Lake Erie
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About Lake Erie: History and Views

Lake Erie: History and Views is a book written to educate readers on the history of Lake Erie and the surrounding region.

This account combines flowing narration, factual summaries, historic photographs, engravings, maps, and antique postcards from the author's extensive collection as well as current photographs to tell the story of this vast inland sea. Starting with the creation of Lake Erie during the Ice Age, the story describes the lake's discovery by Europeans, the battles for its control, how people settled and developed the region around the lake, and how the population grew along its shores. The Circle of Cities and Towns group of chapters is most comprehensive, covering the history of most municipalities around the lake. The reader is also taken behind the scenes aboard a 1,000-foot lakeboat, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., on a journey up the Great Lakes.

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Below is a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of Lake Erie: History and Views.



Description Chapter

1 Description

The first chapter of Lake Erie: History and Views describes the physical aspects of this Great Lake. The text begins where the Detroit River empties the waters of the three upper lakes and compares and contrasts both sides of the lake. Photographs and numerous charts and illustrations support the text to give the reader perspective on Lake Erie.

Geology Chapter


2 Geology

The formation of Lake Erie is explained in the second chapter. Lake Erie was the last of the Great Lakes to be discovered by Europeans, yet the first to be formed. Once, a great river flowed where the present lake exists, then the great hand of a glacier pushed southward over the land to scoop out a place for the lake.



3 Discovery

The third chapter includes the start of human history along Lake Erie's shores. It is believed that the first humans made their way to the Great Lakes region between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago during the Paleo-Indian Period. Europeans, led by Joliet discovered Lake Erie in 1669. The chapter describes the travels of Joliet and other explorers who surveyed the lake via several different routes.



4 Battles

For centuries, people have recognized the value of the Great Lakes and that they were worth fighting for. Early humans were drawn to the lakes for food and fresh water. Indian tribes, who lived along the lakes' shorelines, fished their waters and used them for transportation and trade. Europeans saw the Great Lakes as a possible route to the Far East before appreciating them for their valuable location near America's most fertile lands and the continent's vast natural resources. This chapter summarizes significant wars and battles fought in the area.

Settlement Chapter


5 Settlement

Settlement around the Lake Erie basin has continued to this day. Waves of settlement on both sides of Lake Erie followed the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Another wave hit as the Erie Canal was completed in 1825. Later, railroads, the Industrial Revolution and two World Wars brought more people to live and work in the region. The fifth chapter provides background on settlement in each territory around Lake Erie.


Connections Chapter


6 Connections

The early inhabitants of the Lake Erie region used dugout and bark canoes to travel along the lakeshore and to the interior via rivers and streams. This chapter continues with history of ancient paths, which became roads and ultimately today's interstate highways. Lake Erie was connected to the much of North America by six major canals.  The history of the railroads around Lake Erie is also explained.

Cities and Towns Section


7 - 11 The Circle of Cities and Towns

This group of chapters is most comprehensive, outlining the histories of each of the cities and towns around Lake Erie. This section covers municipalities in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, and in the province of Ontario. Readers will follow the lakeshore in a clockwise fashion, beginning and ending on the Niagara River, where Erie's waters are turned over to Lake Ontario.

Lakeboat Chapter


12 Life Aboard a Lakeboat

Lakeboats have been a common sight on Lake Erie for decades. These mammoth ships quietly go about their work, providing coal, iron-ore and other resources for industry in the Great Lakes region. This chapter takes the reader behind the scenes to learn about the operation of lakeboats and describes what life is like for those who work on board for months at a time.

Epilogue Chapter



The epilogue provides a glimpse at some of the challenges the lake has endured as well as the lake's resilliance.


Lake Erie: History and Views

1st Edition
312 pages
Published by The Blue Water Group, LLC
Printed in the U.S.A by Evangel Press, Nappannee, Indiana

Copyright ©2009 Thomas E. Langmyer



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