Milan, Ohio – Welcome to Our Town!

We have made our home in Milan (pronounced MY-LEN) for many years. It’s a lovely little village with only about 1400 residents, and has a real small-town feel. Let us tell you a bit more about our area.

The spot where Milan now stands had had many identities over the last few centuries.  The general area was originally a Moravian Indian Mission Village called Petquotting, which had been founded in 1787. That site was abandoned in 1808, and in 1817, Ebenezer Merry dammed the Huron River and established his grist- and sawmills and called it Merry Mills. In 1833, the village nearby, which had been called Beatty, was incorporated as Milan, named after the city in Italy. That same year, the Milan Canal (a.k.a. The Big Ditch) was opened, allowing agricultural goods to be transported from the surrounding areas directly to New York. This, in turn, created new brokerages for the exchange of the farmers’ produce with other goods from the East. In addition to the canal activity, ship-building started, with 60 ships being built of the plenteous white oak. This was they hey-day of the shipping business in Milan. You can still see the canal-route along the Huron River Greenway – a beautiful, beginner-level hiking trail of less than 2 miles – a great way to spend an hour or so on a nice day!

In 1847, Milan’s most famous resident, Thomas Edison, was born at what is now 9 Edison Drive. The family lived in the house until they moved to Port Huron in 1853. He purchased the house in 1906, and after his passing, his wife and daughter endeavored to turn the house into a museum of his life. That building now houses the Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum, which is now undergoing a huge reconstruction to accommodate the new Don Gfell Education Center. The museum will re-open in April 2024. We will be excited to share this exciting new version of the old home place with our guests!

Despite missing the post-Civil War boom, Milan is host to a bevy of beautiful Greek Revival architecture, along with Victorian-style homes. To see some of these lovely edifices, vist the Kelley Block on the village square, along with the impressive great houses on all of the village‚Äôs streets are remarkably preserved. In 2002, Milan was selected by The National Trust for Historic Preservation as a Distinctive Destination. Take a walking tour of Milan’s gorgeous homes using this map from the Erie County Historical Society.

As everyone knows, melon farming has been a huge success in Milan due to the perfect soil conditions for sweet and ripe melons. Every year at Labor Day weekend, the Milan Melon Festival takes over the Square and surrounding areas for exciting, family-friendly frivolity celebrating our delicious Cantaloupes and Watermelons. Thousands of visitors come to the village for good old-fashioned fun. If you want to visit our fair city for the fest, make sure to book your stay early!

This is just a small part of the history and great things to do in Milan, Ohio – come and visit us to learn more and have a great escape!

Attribution: Photo of Milan Town Square: Chris Light at en.wikipedia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *