Corner of Summit and Monroe Streets.
From high atop the Maumee, this image is looking down at two major intersections - the corner of Summit and Monroe Streets and the confluence of Swan Creek and the Maumee River. This area was known as the “Upper Landing” on the Maumee, better known as Port Lawrence. Port Lawrence was platted by investors from Cincinnati in 1817. However, the "Panic" of 1819 caused their investment to collapse and the village had to be re-platted in 1832. A two-story log warehouse along Swan Creek was the first important structure in this area.
The fact that this was an area of concentrated commerce is still seen today in the many warehouses that surround the confluence of the Maumee and Swan Creek.
After the Erie Canal was opened, Port Lawrence was a focal point where people rested and stocked up for their journey further west or purchased goods for their new home here in our region. The fact that this was an area of concentrated commerce is still seen today in the many warehouses that surround the confluence of the Maumee and Swan Creek. The surrounding area also grew into a major rail hub where items were off-loaded from ships and moved via rail.
The village was named for a War of 1812 naval hero, Captain James Lawrence. In 1827, much of what we today call the Toledo area was organized as Port Lawrence Township, Michigan Territory since it was inside the boundary favored by the folks up north. This was just one of many moves made by Michigan and Ohio as part of the "Toledo War", a dispute based on varying interpretations of the law and two different boundary lines that caused Ohio and Michigan to both claim control over a 468-square-mile region along the border, now known as the Toledo Strip. When Michigan petitioned for statehood in 1835, it wanted to include the disputed territory within its boundaries but Ohio's congressional delegation stalled Michigan's admission to the Union in order to work out a deal to keep what we call Toledo today inside the Ohio boundaries. During the summer of 1836, Congress proposed a compromise that asked Michigan to give up its claim to the strip in exchange for statehood and approximately three-quarters of the Upper Peninsula. Since most of the Upper Peninsula was still "Indian territory" at the time. the compromise was viewed as a bad deal for Michigan and voters rejected the proposal at a state convention in September.
By December 1836, the Michigan government, facing a financial crisis and heavy pressure from both Congress and President Andrew Jackson, called another convention (called the "Frost-bitten Convention") which accepted the compromise that resolved the Toledo War. Eventually, discovery of copper and iron deposits and the plentiful timber in the Upper Peninsula more than offset Michigan's economic loss in surrendering Toledo.