The Western Reserve Historical Society
In 1867, the Western Reserve Historical Society was founded to preserve and present the history of all of the people of northeast Ohio . Today, it is the largest privately supported regional historical society in the nation. The reason we're called the Western Reserve Historical Society instead of the Cleveland or Northeast Ohio Historical Society has to do with how the area was settled. When the original colonies of the United States were formed, most of the western borders were left blank, since the settlers didn't know how far west the land went. If you look at the map to your right, you'll notice that northern Ohio is exactly west of Connecticut, so we were originally part of the state of Connecticut . In 1786, the State of Connecticut gave up its claims to Western lands of the United States, except for a portion of northeastern Ohio known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. Later, the land was sold to the Connecticut Land Company, which surveyed and settled the region, but the name Connecticut Western Reserve - or just Western Reserve - continued to be used to describe the northeastern section of Ohio.