Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Girdled Road

From Papers and letters received by the Western Reserve and Northern Ohio Historical Society, 1879, pp. 101-02:

This appeared on HeritageQuest Online and was transcribed by Cynthia Turk. .

Northern Ohio Historical Society
TRACT NO. 49–October, 1879.

TALLMADGE, June 7, 1879.

COLONEL WHITTLESSEY, President of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Sir:— I send you my notes respecting the "Gridled Road:"

On February 23d, 1797, the Connecti-cut Land Company appointed a committee whose report is as follows: To the Gentlemen, Proprietors of the Con-necticut Company, in meeting at Hartford, Connecticut:

Your Committee appointed to inquire into the expediency of laying and cutting out roads on the Reserve,


That in their opinion it will be expedient to lay out and cut out, a road from Pennsylva-nia to the City of Cleaveland, the small stuff to be cut out: 25 feet wide, and the timber to be girdled 33 feet wide, and sufficient bridges thrown over the streams as are not fordable, the said road to begin in Township No. 13 in the first Range at the Pennsylvania line, and to run westerly through township No. 12 in the second range, No. 12 in the third range, No. 11 in the fourth range, to the Indian ford at the bend of Grand river; thence through township No. 11 in the fifth, and also No. 10 in the fifth range, No. 10 in the sixth range, No. 10 in the seventh range, No. 10 in the eighth range, and the northwest part of No. 9 in the ninth range, to the Chagrin river, where a large creek enters it from the east; and from the crossing of the Chagrin the most direct way to the middle highway, leading from the city of Cleaveland to the hundred-acre lots. Submitted with respect by

JOSEPH PERKINS,         Committee
HARTFORD, Jan. 30, 1798

This road was cut out and the timber gir-dled according to the recommendation of the committee. It is known in Leroy and Con-cord in Lake county, as the "Girdled Road." The lots of land were surveyed to this road, and the early deeds given were bounded on it in the above mentioned townships. If an investigation was made it might be found the same in the other townships. I have given this subject some attention: I will give you the results: From a little west of the village of Willoughby to Cleveland, it ran on or near the present traveled road. The middle high-way which is mentioned in the report of the committee, is Euclid street. That this was the first road that was laid out and cut out on the Western Reserve, there is no doubt. This was all done at the expense of the Con-necticut Land Company. The present names of the townships this road passed through, beginning at the Pennsylvania line are as follows: The first is Conneaut; the second Sheffield; the third Plymouth; the fourth Austinburg, and in this town was the bend of Grand river, and the Indian Ford, also the location of Austin Mills, at this time known as Mechanichsville. The fifth town Harper-field, crossing the southeast corner of the town. Thence crossing the northwest corner of the sixth township which is Trumbull. Crossing the county line into the seventh township which is Thompson in Geauga county. Thence into Leroy, in the county of Lake, which is the eighth township. The ninth township is Concord; the report says across the northwest part of No. 9 in the ninth range, Kirtland. I have met several persons of our age whose fathers were the early pioneers, but there is a difference of opinion; in Thompson where it is vacated but is easily traced in the timber land. What is known as the plank road leading from Painesville to Warren, at a point about three-fourths of a mile southeast of Warren Mills, in Leroy, is the Girdled Road, to the forks of the road west of the Brakeman Meeting House, in the south part of Leroy. From the
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forks of the road above mentioned, it is traveled at the present time, to where it crosses the state road from Painesville through Hampden to Warren. From there west it is not much traveled for a mile or two. It crossed the road leading from Paines-ville to Chardon, about a mile south of Wil-son's Corners at a place fifty years ago called the Log Tavern. East of the Corners about 40 or 50 rods, Messrs. Thomas Murray and Willis Woodruff, pointed out the spot known in the early days as "Perkins' Camp." It was in the log cabin of Richard Gifford that the first election for the northern district of Trumbull county, for the townships of Richfield, Middlefield, Painesville and Cleaveland for a delegate to the Territorial Legislature and also delegates to the Constitutional Convention on the second Tuesday of October, 1802, was held. I have correct information that three persons whom we personally knew voted at "Perkins' Camp," viz.: Captain John Wright and John Wright, Jr., from Morgan, and Ephraim Clark, Jr, at that time living in Burton. Just think of it, how dear the right of suffrage must have been to these hardy pioneers to go from Conneaut, from Cleaveland and as far south as Burton and Messopotamia on foot to vote! Think of the hardships some endure at the present day to go as many rods as they went miles! Moses Cleaveland, Joseph Perkins, and Daniel L. Coit, by Simon Perkins, Agent, deeded to Richard Gifford 68 50-100 acres, lot No. 4 Concord, on the road cut out from the Cuyahoga to the Pennsylvania line, being on the south side of said road, dated November 10th, 1803. June 1st, 1876 in company with Messrs. Murray & Woodruff we traveled on the "Girdled Road" west from the road lead-ing from Painesville to Chardon. Mr. Wood-ruff said: He came from Colebrook Corners in 1822, and bought his land of General Per-kins on the south side which was deeded to the south side of the "Girdled Road." Mr. Woodruff says that when he bought there was a very thrifty growth of young timber where the timber had been cut and girdled twenty-five years before. After passing Mr. Woodruff's residence the road is still traveled until it strikes the town line between Concord and Chardon, a mile or more east of the corner of the towns. From this point the road is vacated across the farm of Mr. Webster and over Little Mountain. Mr. Webster lives in Chardon township, and on going across [his] farm into the woods the trace of the [road] was found easily and followed across the mountain by the timber. There are breaks in the ledge on each side which make it comparatively easy to get on to the broad plateau on the top. South of all the buildings it goes off the Mountain on the west side near the residence of Edwin Ferris, Esq. From there to Chagrin there does not appear to be any one that can locate the road at all as yet. Thinking there might be some things of historical interest to you, I send it for what it is worth.     Yours truly,

          C. C. BRONSON.

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