“Where did Lake Milton get its name?” a curious patron wanted to know.
We checked the Milton Township website, which includes information on its history. From the website, we learned that Milton Township was originally home to the Erie Indians until the Iroquois Confederacy went to war with them in 1653. Settlers, including Nathaniel Stanley, Aaron Porter, and John Van Netten, arrived in 1803. The town was one of the most sparsely populated in Mahoning County until development of the lake began.
However, not finding any information on the origins of the town’s name, we brought in reinforcements and called the reference librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. The librarian we spoke to was extremely friendly and willing to help. Since she didn't know off the top of her head either, she consulted Ohio Place Names by Larry L. Miller. According to Miller’s book, Lake Milton most likely takes its name from Milton, Connecticut, which makes sense given that it was originally part of the Connecticut Western Reserve.
As it turns out, we have a copy of Ohio Place Names here in the library. Out of curiosity, we looked up Newton Falls and found that it was originally just called “Falls.” The “Newton” was added later, probably in reference to Newtown, Connecticut, though a piece of local folklore credits the name to Eben Newton, an 1812 schoolteacher.
If you’re interested in knowing where your own town’s name comes from, feel free to give us a call or stop by!