Bounded on the North by Sandusky Bay, on the east by Sandusky City, Perkins and Oxford townships, on the south by Groton, and on the west by Sandusky County and the Bay: range twenty-four: township six. It was formerly known as Patterson, because many years ago, before cities and villages dotted the Northern part of Ohio, while Indians still roamed over it’s broad acres and this part of Erie county was known only as a large tract of rolling land covered with oak openings, and irrigated by streams and marshes, there came to the region a man by the name of Hugh Patterson, a British Indian trader, who’s name has been since connected with the history of the township. He was not an honorable man and his influence over the Indians was extremely pernicious, as he tried to influence them to join the British against himself, he talked loudly of buying the whole township, and of course had a certain amount of influence.
There seems however, to have been among the Indians some who refused allegiance to him and in an account given by a missionary at that time, Rev. Joseph Badger, who labored among the Wyandot Indians from 1805 to 1810, the following incident is given: "On the 28th of July, 1805, the head chief Crane, sent for us to write for him. After we had taken supper, one of the women made a candle of beeswax and I seated myself on the floor beside a bench and wrote as directed by the old Chief, through an interpreter. His address was to the governor at Detroit and requested that Hugh Patterson, Williams and one other man should be removed from among them without delay, as they were contriving mischief and troubling the Indians."
The Township however, continued to bear his name until in 1812, at a meeting of the settlers of the Firelands in Huron, they resolved unanimously that it was wrong for a Township to bear the name of so infamous a man, and the choice of a name was referred to Major Frederick Falley who now held a contract to purchase this Township. As he had a mother, sister, and several nieces whose name was Margaret, he concluded to immortalize them by calling his newly acquired property Margaretta, and from henceforth, the name of Patterson sank into oblivion, and the Township was duly organized in 1815 by the commissioners of Huron County. Major Falley, Nathan Cummings and Bildad Adams. At this time it was connected with Danbury north of the Bay, but two years later Danbury had a separate organization.
The first election was held the same year. The Township contains two villages, Venice on the South side of Sandusky Bay and Castalia, both flourishing and widely known. The latter attracts to its clubhouses many of American’s largest capitalists, and the name Castalia is familiar in sporting circles as the Adirondacks or Rangely Lakes.
It scarcely seems possible that where this village now stands, formerly an Indian village occupied the ground, but the evidences and proofs of this fact are too numerous and conclusive to admit of doubt. At the time of Hull’s surrender, history tells of a general stampede that took place in this neighborhood, when men left their property and fields already planted and fled. The forts and mounds found here indicate that at some past time, Indians made this a general headquarters. The missionary to the Wyandots, Rev. Badger, was mainly instrumental in keeping these savages from taking sides against us in the War of 1812. The fort near Venice was discovered by Major Falley overgrown with underbrush and timber, but showing a double entrenchment. It has since been completely obliterated by cultivation and now no trace of it can be found.
At the time of the stampede a man named Andrews was putting in a hundred acres of wheat east of the burying grounds, when the panic occurred and after the troubles subsided he and some of the others came back and harvested their crops with guns on their backs. In 1813 there was but three houses in Cold Creek, now called Castalia, and these were owned and located as follows: Mr. Snow’s on the banks of the creek at its source, Mr. Butler’s on the opposite bank, twelve or fifteen rods east, and Mr. Putnam’s half a mile down the creek on the Prairie.
On the 2nd of June 1813, an Indian massacre created a frightful consternation in the little settlement. During the preceding month a party of Indians numbering sixteen, under Pontiac, landed at Pickerel Creek, on a war excursion and reconnoitered slyly until the right occasion offered itself, then, when the men were engaged in the fields at a good distance from the house, and the women and children (twelve in number) were gathered together in the house of Mrs. Snow, who was sick at the time, they made the attack at midday. It was a frightful affair. The Indians rushed into the room and while one seized Mrs. Putnam by the hair, a second caught hold of Mrs. Butler and a third dragged Mrs. Snow from the bed and out of the house. When they asked these women if they would go with them, they answered in the affirmative and were driven away. The children at play were also seized and two little boy’s two years old were killed and scalped. A few rods farther on, they found Julia Butler, a girl of four years who was also murdered. Mrs. Snow, unable to keep up with the others, was horribly butchered. They then plundered the houses and premises, broke all of the crockery and making a pack load of their booty, forced Harry Graves to carry it to the canoes. It was almost sundown before the men at work knew anything that had taken place. They started at once for Pipe Creek, and in the morning were joined by others and followed the trail until the dead bodies of those murdered were found, but no traces of the Indians could be discovered, and they were obliged to return and bury their dead. These were the first interments in the township.
