unable to recover, attracting only
Crew repairing the canal in 1909
as water played a role in the birth of the canal, so it played just
as an important part in its demise. A record snowfall followed by
record heavy spring rains filled all reservoirs to excess, spilling
over into the canal, destroying aqueducts and everything else in its
path. This second flood in 1913, the worst in Ohio history had again
destroyed the canal. As water raged, miles of towpath and banks were
lost. Some locks had to be dynamited to decrease the danger.
Street looking east - 1913
devastation combined with declining usage could not justify the
major flood proclaimed the end of the Ohio & Erie Canal as a