Portage County, Ohio

Portage County, Ohio

Infobox U.S. County
county = Portage County
state = Ohio

founded year = 1807cite web|url = http://www.odod.state.oh.us/research/FILES/S0/Portage.pdf |title = Ohio County Profiles: Portage County |accessdate = 2007-04-28 |publisher = Ohio Department of Development | format = PDF]
founded date = June 7
seat wl = Ravenna
largest city wl = Kent
area_total_sq_mi = 507
area_total_km2 = 1313
area_land_sq_mi = 492
area_land_km2 = 1275
area_water_sq_mi = 15
area_water_km2 = 38
area percentage = 2.90%
census yr = 2000
pop = 152061
density_sq_mi =
density_km2 = 119
time zone = Eastern
UTC offset = -5
DST offset= -4
web = www.co.portage.oh.us
named for = the portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers|

Portage County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. As of 2000, the population was 152,061. Its county seat is RavennaGR|6. Portage County is named for the portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers. cite web|url = http://www.osuedc.org/profiles/profile_entrance.php?fips=39133&sid=0 |title = Portage County data |accessdate = 2007-04-28 |publisher = Ohio State University Extension Data Center ] It is known for its numerous sightings of what many believe to be the so-called "Bigfoot" cite web|url = http://bfro.net/GDB/show_county_reports.asp?state=OH&county=Portage |title = Portage County Ohio -- Reports & Articles |accessdate = 2008-06-05 |publisher = Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization ] and the Portage County UFO Chase.

Portage is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The name "Portage" comes from an old Native American path called "Portage Trail", which ran between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers, where travelers portaged their canoes. The location of the trail today is within the boundaries of neighboring Summit County.

The first European settler in what is now Portage County was Abraham Honey in 1798 in the area now known as Mantua Township, followed by Asa Hall in what is now Atwater Township in April 1799; Benjamin Tappan, Jr. in what is now Ravenna, David Daniels in what is now Palmyra Township, and Ebenezer Sheldon in what is now Aurora all arrived in June 1799.cite book |title= History of Portage County Ohio|last= Brown|first= R.C |authorlink= |coauthors= Norris, J.E.|year= 1885, 1972 revision|publisher= Warner, Beers, and Company|location= Chicago, Illinois|isbn= |pages=pp. 229-232]

When first settled, the area that presently constitutes Portage County was part of the original Jefferson County, which had been organized in 1797. [cite web |url= http://www.myohiogenealogy.com/oh_maps/oh_cf.htm#|title= Ohio County Formation Maps|accessdate=2008-05-26 |work= Genealogical Information for the State of Ohio|publisher= Genealogy, Inc.|date= 1999] In 1800, the area was made part of Trumbull County, which followed the boundaries of the Connecticut Western Reserve. [Brown and Norris, p. 192]


Geographic features

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,313 km²).492 square miles (1,275 km²) of it is land and 15 square miles (38 km²) of it (2.90%) is water.

West Branch State Park is a very large state park in central Portage County, consisting of a large green surrounding the Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir. There are a number of smaller state and local parks.

Major highways

Interstate 80, Interstate 76, and U.S. Route 224 pass through Portage County heading east-west.

Interstate 480 connects to Interstate 80 and State Route 14 in Streetsboro and is a major thoroughfare for those heading north. It also serves to connect Portage County to Cleveland proper.

Adjacent counties

*Geauga County (north)
*Trumbull County (east)
*Mahoning County (southeast)
*Stark County (south)
*Summit County (west)
*Cuyahoga County (northwest corner)


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 152,061 people, 56,449 households, and 39,175 families residing in the county. The population density was 309 people per square mile (119/km²). There were 60,096 housing units at an average density of 122 per square mile (47/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.40% White, 3.18% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 0.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.5% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 9.9% Italian, 9.7% English, 9.7% American and 5.2% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.1% spoke English and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 56,449 households out of which 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.60% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.70% under the age of 18, 14.30% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $44,347, and the median income for a family was $52,820. Males had a median income of $37,434 versus $26,232 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,428. About 5.90% of families and 9.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.90% of those under age 18 and 5.70% of those age 65 or over.



Portage County is arranged as a 4x5 grid of 20 rectangles: 18 unincorporated townships containing 9 cities and villages; and two incorporated townships which are fully occupied by one city each.

Under Ohio law, there are two types of incorporated municipal jurisdictions: cities and villages, and any territory within a county that is not part of an incorporated municipality (city or village), is part of a township. Townships have limited local government and services.

There are 18 unincorporated townships:

* Atwater Township
* Brimfield Township
* Charlestown Township
* Deerfield Township
* Edinburg Township
* Franklin Township
* Freedom Township
* Hiram Township
* Mantua Township
* Nelson Township
* Palmyra Township
* Paris Township
* Randolph Township
* Ravenna Township
* Rootstown Township
* Shalersville Township
* Suffield Township
* Windham Township

There are 11 villages and cities that were formed from all or parts of the original 20 townships:

* Aurora city (fully occupies the former Aurora Township)
* Brady Lake village (Franklin Township)
* Garrettsville village (Hiram and Nelson Townships)
* Hiram village (Hiram Township)
* Kent city (Franklin Township & small portion of Brimfield Township)
* Mantua village (Mantua Township)
* Mogadore village (Suffield Township)
* Ravenna city (Ravenna Township)
* Streetsboro city (occupies most of the former Streetsboro township)
* Sugar Bush Knolls village (Streetsboro and Franklin Townships)
* Windham village (Windham Township)

In addition to the above, a small part of Tallmadge is in land that was formerly part of Brimfield Township (the rest of the city is in Summit County).

Two small unincorporated communities in Portage County have their own post offices:

There is one unincorporated Census-designated place, in Brimfield Township:

The Ravenna Training and Logistics Site, commonly known as the Ravenna Arsenal, consumes much of the land in Charlestown, Paris, and Windham Township, as well as a small part of Freedom Township.


Portage County is home to eleven public school districts.cite web |url= http://www.cleveland.com/pdgraphics/interactive/propertytax2007/ |title= Property Tax 2007|accessdate=2008-10-11 |author= Exner, Rich|work= Cleveland.com Business|publisher= Plain Dealer|date= 2008]

In addition, there are parts of five neighboring districts which serve portions of Portage County residents.

"*= Although the village of Mogadore is located in both Summit and Portage Counties its school facilities are physically located in Summit County."

Higher education

Portage County is home to four institutions of higher learning:
*Kent State University, located in Kent; a large regional public research university with over 34,000 students. It serves as the county's largest employer.

*Hiram College, located in Hiram in northwestern Portage County; a small liberal arts college of around 1,200 students.

*The Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM), located in Rootstown, in the south-central part of the county. It serves students from Kent State, the University of Akron, Youngstown State University, and Cleveland State University.

*Bohecker College, a small two-year college of around 300 students in Ravenna specializing in the business and medical technician fields.


* [http://www.co.portage.oh.us/ The Portage County Ohio Government Website]
* [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/39/39133.html US Census Bureau Quickfacts for Portage County, Ohio]

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