The Indians took their captives to Detroit and gave them into the hands of the British agent, Ironsides, having suffered no violence or injury, except in being forced to walk faster than they were able. They remained in Detroit until the following Fall when they were all returned to safety. During this time, their friends heard of them, but could not communicate with them, as Detroit was in the hands of the British. Six years after this sad affair, the Indians again attacked a couple of men who were out on a trapping expedition for muskrats. They had laid down in a temporary hut after collecting a few skins, and were murdered by three straggling Ottawa's, two of whom were captured and hung in 1818.
The physical feathers of the Township are rather monotonous as are those of all prairie regions, but this monotony are varied here by streams and springs and two caves. The western half is rolling and thinly timbered, with a combination of clay, limestone and sandy soil. The northeast portion was at one time heavily timbered and had a rich muck soil with clay sub-soil that made it very productive. The second section was heavily timbered, except in the south, which was oak openings, with a gradual decent to the north. The third section is mostly prairie and used to be called a marsh, until the channel was made for Cold Creek, and by building a railroad, which has drained it and made good farming lands of it. The timber on the timberlands was mostly oak of different kinds, with a sprinkling of elm and ash, butternut, chestnut and maple. The soil is generally fertile and very productive, but occasional ridges of limestone cropping out make it in some places difficult to cultivate. The soil varies with different localities, sometimes sand with a preponderance of clay. The Township has an immense quantity of stone of a superior quality, suitable for building or paving purposes. It is well nigh (near) inexhaustible and will supply the demands for centuries.
In the early days of Ohio, wild animals abounded here, and those now living tell wonderful stories of hunting and trapping on the very spot where handsome residences now stand. Wild turkeys predominated, and were caught by the Indians in a fashion peculiarly their own, which was afterward adopted by the settlers. This was done by driving them into pens. The more honorable preferred to kill them with a rifle. Wolves had their headquarters at Cold Creek and were numerous. Deer abounded and were hunted by the pioneers, who considered this their principal diversion. Today, there remains deer, turkey, squirrels and rabbits.
A narrow slip of land belonging to this Township runs along Sandusky Bay, which is marshy and wet on the western portion, and dry or timbered on the east. When the lake is high it is overflowed with water and on the marshy side, and at other times, produces a coarse kind of grass.
Cold Creek is the most important stream in the Township, but besides this there is in the southwest corner a small stream known as Pike Creek, which runs in a northeasterly course into Perkins Township and empties into Sandusky Bay. This drains a large area and in former days, had a force that runs a couple of sawmills. There are also two other small streams strongly impregnated with mineral substances, but the one stream of importance is Cold Creek that rises near the center of the Township and finds its way to Sandusky Bay. It is scarcely over four miles long and when it took it’s natural channel flowed over level land that became the paradise for muskrats, otter and mink. It now glories in an artificial channel or millrace and has power sufficient to run several mills. Where this stream rises, it seems to boil up from a great depth in crevices of the limestone rock. Not over half a mile from this was at one time a narrow stream that had its rise in another spring. By artificial aids, this was greatly enlarged and it excavated for itself a large basis nearly fifty feet in diameter. Anyone standing on its shore could see large trees lying on the bottom, but none could guess how they came there. This was called Little Cold Creek. That the two streams had a secret connection underground no one doubted, who watched the increase of the one when the other increased, and therefore it was thought wise to connect the two. After much expense and trouble, this was done, but the result was far from satisfactory, as the waters ran in an opposite direction to that desired. Cold Creek has a fall of fifty-seven feet.
