Year by Year
1811 Claridon SettledAugust - The Cowles family arrived in August 1811 and stayed in an unoccupied school house in Burton Township until a double log cabin was erected on Aquilla Road, a short distance south of Rt. 322. Other families arrived--Horace Taylor, Nathaniel Spencer, Allyn Humphrey, and Benjamin Andrews. All of these families were from Connecticut. The inhabitants during the winter of 1811 numbered 39.
1817 First FamiliesThe township was incorporated as Burlington and included Munson. Families that included Mastick, Hathaway, Armstrong, Ames, Ford, Ensign, and Chace began moving into what became known as East Claridon.
Local Government Established On the first Monday of April, the same year, the election for township officers was held at the house of Deacon A. Kellogg, and resulted in the election of Ralph Cowles, as township clerk; Asa Cowles, Allen Humphrey, and Reuben Hall, trustees: Horace Taylor an Timothy Wells, overseers of the poor; Benjamin Andrews and Aranda Kellogg, fence viewers; Truman Pitkin, lister and appraiser; Isaac Hoff, John Ransom, Martin Bushnell, Ozi Blakeslee, Ebenezer Wells, Simon Root, and Samuel Hopson, supervisors; Ozi Blakeslee, justice of the peace. 1818January 4The Poet of ClaridonJason C. Wells was born on January 4, 1818 in Claridon. Mr. Wells was a favored and honored citizen of Geauga County. He was well known as the "Claridon poet," having written many verses recounting the incidents of life on the frontier. Possessing more than ordinary literary ability, he has prepared many articles for publication in the Geauga Republican, and upon the sixtieth anniversary of the organization of the Congregational Church in Claridon he read a paper which received much favorable comment. He was one of the oldest settlers in the county.
1819 Post Office Established, The Name 'Claridon' Established A post office was established under the name 'Claridon'. The name of the township was changed to Claridon (the origin of the name is not known) because there was another Burlington in the state of Ohio.
1827 Our First Church The First Congregational Church of Claridon was established.
1832 Church Building DedicatedThe First Congregational Church building was dedicated. It is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. 1852George EnsignGeorge Ensign born in 1852 in Claridon. He became professor of mathematics at Hiram College. He became principal of Geauga Seminary School in 1883. 1856Claridonite Elected to State SenateTaylor Wells road was named after an area called Taylor's Wells in the county of Kent in England where Prince (just the name, not a title) Taylor Sr. immigrated from. Prince landed in Connecticut. His great grandson's, were Horace and Lester Taylor (their father fought in the Revolutionary War). The two brothers moved to Claridon. Lester cleared 105 acres of land and erected a house in 1832 having no neighbors within 3 miles of him. Lester was elected to the Ohio senate in 1856. In 1893, at the age of 94, he and was recognized as the oldest living person Geauga County. He held that recognition for the next 6 years and died in 1899 at the age of 100. He was known to be the most popular resident of Geauga County. 1857Wilmot SchoolWilmot school, located west of Ensign Road and Claridon Troy Road, was developed. 17 years later, Wilmot School South, located at the Northeast corner of Ensign Road and Claridon Troy Road was established. 1860Farmers Start a ClubClaridon Farmers' Club was established and include men and women. 1876More Butter, More CheeseBetween 1876 and 1891, Claridon resident Abram Wilmot made 20,000 pounds of butter/cheese from his Claridon Dairy Farm. His methods were so efficient that all surrounding dairy farms copied them. 1886Make Room for a Town HallClaridon Trustees Lucius Wilmot, S.M. Chase and H.T. Douglas spearheaded the idea and construction of a town hall at the Methodist Church location. To make room for the new town hall, the Methodist church was moved East on Mayfield road. 1891Traveling Maple SyrupOn a Claridon farm he lived on since 1815, Abram Wilmot started a sugar orchard making 550 gallons of maple syrup that was shipped to the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards for far-a-way people could enjoy Claridon's own maple syrup.
