Toledo is a city of almost 273,000 people (2019) in northwestern Ohio's Lucas County, on the Maumee River at the edge of Lake Erie. Although not as important as it once was, Toledo's past as an industrial powerhouse gave it cultural institutions that rival larger cities like Chicago.
People had big dreams for Toledo. The location of the city at the end of Lake Erie was an ideal Midwest port, but was in the inhospitable Great Black Swamp. Early settlers spent years digging drainage ditches through the swamp, and lining them with clay tiles, battling disease along the way. Due to a border dispute, Michigan and Ohio briefly went to war over the land containing Toledo in the 1830s. But because of a series of blunders, nobody was killed. By an act of Congress, Ohio was awarded Toledo, while Michigan received the Upper Peninsula. Later settlers came over from Eastern Europe, or up from down south, to work on the Miami and Erie Canal, and still later to work in local factories that made early automobiles and auto parts. Because of its industrial heritage Toledo became the birthplace of Libbey Glass, modern chewing gum, the modern scale, and Jeep vehicles.
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