Milan is located in an area of land known as the Fire Lands, just south of Lake Erie. The first settlement, a Moravian mission called New Salem, did not last long, and permanent settlement came with Ebenezer Merry in 1816. Within 20 years, the citizens of Milan were planning a project that would change the face of the village forever. A group of businessmen banded together and formed the Milan Canal Company, eventually being incorporated by the State of Ohio to help fund the Milan Canal. The economic success that the canal brought resulted in a surge of architecture and wealth in the area. Samuel Edison, a shingle-maker by trade, brought his family here from Canada to gain a piece of the prosperity. During the peak year of 1847, Thomas Alva Edison was born in his home in Milan, where the family remained for seven years.
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