1920s Geauga County Gets a Doctor Walter C. Corey, MD, known as the country doctor, started serving Geauga County. Corey Hospital was established at what is today a house in Chardon, then a few years later, a second Corey Hospital was established in Claridon, on Claridon Troy Road about one mile North of Mayfield Road.. The Corey Hospital was closed in the 1950s when Geauga Coumminty Hospital opened in Claridon. 1925 B&O Railroad Accident On September 4, 1925 a large railway truck holding 60 tons of coal spilled off the railroad near Ford's crossing. The reailroad was started in the 1800s and at the time of the accident it was managed by the B&O Railway. 1927 Forrest Fires October-A large fire consumes two tracks of land for a total of one square mile in an area just nortih of East Claridon. The fire was thought to have been started by sparks from the railroad and spread quickly given the relative drought conditions at the time. Claridon farmers and citizens worked side by side with firefighters from Chardon and Burton to bring the blaze under control. Early 1930s Flowing from Claridon to Akron A portion of a formerly extensive lake was re-established by damming the East Branch of the Upper Cuyahoga River to provide water to the City of Akron. The reservoir is partially located in Claridon and can be seen from Headwaters Park. 1941 Claridon Center School Burns Located at the Southeast corner of Mayfield road and Claridon Troy road, Claridon Center School was utterly burned to the ground due to a bonfire. 1946 Come One, Come All! A popular artist of the day, Jack Dunigan and his radio Hill Billy Band played a benefit at the Claridon Town Hall to raise funds for the Congregational Ministers Retirement Fund. Admission tickets were 60 cents and 35 cents. 1952 Claridon Issues First Zoning Permit A zoning certificate for a sign was given. (More info and a picture yet to come) 1953 Fire at the Claridon School On Friday, January 16, a fire broke out in Claridon Local School. The fire, caused by a burning chimney, was in the walls. The school was evacuated and the fire extinguished. While some classrooms were still usable, the rest of the school was rebuilt and opened in the fall of the same year. 1955 First Congregational Church Lifted The church building was lifted from its foundation and a basement excavated underneath it. 1959 Geauga Hospital Opens Geauga Coummunity Hospital opened. Throughout the next 40 years, the Geauga Hospital opened two new wings accommodating more than 100 patients and enhanced diagnostic, ancillary, and support services, as well as a critical care unit. Early 1960s Rural Uprising! In the early 60s, a proposal to industrialize Claridon was vigourously opposed by Claridon residents fearing loss of their property and rural way of life. Leading the opposition was lawyer and Claridon resident, Eber Hyde. Victory for those that opposed the industrialization effort. 1966 Church Sanctuary Rebuilt The sanctuary of the First Congregational Church was rebuilt. 1974 A Historic Place The First Congregational Church building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent example of Greek Revival style Architecture. 1977 Claridon Gets a Park! In August of 1975, Claridon trustees formed a park committee made up of a group of dedicated Claridonites seeking to provide a community recreational area for citizens of the township. In 1977, initial land was purchased on SR 608 across from Stilwell road. 1979 Baseball in Claridon! The first baseball game was played at Claridon Recreation Park. Today, the park offers four (4) ball fields and is home to several leauges, including an Amish leauge. Click here to go to the park page on this website. 1986 A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On Just before 11:47 a.m. on January 31, a 4.96, commonly rounded up to a 5.0, magnitude earthquake shook up the town. The center of the quake happened about 24 miles east of Cleveland in Southern Lake County, just north of the Geauga County line. The earthquake was felt over a large area including 11 states, parts of Canada and the District of Columbia. 1995 Hospital Happenings The Geauga Hospital joined the University Hospitals Health System. The hospital was renamed the UH Geauga Medical Center. This new membership opened the doors to medical excellence in and around Geauga county with the addititons of the area's first behavioral health unity, a $7.4 million outpatient surgery center, on-site MRI services, Center for Women's Health, a cardiac catherterization lab, and more. During this time, UH Geauga Medical Center earned a number of accolades such as selection as one of the Top 100 Hospitals by HCIA Inc. and William Mercer Inc and as one of the nation's Top 100 Hospitals by the Solucient Institute. 2005 Claridon Elementary School Closed June - The Claridon Elementary School was closed. The school building and property were auctioned on February 18, 2006 to Howard Bates of Burton. The building and grounds now house the offices of Arms Trucking and is the Geauga County Sheriff's Headquarters for the Police Athletic Leauge. 2009 Community Help A group of Claridonites came together to see how they could help a neighbor in need. Claridon Community Helps was formed. Today, CCH serves free summer lunches to school age children, host a free dinner on the third Tuesday of each month, orginizes community events and much more. Click here to visit their website. 2010 Population Increase As of the 2010 census, the population of Claridon grew to 3,205. 2018 Claridon Gets Another Park The Geauga Park District opened a 127 acre park on Claridon Troy road. The park host wetlands, meadows, mature beeches and sugar maples, 2.2 miles of hiking trails, two ponds, 4,230 feet of Cuyahoga River tributaries, a fishing pier, a lodge, a picnic pavilion and a nature-based playground which includes a muli-sided rock wall, pump track and a high ropes course. The park ties into the 20-mile Maple Highlands bicycle trail. 2019 Small Tornado Narrowly Misses Claridon June 13 - An isolated, brief EF-0 tornado touched down in rural Geauga County causing minor damge to structures and trees. The tornado touched down just north of the intersection of Chardon-Windsor and Princeton roads. It snapped tree limbs and did damage to a house as well as outbuildings as it moved east-northeat. The tornado continued on the ground for almost half a mile before lifitng. The estimated maximum winds werer up to 84 mph. This tornado just missed Claridon. There have been no recorded tornado touchdowns in Claridon since 1950. 2022 Aquilla Village Says Goodbye To Claridon Aqulla Village gained full separation from the township to become a fully separte and independent municipality. The County Commission granted the request at their March 30 meeting. The mayor of Aquilla Village was Rich Wolfe. Aquilla and Claridon look forward to a strong, neighborly relationship for years to come.
They Made A Difference
The Claridon Town Hall
On June 13, 1941, citizens delegated from the Claridon Civic Club met with the trustees, requesting that they excavate and construct a basement under the hall for a kitchen and dining room. There were funds in the treasury to pay the cost of such a program, and contracts were awarded to Lewis McClintock, Robert Sidley, and Ralph Scovill. Trustees awarding these contracts were A.C. Stillwell, H.E. Krum, and J.J Baptie. The dining room was large enough to seat 110. As an extra precaution and to insure a supply of water in case of fire, eave spouts were placed on the hall to drain into a large nearby cistern.