When this area was settled, primary land use was and still remains
agricultural. Like the majority of settlements in northern Ohio,
the early pioneers of the Chippewa area were primarily farmers.
The area comprising the Chippewa Watershed was originally settled
through the Connecticut Western Reserve and a United States Military
Land Treaty in present-day Northeast Ohio. A heavy flood of migrants
came from New York and especially New England, where there had
been a growing hunger for land as population increased before
the Revolutionary War. Most moved to Ohio by wagon and stagecoach,
which followed former Indian paths such as the Northern Trace.
Many also traveled part of the way by barge on the Mohawk River
across New York state. Farmers who settled in western New York
after the war sometimes moved on to one or more locations in Ohio
in their lifetimes, as new lands kept opening to the west.
The growth of farming and its requisite land clearing significantly
changed the land and its drainage characteristics. No formal flood
control system of any kind existed.
Ohio was victim to many serious floods dating back to the beginning
of the century. In 1913, a storm lasting four days dropped 10-1/2
inches of rainfall over most of Ohio.
According to the Wooster Daily Record, "Wooster people waded
home from work Monday evening along streets that in places resembled
rivers. Old Killbuck went on a wild rampage, rising steadily Monday
afternoon and night, reached a stage Tuesday that it had never
The entire state felt the impact of the 1913 storm, but there
was more to come later in the century. The photo above shows Dayton
residents standing on houses that were torn to pieces by the flooding
rivers. For more details on the floods in Ohio, visit the news