Colonial Boundaries and Land Disputes
Burton's Resilient Community
Burton is located within the Ohio territory historically known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. During the 17th and 18th centuries, western colonial boundaries were ill-defined and extended westward indefinitely. Connecticut’s western boundary overlapped New York and Pennsylvania, and the colonial territories argued over land claims and boundaries. After the Revolutionary War, in 1786, Connecticut withdrew its claims to western lands, with the exception of a swath of present-day northeast Ohio. In the late 1790s, the Connecticut Land Company purchased and oversaw the settlement of the eastern two-thirds of the Western Reserve in Ohio, including Geauga County.
As the earliest settlement in the county, Burton is known as a quintessential Western Reserve town. Beginning with the Umberfield family who arrived her in 1798, many early settlers to Burton came from Cheshire, Connecticut. The settlement grew quickly, with two mills operating by 1800, a public school established in 1803, and a collegiate facility, the Burton Academy, completed in 1806. Later development was facilitated by a Baltimore and Ohio railroad station, built in 1874. Although the depot was located two miles away at Burton Station, twice-daily wagon service-connected Burton residents to the station. By 1895, the town had grown sufficiently to be incorporated as a Village.