contentsMaumeeads

History

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Situated on the banks of the Maumee River at the foot of the rapids, was the site of several significant military confrontations between British, Native Americanand American forces.

The victory of General “Mad” Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in the summer of 1794, secured the area for Americans. The location ultimately attracted eastern speculators and settlers seeking opportunities in the west and a city was platted in 1817.

In the beginning, the Maumee River was the focus of economic activity and Maumee soon emerged as a major ship building center and river port. In 1837, construction was begun on the Wabash and Erie Canal and Maumee was designated as a terminus. The Canal was located where the Anthony Wayne Trail is now. During the height of economic activity, Maumee gained the customhouse, federal post office and the County Seat of Justice.

By the mid-nineteenth century, Maumee lost the economic and political race to Toledo and for many years remained a typical small Midwestern town. All that would begin to change with the transportation and communication innovations of the twentieth century.

Maumee experienced a post World War II population boom, followed by an influx of industry, and officially became a city in 1952. As Maumee enters the 21st century, it retains its small town image and reputation as a great place to live, while providing an environment for the growth of business and industry.

Historical Landmarks

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Wolcott House
The Wolcott House was built in 1827 by James Wolcott, a Connecticut entrepreneur and his wife, Mary Wells, the daughter of noted Indian scout, William Wells and granddaughter of Chief Little Turtle. The house overlooks the Maumee River where Wolcott’s shipbuilding and wholesaling activity took place. Wolcott was an early mayor and community leader in Maumee. Today the Wolcott House complex contains seven 19th century buildingsdepicting the area from the 1800’s.

Fort Miamis
The first established fort on the Maumee River, the fort was originally built by the British on the possible site of a trading post. Eventually the British took control and transformed it into a fort during the Indian Wars of the early 1790’s. It is located on River Road at Michigan Street. The British eventually surrendered Fort Miamis to the United States in 1796, and it is now a city park.

Dudley’s Massacre
It was the fifth of May 1813 that the Americans suffered a particularly bloody and unnecessary defeat known as “Dudley’s Defeat.” It occurred during the first seige of Fort Meigs during the War of 1812. A historical marker has been placed in front of the Maumee Library on River Road.

House of Four Pillars
The Greek revival home at 322 East Broadway was built in 1835. During the pre-Civil War era the house reputedly provided refuge for fugitive slaves who made their way to the Maumee River and through a deep ravine which lead to the basement. Arthur Henry, an editor of the Toledo Blade and his wife, Maude, a pioneering woman reporter, owned the house briefly in the 1890’s. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Read up on more details of historical landmarks by visiting the city’s website at www.maumee.org/recreation/historical.html, or by stopping in at the Chamber office.

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