It was deemed wise to convert this water power into practical use, and the first mill was built near the head of Cold Creek in 1810 by D. P. Snow, to be used to grind corn. This was built of logs, and the stones were brought from the quarries or rocks near by and Lewis Ensign, a citizen of Groton, did the work on them. This mill ground from ten to fifteen bushels of grain in twenty-four hours. It was only used two years and in 1819 there was a mill built three quarters of a mile from the head of the stream, by Joshua Pettingill, which had a screw-wheel and ground the most of the grinding for the entire fire lands for many years.
In 1811 Major Falley raised the frame of a saw-mill where the Venice mill-race is now found, but the war of 1812 coming on, the mill was left unfinished and in 1815, it was purchased by Eli Hunt who put a saw-mill in operation with a run of stone in the corner and an apparatus for bolting. This was the first sawmill in the western part of the Fire Lands and from it the first lumber was procured.
At the same time that Major Falley began his mill, a tannery was started near the head of Venice Mills. Two years later, in 1813, he removed to the tannery built by Major Falley, at the head of Cold Creek, and this industry became one of the most important to the early settlers, who were thus supplied with an article of importance.
Three years later, Daniel Mack built a sawmill near the mill that had been owned by Snow, and in the corner was a run of stone for grinding. In 1824 he built a good gristmill with two runs of stone and this subsequently passed into the hands of a German named Weber in 1827. Mr. Mack had long years of litigation over certain mill-rights, with Pettingill and others, because of damages done them by flowing the backwater upon them. This was only ended in 1832 by transfer of the entire property, and five hundred and ten acres of land to Burr Higgins. This gave him entire control of the waterpower and he at once began to improve his mill for custom work. This was the coldest year ever known in this latitude and every stream was frozen except for Cold Creek. Southern Michigan as well as Northern Ohio was dependent for grinding on this single stream. In 1835 Higgins sold his entire interest to Davidson, Hadley & Co.
The first flouring mill in Venice was commenced in 1832 and finished in 1833, with three runs of French burrs for merchants, and three run for custom work. The completion of this mill established the first permanent cash market for wheat on the Firelands.
The second mill, one and a half miles west of south Venice was begun in 1839, but not finished until 1841. It had eight run of stone and cost fifty thousand dollars. This was built of timber and was destroyed by fire in 1848.
Four years after, another mill of brick and stone with six runs of stone was erected on the same site. The capacity of the two mills was sufficient to make seventy-five thousand barrels of flour during the season of navigation. The old mill at Venice, with Cold Creek and five hundred acres of land had been purchased by Russell H. Heywood of Buffalo, New York in 1831, the year before the cold winter. At that time, 1833, one thousand barrels of flour were made before harvest. The first hundred barrels of flour in the merchant work was packed in new barrels painted with China Vermillion, taken on a scow and shipped to Buffalo, and thence by canal to New York, where it arrived as clean as when it left the mill. It was considered a great curiosity and crowds of people visited the dock to see the first shipment of flour from Ohio and some were so enthusiastic as to predict that Ohio might sometimes furnish several thousand barrels a year. The flour was bought by one hundred persons at quite in advance of the best Genesee flour. That year was a memorable one, because of the early harvest and the drought that extended over the new country, forcing people to carry their grist a hundred miles. An instance is related of two men from Hancock county, who left home Monday morning and reached Venice the following Sunday, just in time to attend religious service at the mill. Mr. Heywood noticed the dusty travelers who took part in the services, and after they were over, entered into conversation with the strangers, and discovered that they were in urgent need of flour. They had left behind them sick families utterly destitute and had journeyed all the week to find a mill that could grind. They had fifteen bushels apiece of wheat. Mr. Heywood was in a quandary. He appealed to the clergyman with "what shall I do"? He replied, "grind it as soon as possible," which he did and the men went home rejoicing.
