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Hidden History of Lorain County: August 6, 2018 Release Date!

Hidden History of Lorain County

On August 6, 2018, History Press released Hidden History of Lorain County. Here is an overview that appeared in the Chronicle Telegram. Scroll to the bottom of this post for ordering information!

Now I’ll share a snippet from the very beginning of the book.


 “it is scarcely more than a hundred years since the first white settlers came within its borders. It is difficult for the present generation to imagine the conditions which surrounded the first settlers. Then a dense, almost impenetrable forest of trees of immense size covered every acre of this territory. The heroism of the families who plodded their way thither from New England, some on foot, some on horseback, and others in slowly moving carts, occupying more days in the journey than it takes hours now, is worthy of all praise. The rapid clearing of homesteads, and establishment of educational and religious institutions, scarcely find a parallel anywhere else in history.” (A Standard History of Lorain County, Ohio: An Authentic Narrative of the Past, with Particular Attention to the Modern Era in the Commercial, Industrial, Civil and Social Development. A Chronicle of the People, with Family Lineage and Memoirs, edited by Frederick Wright, 1916)

Settling of Lorain County

Hidden History of Lorain County: Lorain County map

The men, women and children who left New England behind to settle what is now Lorain County needed to say good-bye to friends and family, and to their beloved communities, often for the very last time. They left behind all that was familiar, all that was comfortable, to take enormous risks and make enormous sacrifices. They traveled through dangerous woods, sometimes on foot, carrying with them what they needed to live. They were tough, smart and resourceful. They were survivors who didn’t give up, even when the odds were stacked against them, people who were willing to risk it all to make a new life for themselves and their families.

The fertile land that was their destination had been fiercely in demand by multiple nations and tribes in the decades leading up to the Revolutionary War. The French had claimed the land because they’d explored it and to some degree occupied it, but that claim discounted the fact that Native Americans had long lived in this land that was blessed with rich soil, lakes and rivers teeming with fish, skies containing countless species of birds, and forests full of wildlife. And, when England collaborated with the Six Nations, Native Americans otherwise known as the Iroquois Confederacy, France could no longer maintain its claim of ownership.

Then, in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, England found itself challenged by British settlers who wanted the American colonies to become an independent nation, a challenge that was ultimately successful.

Overview of Hidden History of Lorain County

Chapters are as follows:

  1. Forgotten Founders and Leaders: Northern Lorain County
  2. Forgotten Founders and Leaders: Southern Lorain County
  3. Lorain County Cemeteries
  4. Underground Railroad and Civil War History
  5. County Monuments, Markers and Plaques
  6. Literary Lorain
  7. Little-Known Oberlin History

And, in case you like to read cover blurbs to decide if a book is right for you, here you go!

Early pioneers braved countless dangers to start anew in what is now Lorain County. Some of their stories faded from memory along the way, waiting to be rediscovered. Uncover the origins of the Felons’ Feast held by abolitionists in 1859. Celebrate the true story of Major League Baseball’s first black player, Moses Fleetwood Walker, who played for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1883. Learn about the great scientific discovery made in Oberlin by Charles Martin Hall in 1886, as well as how one of Elyria’s forefathers rose to become chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Discover how the Easter Seals, officially named in 1967, began with a sixty-year-old streetcar accident. Author Kelly Boyer Sagert shines a light on fascinating lives and the county they shaped.

Many thanks for numerous local people and organizations who have allowed us to use their photographs. A special thanks goes to Tracy Boyer Isenberg for her two days’ worth of photography work.  Here’s just one example of her photography:

local history book: Eric Barnes Memorial

Where You Can Buy Hidden History of Lorain County

In Lorain County, you can purchase the book from the Lorain Historical Society at 329 W. 10th Street in Lorain and at Mindfair Books in Ben Franklin in Oberlin, Ohio (13 West College Street).

You can order Hidden History of Lorain County at or or

Or you can order directly from me by sending a check of $28.00 to Kelly Boyer Sagert, PO Box 3345, Lorain, Ohio 44052 or sending that sum through PayPal at This amount includes tax and shipping. If you’d like it autographed, know that the Lorain Historical Society has autographed copies, or you can request specific text if you order from me. As I know more locations, I’ll add them. Thank you for your support!

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