: This photograph shows a sailboat cruising along the shores of Lake Erie, ca. 1960-1970s. The shoreline and trees frame the image of the lone sailboat, which is seen at a distance.
Lake Erie, one of North America’s Great Lakes, forms most of Ohio's northern boundary. During the 1700s and 1800s, Lake Erie provided a quick means of transportation for fur traders as well as settlers hoping to improve their fortunes in the Ohio Country. Its importance grew during the 1810s and the 1820s as Americans began to build canals. The completion of the Erie Canal, which connected the Hudson River in New York with Lake Erie, provided the first navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Upper Midwest. The Erie Canal system gave Ohio farmers a relatively quick and inexpensive route to transport their products to market. Thanks to its location on Lake Erie, Cleveland quickly grew to become one of the state’s leading industrial centers.
During the War of 1812, both the English and the American armies and navies hoped to gain exclusive control over the lake. The side that controlled Lake Erie would have an easier time sending troops and supplies in an invasion of the enemy's territory. On September 10, 1813, at the Battle of Lake Erie, an American fleet under the command of Oliver Hazard Perry defeated a British fleet, securing control of the lake for the United States. The victory eliminated England's threat to the American Northwest. Lake Erie also served as parts of boundaries in treaties between the United States and the Indians during the late 1700s and the early 1800s. Among the most important of these agreements was the Treaty of Greeneville (1795).
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06654 Subjects
: Erie, Lake, Coast (Ohio); Great Lakes (North America); Boats; Lake Erie Islands (Ohio); Sailboats; Sailing Places
: Marblehead (Ohio); Ottawa County (Ohio)