by LCVB staff member Dan Maxson

Fast Facts -The Girdled Road

Girdling – cutting through into sap-wood around the entire circumference of the tree causing the tree to die, making felling easier – a common pioneer and Native American practice of the era.

  • 1797 -a route was proposed from the western Pennsylvania line to the Cuyahoga River parallel to and south of what is now Route 20 until Wickliffe from where it coincided with the current Euclid Avenue.
  • Colonel Thomas Sheldon surveyed lands that extended from present day Conneaut, Kingsville, Sheffield Township, Plymouth Township, crossing the Grand River, Austinburg, Harpersfield, Thompson, Leroy, Concord Township, past the Chagrin River to Cleveland
  • 1798- Connecticut Land Company sign a $6000 contract with General Simon Perkins to cut a road measuring 33’ with bridges over streams to deep to ford. The road was to extend nearly 100 miles.
  • Perkins Construction Camp is located in Concord Township approximately 4 miles from the present day Painesville City. A stone presented by the DAR in 1912 marks the site.
  • 1802 travel account by Reverend Joseph Badger nicknamed Girdled Road ‘this miserable road’
  • Girdled Road on average is 200’ above lake level, at Little Mountain it rises to 667’ above
  • Original Road was well kept and made of crushed stone from nearby quarry
  • First three elections in Ohio (Trumball / Geauga / Lake County) occurred on Girdled Road in Concord Township – 1802, 1803
  • Road corrections led to using ridges along the once glacial lakes shores / followed along Native American Trail / settlement sites.
  • Famous county names that had homesteads located on Girdled Road in history include A. Baldwin, P. Mc Kinney, J. Corrigan, F. Rockefeller, C. Otis, E. Hoyt II, G. Crile, W. Tinker and others.
  • Only remaining remnants of Girdled Road are located in Concord and LeRoy Townships.

Sources- Western Reserve 1936 -Annette Pierson, Ashtabula County Historical Society Vol. 9, June 15, 1962 No.2, Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 8, 1936, This is Lake County, Jack Daniels, 1964.

Submitted by Dan Maxson

About Dan Maxson

Dan is the President of the Fairport Harbor Historical Society. He is also the local expert on Lake County lore and history.