Wakeman and Florence Townships began with the American Revolution. The federal government set aside land in Ohio for people from Connecticut whose lands were destroyed by the war. These “fire sufferers” were granted land tracts in the Western Reserve area known as the Firelands. People industrious or brave enough to travel to the untamed wilderness of Ohio in the early 1800s must have been captivated by the fertile farmland, vegetation, and peaceful river that flowed through the area.
The Village of Wakeman was founded in 1817 and still rests in a beautiful location along the Vermilion River. The unincorporated village of Birmingham, in Florence Township, is also located on the Vermilion River. Farming, community, and the enjoyment of the scenery are still important parts of life in Wakeman and Florence Townships.
Highlights of Wakeman and Florence Townships:
• The book captures the flavor of a farming community with historic photographs of farmers and their machinery.
• Photographs of graduating classes from the early 1900s along with groups of elementary school children and school sports teams.
• Profiles interesting local residents such as C.S. Clark and Otto Schoepfle.
• Important elements of local history such as trains, bridges and depots in Wakeman and Birmingham.
• Pictures of fires that re-shaped the downtown areas of Wakeman and Birmingham.
• Images of snowstorms and truck accidents—including a precarious truck dangling from a bridge.
• Pictures of veterans from WWI and WWII in uniform and also in costume.
David Graves, long considered the unofficial town historian of Wakeman, has been the recipient of generous gifts and loans of photographs chronicling the town’s history. He also owns the farm machinery business that his parents began in 1936. His daughter Amie (Graves) Swope is an English teacher at a local high school and shares her father’s appreciation for history.
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.
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With more than 7,500 local history titles published to date, Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Widely recognized sepia books feature hundreds of vintage historical images.