It is a singular fact that until after 1840, much of the flour made in Ohio was sent West. In 1836 five hundred barrels, at eight dollars a barrel, was sent to Chicago and sold for twenty dollars a barrel by Oliver Newbury. It was all the flour Chicago had that winter, and the people were grateful that he had not asked fifty instead of twenty dollars. Until the completion of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad to Tiffin, the wheat was brought in large wagons and often over such wretched roads and at such great distances as to bring but little profit to the owners. In one case, a man came one hundred and fifty miles with a four-horse team and twelve bushels of wheat. When he sold his wheat he took his nine dollars and went to the store, talking to himself thus: "My wheat was worthless at home"; then turning to the boy in the store he asked how much the sheeting was worth and being sold nine pence, said to himself, "Yes, my wheat was worth something at home. I could have bought a yard of cloth like that for a bushel."
Russell Heywood operated these mills forty-eight years. In 1848-1849 a cotton factory was built in Castalia. In 1864 John Hoyt bought the mill property and organized a stock company for the manufacture of paper, under the name of the Castalia Paper Company, with Mr. Hoyt as manager and chief stockholder. He moved the old cotton factory down to the flouring mill and built some additions and in about a year had in operation a first class paper mill. It had the capacity of a ton a day and was run day and night until it was burned in 1874.
The following year, 1875, the water power was bought for eight thousand dollars, by some of the leading men in Margaretta: C. Caswell, J.B. Witter, J. G. Snowden, E. D. White, S. H. Rogers, Philip Erbe, T. C. Adams and J.D. Chamberlain. They incorporated the Castalia Milling Company, and proceeded to build a first-class flouring mill. The building was a substantial frame, built on the foundation of the old stone mill, three stories high, beside basement and attic. This mill had a capacity of new hundred and twenty-five barrels of flour per day. They kept it running night and day and could not fill their orders even then. An elevator was also built, capable of storing twenty thousand bushels of wheat, with all modern appliances for convenience of handling grain. This mill is now moved from its foundation to a site eighty rods west, where it’s present owner. T. C. Adams proposes to run it by steam. The stream is now converted into a trout stream belonging to the clubs.
The mill at Venice, owed by Swelle & Williams, was burned to the ground in 1888 and the water privileges were then sold.
Distilleries began to appear as other manufacturing establishments multiplied and in 1823, Dr. B. L. Carpenter assisted him. It afterwards was owned by Chapman & Andrews of Bellevue and from them, passed into the hands of Japan Johnson. It was abandoned in 1830. There had been another distillery built at Venice in 1824, by one William Mason of Milan. It was in operation eight years. After a few years, it was again started by David Barber. It is now abandoned.
A Township history presents many and varied features of interest, but as years pass, those that formerly seemed all important sink into comparative oblivion to give place to others abreast of the times. Then come the time when old legends are revived and bits of personal history are sought and the very place, hitherto regarded as commonplace, is looked upon as historical and becomes in a way sacred. It is always wise to give some space to first things and events. Here we discover that the first religious denomination in Margaretta was a Methodist class in Muscash, in the southeast corner. (The name Muscash is said to be of the Indian derivation and arose from the fact that the tribes brought their skins here for barter and not being able to speak English, and wanting money instead of produce, insisted on "Muscash", or must have cash.
The first tree was cut down by Dorcartus Snow, in 1810, who was given a hundred acres of land because he had to put up a grist mill. He was the father of the first baby born in the Township, Robert Snow.
The first marriage was that of Charles Butler and Clarissa Parker. The first deaths were those murdered by the Indians in 1813. The first house was built by D. Snow of logs, in 1810 at the head of Cold Creek. The first mail from Sandusky City to Lower Sandusky was carried on horseback and established in 1825. It was taken once a week. The first postmaster of Margaretta was Samuel B. Carpenter. In 1810, Cleveland was the nearest post office. Major Fred Falley started the first store in Margaretta, for trading with the Indians. He afterwards went into the service of the government to furnish Army supplies. Saloons have had a thriving business in this Township, and the history of their success can be read on the tombstone of their graveyard.
