Sandusky, Ohio: Wikis


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City of Sandusky
—  City  —

Location within the state of Ohio
Coordinates: 41°26′48″N 82°42′33″W / 41.44667°N 82.70917°W / 41.44667; -82.70917Coordinates: 41°26′48″N 82°42′33″W / 41.44667°N 82.70917°W / 41.44667; -82.70917
Country United States
State Ohio
County Erie
Founded 1816
 - Type City Commission
 - President Craig Stahl
 - Vice-President Brett L. Fuqua Sr.
 - Commissioners[1] Dan Kaman
Pervis D. Brown Jr.
David Waddington
Julie Farrar
Robert Warner
 - City 22.0 sq mi (57.0 km2)
 - Land 10.1 sq mi (26.0 km2)
 - Water 11.9 sq mi (30.9 km2)
Elevation 597 ft (182 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 25,688
 Density 2,770.5/sq mi (1,069.7/km2)
 Urban 50,693
 Metro 77,323
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 44870-44871
Area code(s) 419/567
FIPS code 39-70380[2]
GNIS feature ID 1076832[3]

Sandusky pronounced [suhn-duhs-kee, san-] is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Erie County.[4] It is located in northern Ohio and is situated on the shores of Lake Erie, almost exactly half-way between Toledo to the west and Cleveland to the east.

The population was 27,844 at the 2000 census. In 2008, Sandusky had an estimated population of 25,688.[5] According to the US Census 2007 estimate, the Sandusky, Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 77,323 residents.[6]

Sandusky is one of Ohio's most popular tourist destinations. The city is home to the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a regional leader in amusement parks and entertainment, as well as its flagship amusement park, Cedar Point. Cedar Point features the largest collection of roller coasters in the world as well as many current and former record holders. The park also has the largest collection of rides at a single park and many thrilling flat rides as well as kiddie areas.

The National Arbor Day Foundation has designated Sandusky as a Tree City USA.



Fort Sandusky was a British trading and military outpost established around 1794. The Native Americans that inhabited the immediate surrounding area were the Seneca, displaced at the outset of the American Revolution. The generally accepted theory is that the name "Sandusky" is an Anglicization of the phrase "San Too Chee", meaning "cold water." A less accepted theory is that the city was named after a Polish fur trader by the name of Antoni Sadowski or Jacob Sodowsky.[7] Further proof of this comes from the fact that the name "I.Sandoski" appears on this map from 1733 [8]. The fact is that the surname originally was spellt Sądowski in Polish which is pronounced "Sung-doff-ski", but in English the letter "W" contrary to Polish , is not pronounced as the letter "V" which leaves us with the assimilated English version of "Sandoski".

The Greater Sandusky area was a safe haven and a new start for refugees of the Firelands refugees of the Revolutionary War in Connecticut. Norwalk, the Huron County seat (just south of Erie County) is named for Norwalk, Connecticut, as is New London, a small town south of Norwalk.

Established as Portland in 1816,[9] the name was changed two years later to Sandusky. Norwalk was also established in 1816; at the time, both were growing towns of a unified Huron County. Not long after, thanks to the growth of both towns, Erie County, Ohio's second smallest (in land area), came into being. The county encompassed newly-rechristened Sandusky's far west side, Vermilion to the east, and Norwalk's northern line to the south.

The Kilbourne Plat, showing Masonic symbol street patterns in downtown Sandusky.

Prior to the abolition of slavery in the United States, Sandusky was a major stop on the Underground Railroad. As depicted in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, many slaves seeking to reach freedom in Canada made their way to Sandusky, where they boarded boats crossing Lake Erie to the port of Amherstburg in Ontario.

Downtown Sandusky was designed according a modified grid plan known as the Kilbourne Plat after its designer. The original street pattern featured a grid overlaid with streets resembling the symbols of Freemasonry. Hector Kilbourne was a surveyor who laid out this grid in downtown Sandusky. He was the first Worshipful Master of the Sandusky Masonic Lodge.

Sandusky was the site of groundbreaking for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad on September 17, 1835. Currently, Battery Park Marina is located on original site of the MR&LE Railroad. The tracks that ran through downtown Sandusky have since been removed due to most of the downtown industrial area being re-used for other purposes including mainly marina dockage. The coal docks located west of downtown still use a portion of the original MR&LE lines.

The city was a center of paper-making. The Hinde & Dauch Paper Company was the largest employer in the city in the early 1900s.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 5,087
1860 8,408 65.3%
1870 13,000 54.6%
1880 15,838 21.8%
1890 18,471 16.6%
1900 19,664 6.5%
1910 19,989 1.7%
1920 22,897 14.5%
1930 24,022 4.9%
1940 24,874 3.5%
1950 29,375 18.1%
1960 31,989 8.9%
1970 32,674 2.1%
1980 31,360 −4.0%
1990 29,764 −5.1%
2000 27,844 −6.5%
Est. 2008 25,688 −7.7%
Population 1850-2000.[10]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 27,844 people, 11,851 households, and 7,039 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,770.5 people per square mile (1,069.7/km²). There were 13,323 housing units at an average density of 1,325.7/sq mi (511.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 74.50% White, 21.08% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, and 2.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.09% of the population.

