President’s Letter, April 2014
As nearly as I can figure the first settlers to Luckey came in the early 1870’s. The Pemberville area and the Scotch Ridge area were both settled much earlier, both around 1832. The first settlers to Scotch Ridge were Levi Loomis and Adam Householder (Levi coming one year earlier in 1832). John Muir came soon after the Loomises and Householders. Levi Loomis was Ortha Wight’s great grandfather, her mother’s grandfather. [Ortha, being the author of “This is a Long Letter” that we have been sharing]
“The first white man on the ridge was Levi Looomis. Previously, in 1822, he and his wife Pruda Parker Steadman Loomis, newly married, had come from Massachusetts to Medina County, Ohio. They remained there until 1832. U.S. land entries and courthouse records for the Loomis and Householder earliest land entries, as well as John Muir’s first land purchase at Scotch Ridge, give the dates of 1834 and 1835. A delay between settling on the land and entering it at Bucyrus was not unknown. Levi Loomis’ 179.92 acre entry was made at Bucyrus December 13, 1835 a month before his death.
Levi and Pruda had seven children when they set out from Medina county for Perrysburg. Ortha wrote that the trip was made by team and wagon – oxen most likely. Much of the trip must have been made over what is today U. S. Route 20. It was one of the very earliest roads established in this part of Ohio. But it is said to have been the worst road in the entire country. Levi likely sold his wagon at Perrysburg. The route he and his family took on foot south from there was little more than a path through the woods, quite possibly an old Indian trail. On February 13, 1831, the Ohio legislature had authorized the construction of a road between Bucyrus and Perrysburg, by way of McCutcheonville.
However, no road existed at the time the Loomises set out. Levi’s and Pruda’s youngest child was only a few months old and the oldest about nine years of age when the family set out from Perrysburg. They walked about eleven miles. There, Levi made a clearing in the woods and erected a three-sided shelter of poles made from saplings. He roofed it with bark from the trees on the property.
Pruda cooked over and open campfire by a fallen log all that summer. Levi built a double log cabin a short time later in the clearing. The cabin and the clearing stood on the west side of McCutcheonville, between the Webster Township School and the cemetery lane, and nearer the school than the lane. A short distance away to the south and across the McCutcheonville, stood the cabin of Adam and Phoebe Corbett Householder. The Householders and Loomises built their cabins at about the same time, according to accounts in both families. With Levi and Pruda’s eldest son only nine at the time, it is likely that Adam and his son, a good bit older than Levi’s son, helped Levi with his cabin. From Ortha’s recollections, one sensed a special feeling for the Householders. The two families were truly the first pioneers to settle there, and for a time, the only ones. They seemed to have a warm relationship.
As noted previously, Levi Loomis had always been regarded as the first white man in Scotch Ridge. Actually, he was half Indian, His mother is listed in Massachusetts records as “Elizabeth, an Indian Maiden.” Levi died while walking along the McCutcheonville Trail in 1836. His oldest son, George Loomis (born in 1823, only 13 years old at the time of his father’s death) was responsible for his widowed mother and six younger siblings, later also his wife and their eight children. He had bought land until he owned 640 acres, and ultimately gave each of his children an eighty-acre farm. He gave the Webster United Brethren Church its bell. In a community of stalwart pioneers, he towers above most if not all.” from “The Scotch of Scotch Ridge” by Charlotte Dunipace Shaw
George and Rachael Loomis were the parents of Ortha’s mother (her maternal grandparents.) It was George who was responsible for the wonderful home and stately farm that still sits on the top of the ridge for which Scotch Ridge was named (photo on previous page is the farm April 2014). The home was build in the mid 1850’s it was “quite the finest house in the entire community.” From 1859 to 1871 the post office for the community was in the home of George and Rachael Loomis and was designated as Scotch Ridge. In 1871 the post office was moved to the old store on the southeast corner of Householders’ Corners. In 1871 overnight, Householders’ Corners became Scotch Ridge as the post office was moved there.
Above; Scotch Ridge, OH, printed with permission. This photo above can be found in book “The Scotch of Scotch Ridge”, however, the quality is very poor. I made a trip to BGSU Archives and paid to have the original photo scanned. The photo is of Householder Corners, Scotch Ridge, the intersection of “Phillips Trace” and “McCutcheonville Trail” or what we know of today as the intersection of Rt. 199 and Rt. 105. In the photo you are looking north from the covered bridge on the river (bridge has been replaced with a modern bridge). The square building on the left is the Householder Hotel, on the right is the EUB Church. Between the two you can see part of the Hobart – Bowlus Co. General Store.
I have truly been enjoying my delve into the history of Scotch Ridge. Hope you are enjoying it as well. I will keep sharing , I have found soooo much information. It seems there are many historically important people buried in the Scotch Ridge Cemetery. Maybe that will have to be my next big project – The Notable Persons buried in Scotch Ridge Cemetery.
There will be no meeting this month (April) as our meeting date coincides with a religious observance. Hope to see you next month. The third Thursday will be May 15th. So hope to see you next month, May 15th in the Luckey Library. Over and out Sally