Cutting a silver dollar into ten-shilling pieces made the first change. Skins and furs were made commodities of exchange. Grain would not buy goods at any price and the problem of clothing a family was the most perplexing one that came to the early settler. None but nabobs (men of great wealth) had a whole suit of clothes made of cloth. Deerskins were used for men and boys. Ladies then could spin and weave and were proud of their work. In 1821, Captain Andrus Parker put up twenty barrels of pork and shipped it to Montreal for which he never received a single cent.
The first market for cash was known only at the opening of the Erie Canal and this brought a little money to the settlement.
The first school house was built of logs, at the junction of the Venice and Cold Creek roads in 1818 by Captain A. Parker and some neighbors. This had the first teacher, Thomas McCullough, who received fifteen dollars a month for his services and had that first winter twenty-five scholars. After that, Rev. Alvin Coe, who had been teaching Indian children in Greenfield, moved his school to Venice and taught all the children in the vicinity. Some of the best district schools that have ever been taught in the Township were taught in those days and the early teachers deserve a most honorable mention in history. A few of them were A. W. O’Brien, of Maine; Jonathan Fuller, James F. Wilson and John W. Falley.
The first physician settled in this place was Dr. Hartshorn in 1817. There are churches in this Township, but history fails to record who preached the first sermon. In 1819, a Presbyterian Church was organized in Margaretta and Groton, by Rev. John Seward. Its members moved away and the organization died. In 1823 a Baptist church was started, having its members in Oxford, Groton and Margaretta. This was the only church that sustained regular services in the Township for several years. In 1835 a Congregational Church was organized by Rev. Hiram Smith, from Westfield, Mass, whom secured the love and respect of his parish and remained with them until 1865. The members of the Baptist Church having become scattered and Deacon Falley’s health failing, the members of the Baptist Church still remaining were identified with the new enterprise and became members of the Congregational Church. Two years after the present Congregational Church was built in 1850, the Methodists built a frame church at Castalia, which flourished for a time, but since 1860 has had no regular services. It has since been sold for other purposes. Castalia Universalism Church was organized by Rev. George R. Brown, October 12, 1862. Five years later the society built a neat building on land donated by William Graves, at a cost of four thousand, two hundred dollars. Mr. Brown was pastor at this time until he died.
The Church of our Redeemer at Venice was organized by an election of wardens and vestrymen, in June 1866. In July of the same year, Rev. Charles Ogden was invited to take charge of the parish and on the 17th of July, in the same year, the ground was broken for the present attractive stone edifice. The corner stone was laid by Rev. Charles Ogden, August 21, 1866. The parish was incorporated on the 13th day of October and admitted in the union with the Diocese of Ohio. It was consecrated June 3, 1867 by the Right Reverend Bishop McIlvaine. The Church was erected by Russell H. Heywood as a memorial to the departed members of his own family. Its cost, including the iron fence that encloses it was $12,000.00 and it was deeded to the wardens and vestry on the day of its consecration, in connection with a glebe of fifteen acres. This church has been open on all Sundays since its erection, either by clergyman or lay readers until 1878. It ha had the following clergymen for its pastors: Rev. Charles Ogden from 1866 until July 1867, Rev. George S. Chase from September 1867 until November 1868, Rev. George Bosley from October 1874 until 1876. It is now under the charge of Grace Church, Sandusky.
About the year 1832, a temperance society was organized; since that time, several others haven arisen, until now, the majority of the people of the Township are friends of temperance.
Margaretta Grange No. 488, P. of H. was organized January 30, 1873, with twenty-seven charter members. This institution is still flourishing with the following officers; J.B. Witter, M; G. Ray, O; F. Nelson Prentice, L; J.C. Rogers, S.; W.H. Neill, A.S.; Mrs. H. Meyraugh, C; O. Ransom, treasurer, J Atwater, secretary, D. Witter, G.K.
Sporting Clubs--- A visit to the Trout Streams of Castalia is one of the great attractions of visitors to all neighboring towns. The roads are fine, the air clear, and six miles seem as naught. The little village of Castalia comes in sight with ornate school buildings and rustic Church and simple homes. The bubbling springs from beneath, form a pond of no mean size and like a miniature lake lie the headwaters of the stream that originally flowed across a bit of prairie, but was diverted into an artificial channel or mill race, when the first mill was built.
