Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

"A Man Named Granger"

He is the most well-known yet anonymous person of our local history. All the local histories that are available to this writer refer to him as “a man named Granger’ We know that John Pray came to this place along the Maumee River because of the potential water power to run a mill. He knew that to attract farmers and village residents to buy his land, a local mill to grind their grain was crucial. Therefor one of his first acts, once he was firmly established, was to build a dam from the shore to the nearby island creating Pray’s Falls. The problem was that the island was occupied by “a man named Granger.” Granger obligingly sold the island to John Pray for an unreported sum and he completed the dam and built his mill on the island. When Pray made his next trip to the distant land office to register his purchase, imagine his surprise to find that Granger was a squatter who never owned that island. Of course he had to pay the government for that piece of land to be the true owner. So it was that John Pray paid twice for one piece of land. History does not say where that rascal Granger went after that, but his name lives on.  The island has been known through many years of history as Granger’s Island even though he never owned it.

Author’s Note: We are aware that some maps from the late 1800s call it Dodd’s island as he was a longtime owner, but we think the local people knew it as Granger’s. Early maps like 1840 Waterville and maps from 1960 to present call it Granger Island. Granger Island is now part of the Lucas County Metro Park.

P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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