The Maumee River is the largest of all the rivers feeding the Great Lakes. It is a river that not only played a major role in the settling of Ohio, but also was instrumental in the development of our nationís history and culture.
Native American cultures flourished for 10,000 years along the Maumee before Europeans first encountered them. The Indians, French, British and Americans fought for control of this area for over 200 years. Names like Chief Blue Jacket, Chief Little Turtle and Chief Tecumseh fought for their heritage.
"Mad" Anthony Wayne and William Henry Harrison waged war at Forts Wayne, Defiance, Miamis and Meigs. In August 1795 the chiefs signed the Treaty of Fort Greenville ceding all of Ohio except the northwestern part and some of southeastern Indiana. The last battle of the American Revolution was over, and settlers poured into the new lands.
Ohio became a state in 1803. At that time only local Native Americans and a few trappers and explorers knew the Maumee Valley area. Development of this corner of Northwest Ohio was delayed nearly 100 years behind other parts of the state due to the Great Black Swamp. Although some crude roads were built as early as 1825 through the swamp overland travel was still near impossible. This area was described as most "forsaken, desolate, and inhospitable wilderness" in America. The pioneers faced sickness and death from malaria, which was spread by the abundant mosquitoes.
By 1843 the Wabash and Erie canal was completed. It was the link between the Toledo area and the Wabash River in Indiana. In 1845 the Miami and Erie Canal completed the link from Toledo to Cincinnati. The coming of the canals meant easier travel, easier commerce, and an end to total isolation. This early canal trade resulted in many towns to springing up along the river and it was the beginning of the long history of maritime commerce in our area.
Toledo has been a "port" since before its founding as a city in 1837. However in 1959 the completion of the joint U.S.-Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway navigation project joined our area to the world markets by sea. The improved access to international maritime trade routes resulted in the shipment of more than 13 million tons of cargo a year out of Toledo alone.
We are proud of our Great Lakes which are known as America's Fourth Seacoast. We are also proud that our mighty Maumee River for which our club is named is so important to this system.