There were 11,851 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.6% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,133, and the median income for a family was $37,749. Males had a median income of $31,269 versus $21,926 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,111. About 12.2% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.7% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


Sandusky has a very prominent tourism industry fueled by the world-renowned attraction of Cedar Point, and more recently by its many indoor and outdoor water parks.


Cedar Point

The Blue Streak, Cedar Point's oldest roller coaster

In 1870, Louis Zistel, a local businessman opened a beer garden, bathhouse, and dance floor on the Cedar Point Peninsula. Over the years, the area became a more and more popular destination for relaxation and leisure. In 1892, the park's first roller coaster, the Switchback Railway, was built. A hotel called the Bay Shore Hotel was opened in 1899. Cedar Point's second roller coaster, the Figure-Eight Roller Toboggan opened in 1902. As the years went on, more and more rides and attractions were added to the park including midway games. Before 1914, the park could only be reached by steamboat, but in that year a roadway was opened connecting the park to the mainland and Sandusky's major roadways. The Cedar Point Marina, one of the largest on the Great Lakes was completed in 1959.

In 1964, the Blue Streak a wooden roller coaster was built and named for the local high school's mascot. It is currently the park's oldest operating roller coaster. In the latter half of the twentieth century, Cedar Point shattered countless roller coaster records with rides like the Corkscrew (first coaster with three or more inversions), the Gemini (tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world when constructed in 1978), the Magnum XL-200 (tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world when constructed in 1989), the Mean Streak (tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world when constructed in 1991), the Raptor (tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster in the world when constructed in 1994), and the Mantis (tallest and fastest stand-up roller coaster in the world when constructed in 1996).

In 2000, the Millennium Force was built, at 310 feet tall, and 93 miles per hour top speed. Cedar Point brought its roller coaster total to 17 in 2007 with the construction of Maverick, making it the park with the most roller coasters and amusement rides in the world. It has long been nicknamed "America's Roller Coast". It is also ranked the best amusement park in the world by GT awards.


An African themed waterpark called the Kalahari just outside Sandusky, Ohio.

The tourist draw produced by Cedar Point has drawn resort businesses and waterparks to the area. A list of the major waterparks in and near Sandusky are as follows:





Muddy brown water fills Sandusky Bay, just south of Lake Erie in this astronaut photograph.

Sandusky is located at 41°26′48″N 82°42′33″W / 41.44667°N 82.70917°W / 41.44667; -82.70917 (41.446741, -82.709092)[11].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.0 square miles (57.0 km²), of which, 10.1 square miles (26.0 km²) of it is land and 11.9 square miles (30.9 km²) of it (54.30%) is water.


Sandusky has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa), typical of much of the central United States, with very warm, humid summers and cold winters. Winters tend to be cold, with an average January high temperature of 32°F (0°C), and an average January low temperature of 19°F (−7°C), with considerable variation in temperatures. Sandusky averages 28.4 inches (721.4 mm) of snow per winter.[12] Summers tend to be warm, sometimes hot, with an average July high temperature of 82°F (28°C), and an average July low temperature of 66° (19°C). Summer weather is more stable, generally humid with thunderstorms fairly common. Fall usually is the dryest season with many clear warm days and cool nights.

The highest recorded temperature in Sandusky of 105°F (41°C) was set on July 14, 1936, and the lowest recorded temperature of −20°F (−29°C) was set on January 19, 1994.[13]

Climate data for Sandusky, Ohio
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
Average high °F (°C) 32
Average low °F (°C) 19
Record low °F (°C) -20
Rainfall inches (mm) 1.87
Snowfall inches (mm) 8.3
Source: The Weather Channel and Weatherbase[12][13] November 2008


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Sandusky.

A Greyhound Lines bus station is located on Route 250 south of Sandusky in Perkins Township.

Ferry Boats: (All departing from the Jackson Street Pier)

M/V Goodtime I - Seasonal daily service to Kelleys Island and South Bass Island. Also provides special party cruises and charters.

M/V Pelee Islander - Seasonal scheduled service to Pelee Island connecting to Leamington, Ontario and Kingsville, Ontario.

M/V Jet Express III - Seasonal daily service to Kelleys Island and South Bass Island connecting to Port Clinton, OH.


Sandusky Public Schools enroll 3,775 students in public primary and secondary schools.[14] The district administers 10 public schools including six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Other than public schools, the city is home to one private catholic school, St. Mary Central Catholic High School. Both Sandusky High School and St. Mary Central Catholic High School participate in varsity and junior varsity sports; their teams are called the Blue Streaks and Panthers respectively. Sandusky High's colors are navy and white; SMCC's are blue and gold.


