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South County Water
That portion of Monroe County embraced in what is now the Township of Erie was originally known as the “Bay Settlement” and remained so until March 5, 1835 (cf. postmaster pp.91) when the post office was officially designated as “Erie.” The name of Erie is derived from its geographical location at the head of Lake Erie. Let it be recalled that Lake Erie derived its name from an ancient Indian tribe, the Erri-er-ro-nous, better known as the “Eries”, who lived here before the Ottawas and the Potawatomies. When the first settlement of white men was made in Erie is not written, neither does it seem to have been permanent. Traditionary legends tell us that a party of Jesuit priests and a few of their followers, sometime in the middle or latter part of the eighteenth century were coasting along the south shore of Lake Erie in canoes or pirogues, crossed the Miami (Maumee) river near its mouth and entered Ottawa Bay at or near Gard Island, proceeded on up the Bay, found and entered Bay Creek and followed it up as far as it was navigable for their pirogues, which point was near where the railroad bridges now span the creek. There they landed and founded the first settlement and trading post of white men in the Bay Settlement.
“Erie Township was one of the first five organized in Monroe County under the act of Congress in 1827, which by act of the legislative council, comprised all that part of the county of Monroe south of the south line of Monroe township and east of the east line of the township of Raisinville, bounded on the south by township No.8, south of the base line and including ranges 6, 7, and 8 east of the meridian. It was provided that the first election should be held at the house of Francis Cousineau. Thus the township included within its specified boundaries all of the present townships of Erie, Bedford, LaSalle except a strip of about a half mile in width lying between the present Ohio line and the south line of township No.8; this by the same act was to constitute the township of Port Lawrence; as before stated was in the ‘disputed territory;’ – in this position the geographical line remained until after the ‘Toledo War,’ after which this strip was attached to the townships lying north of it in Michigan…”