Oak Harbor has a colorful history originating with a man named Adolphus Kraemer, a Toledo merchant who dreamed of developing a town that would rival the likes of Detroit and Cleveland. Adolphus established his dream town near the headwaters of the Portage River, 11 miles inland from Lake Erie. Although it was first platted in 1835 as Hartford by Joseph Wardlow, it was Kraemer who brought his family to settle in the wilderness and develop the town that became Oak Harbor. Since there were several Hartfords in Ohio, Kraemer suggested the name Oak Harbor because the village was located on a river harbor and there was an abundance of oak trees. Initially, Oak Harbor was a lumbering town, but as the timber began to wane, the area saw an influx of German immigrants who understood how to drain and farm the swampy land.
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In the Beginning It Was Hartford
Z The Portage River
Business and Industry
To Protect and to Serve
Down on the Farm
Service to God and Country
Adolphus Kraemer American LaFrance basket factory blacksmith Bredbeck brick built Carroll Township Charles Kemp Church Street constructed corner of Church corner of Locust corner of Water CTHC destroyed by fire early farm George Gluth Harbor High School Harbor Public Library Hartford interurban Irene Wood Jack Kemp Lake Erie Lake Erie Railway Lake Shore left to right Linda Dehring Liske located Locust and Water Locust Point Locust Street looking east Lutheran Church Martin Mary Paulsen Michigan Southern Miss America moved to Oak Mylander northeast corner Oak Harbor High Oak Harbor Public OCHM Ohio ohn’s OHPL Ottawa County Exponent Ottawa Streets parade photograph was taken Port Clinton Portage River post office railroad Rocky Ridge Salem Township saloon Sand Beach second row seen Shown structure Thierwechter three~story today’s Toledo Toussaint Toussaint River town hall village Water and Church West Water Street Wheeling & Lake