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Celebrate Cleveland's Founding 225 Years Ago with Council President Kelley

Jul 21, 2021

(Cleveland – July 21, 2021) - Tomorrow, Cleveland will have been founded 225 years ago and there’s a celebration being held at 11 a.m. in front of the Moses Cleveland statue at Public Square.

A wreath laying ceremony, remarks by City Council President Kevin Kelley and other events will take place to celebrate the founding of Cleveland, hosted by the Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve.

Also, the Early Settlers Association will honor Cleveland Restoration Society President Kathleen H. Crowther as its 2021 recipient of the Herrick Memorial Award, created by the late historian Clay Herrick Jr. to recognize those whose accomplishments have “promoted and brought honor to Cleveland.”

The founding of Cleveland is quite a story. Arriving at the mouth of the Cuyahoga on July 22, 1796, General Moses Cleveland believed that the location, “where river, lake, low banks, dense forests, and high bluffs provided both protection and shipping access, was the ideal location for the ‘capital city’ of the Connecticut Western Reserve.”

Cleveland had served in the Revolutionary War in a Connecticut Continental Regiment. Resigning his commission in 1781, he practiced law. As one of the founders of the Connecticut Land Co., and one of 7 directors, Cleveland was sent out in 1796 to survey and map the company's holdings.

His surveyors plotted a town, naming it Cleveland. In Oct. 1796, Cleveland and most of his party returned to Connecticut, never returning to the Western Reserve.

It would take 40 more years for the city of Cleveland (the letter “a” was dropped in 1831) to become incorporated on March 5th, 1836. It was an exciting year; it nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two communities.

The Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve is one of the oldest civic organizations in Cleveland. Some 140 years ago, its founding members were directly connected to the earliest settlers of the region, then known as the Connecticut Lands of the Western Reserve.

When: 11 a.m. Thursday, July 22nd at the Moses Cleveland statue at Public Square.