Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Ohio moments

Cincinnatians helped create Walleye Capital

On Nov. 26, 1827, Ezekiel Smith Haines paid $4,000 for 1,212 acres at the mouth of the Portage River, on the shore of Lake Erie in Ottawa County. The village of Port Clinton was laid out there by Haines and fellow Cincinnatians, including his stepfather, William Lytle, who in 1829 would become U.S. surveyor general for Ohio.

Street names included nautical heroes of the day, such as Perry and Fulton. The town was named for DeWitt Clinton, the New York governor responsible for creation of the Erie Canal. Haines hoped a canal would be built from Port Clinton to the Ohio River at Cincinnati, but the scheme fell through.

Instead, Port Clinton, now a city of 6,391, became known as the "Walleye Capital of the World." which Gov. James A. Rhodes declared in 1980. Tens of millions of walleye - named for their large, glassy eyes - live in the local waters, and the town's restaurants serve up everything from walleye chowder to walleye bagels.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361.

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