Following the Revolutionary War, residents of Connecticut petitioned the legislature of the new State for compensation for their losses by fire at the hands of the British raiders. The government said, “We have no money to give you; however, we can give you land.”
In 1792, 500,000 acres of land at the far western edge of the Connecticut Western Reserve were set aside as the Fire Sufferers’ Land. It took nearly 20 years for the land to be legally available to territory west of the Cuyahoga River. The Treaty of Fort Industry was signed in 1805, whereby the Indians relinquished their title for the sum of $18,916.67. In 1806 the Fire Sufferers formed an association and in 1807 sent surveyors to layout the area into five-mile square townships named after familiar New England towns. Permanent settlers began developing the area in 1808.
The Firelands was originally all called Huron County. In 1838, Erie County was formed and later, on the north, Danbury Township was added to Ottawa County and Ruggles Township, on the southern edge, was added to Ashland County.