In the year 1870, John Hoyt, proprietor of the Castalia Paper Mills (since burned), conceived the idea of trying a few thousand eggs of the brook trout, and proceeded to make troughs for hatching them. A sever thunder storm killed the trout and in his second attempt, he was equally unsuccessful, for the brood of spawn is said to have been killed by the keeper, who poisoned them. The third were turned loose in the pond and multiplied and the venture was at last a success. In May 1878, a statue was passed by the State of Ohio to corporate a company, which should be known as the Cold Creek Trout Club, for the purpose of fishing, hunting and pleasuring; of propagating fish and protecting game on lands leased from the Castalia Milling Company. The capital stock of said company should be $1,275.00 to be divided into eighty-five shares of fifteen dollars a share. When the club was organized there were seventy-four members. The incorporators were J. Atwater, B.F. Ferris, R. F. Fowler, B. H. Rogers and D. S. Worthington. This company leased the property for twenty years for fifty dollars per year, having use and right to the headwaters, and including branches and tailrace for two miles. In 1883 they built a house and in 1887, bought the property with buildings and forty acres of land for $20,000.00. The shares are now valued at $300.00 each and whenever a member dies or becomes dissociated with the club, his stock is brought up and membership thus decreased. At the present time, there are seventy-one members. In 1887, the name was changed to that of the Cold Creek Sporting Club. They also dug a new r ace at a cost of two or three thousand dollars and the coming season will see still greater improvements in the grounds artistically arranged and added conveniences for members. The old mill has been moved away and the whole place has become an ideal sporting man’s paradise. The clubhouse is on the lower bank of the stream, connected by a bridge with the keeper’s house on the opposite shore. The latter contains a public dining room and extra sleeping apartments, while in a building in the rear of the clubhouse is a cottage devoted to ladies and children, containing many sleeping rooms. To stand on the bridge and look down into the crystal waters beneath, where the emerald shimmer of the water cresses as the sunbeams play over them, make brilliant background for the speckled beauties to dart and play against, then turning, look down on the arch of cottonwood and sycamores that line the stream, spanned every few rods by foot bridges; or, turning to look up to the mill dam with the hatchery, where are sleeping forty thousand baby trout to be thrown into the stream by and by. All this is a dream of beauty one never forgets, having once enjoyed it, and every year will make it more beautiful and more valuable. The stream is stocked from this club, assisted by a neighboring club farther down toward the Bay. The largest trout ever caught here weighed three pounds and five ounces, and was caught by a Cleveland member, Mr. Yale in 1887.
The Castalia Sporting Club was organized September 18, 1878 and leased the use of the waters for twenty years for three hundred dollars a year. There were five incorporators, Kelly Bolton, F. H. Mason, Lee McBride, Fayette Brown and H. L. Terrill. Mr. Mason is editor of Cleveland Leader and consul to Geneva; Mr. McBride is and ever has been secretary and treasurer; Mr. Brown has been president from the first. The club is limited to twenty-five members. In 1882, they built a clubhouse which cost them nearly two thousand dollars and March 10, 1888, they bought of Messrs. Dwelle and Williams the right to lower waters of the stream, extending four miles to the Bay and embracing on either side of the stream thirteen rods. For this they paid $24,000.00. August Miller has charge of the house and property. As the fish of the stream are in reality as much here as above, this club assists in stocking the upper waters with young and in return will profit equally by the fifty thousand fish just donated by the government, known as rainbow trout. There is still another club four miles west at Rockwell’s Mills, whose history is not so accessible as the two more prominent ones. The club remains in operation to this day and is now known as the Castalia Trout Club.
Among the recent improvements of Margaretta Township, the most conspicuous is that of the residence of her well-known citizen, Mr. Calvin Caswell, who lives a couple of miles from Castalia. He has been called the largest wheat raiser in the county and for many years has been an active member of the Erie County Agricultural Society. His farm stretches its broad acres in perfect cultivation and during the last year he has remodeled his spacious home, until it has become a palatial residence. With towers and immense piazzas, it seems more like a Saratogo hotel than a private residence. He has six hundred acres of land and the finest apple and peach orchards in the county.