Sandusky is served by a daily newspaper, The Sandusky Register, and several local radio stations. BAS Broadcasting owns and operates WCPZ 102.7 FM, which features a hot adult contemporary format, WMJK 100.9 FM (licensed to Clyde, Ohio), which plays modern country, WOHF 92.1 FM which plays classic rock, WFRO 99.1 which carries an adult contemporary format, and WLEC 1450 AM which plays oldies and standards. There are several options for Christian radio in the area, including WVMS 89.5 FM, run by the Moody Bible Institute as a relay of WCRF in Cleveland; WGGN 97.7 FM in Castalia, which plays contemporary Christian music and is co-owned with religious WGGN-TV 52; and a translator for the Bible Broadcasting Network at 88.3 FM. Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting operates several stations serving the Sandusky area, including WKFM 96.1 FM (country music) and WLKR-FM 95.3 FM (modern adult/adult alternative) and WLKR 1510 AM (sports talk). Stations from the Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Windsor and Fremont areas also reach the Sandusky area.

Perkins Township

Perkins Township is a township that lies south of Perkins Avenue, which bisects what is informally considered the Sandusky Metropolitan Area. The Sandusky Mall and the Sandusky Speedway are located south of Perkins Avenue, and therefore lie in Perkins Township. Perkins Township does not have its own main post office, so the township uses Sandusky city's ZIP code of 44870.

Notable residents

Sandusky in popular culture

  • Charles Dickens passed through Sandusky in 1842. He describes it in American Notes as "sluggish and uninteresting enough,... something like the back of an English watering-place, out of the season."
  • Sandusky was the setting for the film Tommy Boy, but was only seen in one brief scene in the beginning of the movie (most scenes were shot in Ontario). The Sandusky Register, the city's newspaper, was also asked to provide newspaper boxes to be used as props for the movie.
  • Sandusky (specifically, 1984 Sandusky) was also the setting for the 1998 film Edge of Seventeen which featured several recognizable location shots. Footage from Cedar Point is used (some of which is 1984 vintage) though no scenes with the film's cast were shot in the park, which is called "Crystal Shores" in the film.
  • The character of Sugar, played by Marilyn Monroe in the film Some Like It Hot, hailed from Sandusky.
  • In The Monkees episode, "Alias Micky Dolenz", Micky says he is from Sandusky.
  • Local legend holds that a now-defunct Sandusky restaurant, the Porterhouse (that once stood on the corner of Wayne and Water Streets), was the originator of the Porterhouse steak. This story appears to be apocryphal.
  • Dudley (Booger) Dawson's supposed illegitimate child was from Sandusky in Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love
  • In Paul Gallico's book The Poseidon Adventure, New York cop Mike Rogo's wife Linda was from Sandusky, though she didn't care to talk about it.
  • In the movie, Network, Robert Duvall's character says the following referring to response from a show on the network, "Herb's phone hasn't stopped ringing! Every god damn affiliate from Albuquerque to Sandusky! The response is sensational!" Sandusky does not have a broadcast TV affiliate, nor did it during the time of the film.
  • The 1985 movie Fast Forward is about a fictional group of dancers from Sandusky who travel to New York to compete in a talent competition.
  • The 1990 movie Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, which is set in the nearby town of Clyde, Ohio, includes scenes shot in Sandusky.
  • In the 2004 movie 50 First Dates, Dr. Keats (played by Dan Aykroyd) says his brain injury clinic is funded by Callahan Auto, in Sandusky. (An allusion to the movie "Tommy Boy," which Aykroyd was also in).
  • Sandusky also features in Paul Auster's book, The Book of Illusions, where the book's protagonist meets his eventual wife, having saved her from a bullet during an attempted bank robbery.
  • In an episode ("Seadog" Season 1, Episode 3 - 2003) of NCIS the NCIS director tells the lead agent that if he messes up, the only orders he will give will be to the Fire Department of Sandusky, Ohio
  • In an episode of Metalocalypse ("Mordland"), the Jomfru brothers and Charles Foster Ofdensen are making small talk in an elevator, where Ofdenson asked the brothers were they are from and they reply with, "Sandusky, Ohio", to which Ofdenson says "Oh, there's an amusement park there, right?". The brothers say, "Yes, there is an amusement park.". Finally, Ofdenson replies, "Well that's always fun."
  • In Bob Greene's reconstructed journal Be True to Your School: A Diary of 1964, Greene and his friends spend a week in Sandusky's Ceadar Point in late August of that year.


  1. ^ "City Commission Meet Your Commissioners". City of Sandusky. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Sandusky Statistics". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Erie County Chamber
  10. ^ "Census Of Population And Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ a b "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Sandusky, Ohio".  Retrieved on 2008-11-13.
  13. ^ a b Monthly Averages for Sandusky, OH. The Weather Channel. Retrieved on 2008-11-13.
  14. ^ Great "Sandusky City School District Profile". Retrieved 2008-07-21. 

External links


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