Maumee City

Lucas County, Ohio

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Maumee City Hall is located at 400 Conant Street, Maumee, OH 43537.
Phone: 419‑897‑7115.

John J. Yeager House

The location of Maumee [†], on the lower banks of the Maumee River, largest of a l l Great Lakes' rivers, played an important role in American history and westward expansion. Indian, French, and British settlements in the 1700's, including the establishment of British Fort Miamis in 1781, and the focusing of heavy military action in 1794 (Battle of Fallen Timbers) and during the War of 1812 (Battle of Fort Meigs and Dudley's Massacre), served to prominently fix the site of Maumee as a center of pre-colonization activity.

At the conclusion of the War of 1812, a series of treaties which transferred former Indian lands to the United States Government, secured the Maumee Valley and stimulated emigration into Northwestern Ohio. The first permanent settlement, later known as Maumee, was established on the north bank of the river even before the lands were officially opened for purchase in 1817, and before the founding of nearby Perrysburg (1816) or Port Lawrence (now Toledo) in 1817. Although only a "post town" for several years, the strategic importance of the river as a major waterway transformed the trading post into a bustling shipping center by the 1830's. Nearly three miles of wharves and warehouses stretched along the river's banks, and roadways, once only Indian t r ails, stretched into the rapidly populating back-country. These primitive arteries brought farmers to town to trade in the dozen or more general and specialty stores or to procure the services of an increasing number of resident artisans. In addition, as a wave of emigrants swept across the nation, Maumee became a stop-over for westbound travelers; no less than seven hotels competed for their patronage. By mid-decade, the 865 residents applied for a municipal charter, and on March 26, 1838, a mayor and six councilmen were chosen in the first civil election.

Unbridled competition characterized the Maumee Valley during the antebellum period. Maumee led the race for prominence, but a series of setbacks kept the community from fulfilling its dream of becoming the future "great city". When Wood County was formed in 1820, Maumee was designated the county seat. Three years later, however, the rival community of Perrysburg, directly across the river, was awarded the political seat. In 1835, Lucas County was formed and this time Maumee and neighboring Toledo competed for t±e county seat. Maumee won tJie bitter political battle in 1840 but a county-wide election returned the seat to Toledo in 1856. Maumee's hopes of becoming a great inland port were also dashed when newer, larger vessels were unable to navigate the ten upriver miles from Toledo to Maumee's docks. After losing the lake trade, every effort was made to complete the long awaited Miami and Erie Canal. Cities all along the proposed route from Cincinnati and Fort Wayne to Toledo, competed as speculators outbid each other for choice valley lands. Maumee was awarded a terminus and the canal opened in 1843, heralding an era of prosperity. Business expanded and new commercial enterprises, such as tanneries and flour mills, sprang up along the side-cuts. Ultimately, railroads proved to be a faster and cheaper means of transportation, and they replaced the canals. Some industries remained, switching to alternative power, but others, along with the forwarding and wholesale businesses, moved on.

† Ted J. Ligibel. Consultant to Jones & Henry Engineers, Limited, Maumee Uptown Historical District, nomination document, 1983, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C., accessed December 2022.

Nearby Towns: Perrysburg City • Toledo City • Waterville City •


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