Side A: To utilize the area’s rich timber stands, Detroit industrialist Eber Brock Ward (1811-1875) built a canal around 1870 in what was then Oregon Township, Lucas County. Known as Ward’s Canal, it stretched approximately 2-3/4 miles through wetlands to Lake Erie. Through the canal passed timber sawn at Ward’s mills and ships from his boatyards. Two settlements formed to house workers: Shepherdsville, renamed Bono in 1898, and New Jerusalem. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) Residents from eastern Oregon Township sought their own local government and petitioned to form Jerusalem Township in 1893. After Ward, sawmills and stave-makers harvested timber stands until a disastrous fire ended commercial lumbering in 1895. Around 1900, Howard Farms purchased Ward land to grow onions and other crops, and used the canal to drain wetlands. Commercial fisheries also worked the area, one of which harvested sturgeons’ eggs for caviar. Approximately 150 years after Ward built his canal, the area features a yacht club, marina, and boat launches, and hosts anglers and bird watchers on restored wetlands.