Major Falley deserves more than a passing mention, for his name has been linked with the history of this Township from its earliest settlement and through his influence and activity, Venice was laid out into town lots in 1816. He had accompanied his father to North Cambridge when but eleven years of age, as fifer, and was in the battle of Bunker Hill. After General Washington assumed command of the Army, the boy returned home and his father was employed by the government in the manufacture of firearms. In the adventures of pioneer life, Major Falley found agreeable went to the bold spirit within, and died at the age of sixty-four in Margaretta in 1828.
There are two villages in the Township, Venice and Castalia. Venice was laid out in 1816 by Major Falley and improvements went rapidly forward. Two large warehouses, two public houses, stores, shops and dwellings were rapidly erected, until several hundred inhabitants had collected here. In 1818, the summer was very sickly and the town ceased to grow and the growth since has been merely the natural increase of the first settlers.
Castalia was laid out in 1836, at the head of Cold Creek by Davidson, Hadley & Company, and for twenty years had a slow growth, after which it has retrograded until now, it has but a small business, and in 1887 a fire destroyed several buildings and cast a gloom over its inhabitants. It has a railway station on the Lake Erie and Western Railroad, also the C. S. & C.R.R. With its railway advantages, its attractions for sporting men, and its quiet health, it should once more put on signs of new life.
From the early 1900’s through the 1950’s Margaretta Township and the Village of Castalia remained a rural farming community with slow steady growth. In 1951 the Township organized a Fire Department. In the late 1950’s the community changed when the Ford Motor Company built a parts plant in the northeast section of the township. With that development came other companies. In the late 1960’s the area known as Venice was annexed by the City of Sandusky. The Township also became part of the Perkins / Maragretta Water district at this time and received municipal water from Erie County which they purchased from the City of Sandusky.
Industrial growth brought a housing boom with several subdivisions being built in the Township and the population continued to grow. The J.H.Routh Packing Company, a pork processing plant, was the next large employer to move into the Township.
With an increase in population both the Township and school system grew. In 1959-1960 a new elementary school was built and additions added to the high school. In 1966 Margaretta Local Schools and Townsend Schools consolidated.
In 1975 the old Township hall was raised and a new complex and addition to the Fire Department built in its place. With excellent transportation access via State Routes 2, 4, 6, 101 and 269 businesses continued to move into the area. In the 1980’s sanitary sewers were brought into the Township and Village. In 2004 - 2006 Erie County expanded the county water system through out the entire county.
The past few years have brought development of the Quarry Lakes Industrial Park in the NE section of the Township. Currently there are three operating business with two under construction and several more proposed.
Margaretta Township offers great recreational opportunities with our close proximity to Lake Erie and the Lake Erie Islands, Cedar Point Amusement Park, several new indoor water parks, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Resthaven Wildlife Area, the Sandusky Mall offers shopping experiences and there are numerous natural resources all within a 20 minute drive. Margaretta Township is a one hour drive from both Cleveland and Toledo where professional sports, theaters and additional shopping can be enjoyed.
Margaretta Township has grown to a population of 6500 residents yet it still offers the feel of a small community. With large residential lots still available and major municipal utilities provided it remains a prime location to live. The Township offers numerous recreational parks along with residential and commercial development opportunities. The Township is zoned for the protection of our residents and utilizes an adopted Fire, Zoning and Building Code.
Margaretta Township is governed by a three member Board of Trustees and Fiscal Officer serving four year terms. Along with the elected official’s area appointed positions of Road Superintendent, Zoning Inspector, Zoning Board, Zoning Appeals Board, Fire Chief, Parks/Recreation Board and Cemetery Sexton. Margaretta Township provides maintenance to all Township roads and cemeteries. The Township provides Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services. The Township provides Zoning and building inspections and permits and also Parks and recreation maintenance.
The Margaretta Board of Trustees, The Village of Castalia council and the Erie County Commissioners work diligently to maintain our unique heritage and history while still providing the modern services our residents desire.