Ohio History Journal

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The title may sound somewhat paradoxical, but there are

regions, which, owing to their geographical location, have had so

very little to do with the making of history, that they are spoken

of as of no historical importance, yet may not be devoid of

historical occurrences that may be of some interest. Such Van

Wert County may be said to be, situated in the northwest part

of Ohio, away from the regions where the important events in the

history of the state occurred.

The county has, however, a few noticeable features. One

that always attracts the attention of the stranger is the Ridge

running almost due east and west through the eastern part of the

county to the city of Van Wert, where it changes its direction to

one of north of west, and south of east, and extends to Fort

Wayne, Indiana. It can easily be traced from Seneca County,

through Wyandot, Hancock, and Putnam counties, to Van Wert,

and Fort Wayne, where it passes around to the north of the

Maumee river, thence it runs nearly parallel to the river, varying

from one to ten miles from its banks, until it is lost in the sandy

plains nearly north of Napoleon, Henry County. By some it is

considered to have been at one time the limiting line of Lake

Erie. The fact that it is highest near the south side of the ridge

seems to support this theory.

The Ridge is composed of gravel and sand, and contains

various small shells, which show its fresh water origin, and that

it was not formed by glacial action. It varies from a few feet to

eight or ten feet higher than the land lying on either side of it.

Its base averages a half mile in width.

Along the crest of the ridge is the Ridge Road, the main

thorough-fare through the county east and west. Owing to the

natural drainage afforded by it, the early settlers soon recognized

its value, and it became a trail, then a road. That part of the