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Toledo Business Signs
French guides and explorers visited this area of the future state of Ohio in the 17th century. They even built a few trading posts. Americans didn’t settle the area however, until 1795, following the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The actual settlement of Toledo itself wasn’t founded until 1833, though.
According to the Ohio Guide’s Federal Writers’ Project, the reasoning behind naming the settlement Toledo “is buried in a welter of legends. One recounts that Washington Irving, who was traveling in Spain at the time, suggested the name to his brother, a local resident; this explanation ignores the fact that Irving returned to the United States in 1832. Others award the honor to Two Stickney, son of the major who quaintly numbered his sons and named his daughters after States. The most popular version attributes the named to Willard J. Daniels, a merchant, who reportedly suggested Toledo because it ‘is easy to pronounce, is pleasant in sound, and there is no other city of that name on the American continent.’”
The other Toledo, in Spain, is reported to have been named by its 5th century (BC) Jewish inhabitants, after the Hebrew word ‘Tulaytulah’, which may have meant wandering, referring to their wandering from Jerusalem.
The modern day Toledo of Ohio, according to a 2013 US Census estimate, has a population of 282,313 people. This makes it the 67th largest city in the country. Toledo’s metropolitan area has a population of 608,145, and is ranked 89th in the US.
The University of Toledo, established in 1872, is the city’s largest employer. Among these employees is its academic staff, which number 2,232. 23,085 students attend the university in total.
Otherwise, Toledo is the site of HCR Manor Care, which is on the Fortune 1000 list. The city and its metropolitan area serves as the headquarters for several Fortune 500 companies such as Dana Corporation, Owens Corning, The Andersons, and Owens Illinois.
Toledo has often been called the ‘Glass City’, due to its historical involvement in the glass industry. In fact, the Toledo Museum of Art contains a large collection of windows, bottles, windshields, construction materials, and glass art. This museum, which opened in 1901, houses a collection of more than 30,000 objects. These also include “large sculptures, environmental structures, and murals by more than 40 artists, such as Alice Adams, Pierre Clerk, Dale Eldred, Penelope Jencks, Hans Van De Bovenkamp, Jerry Peart, and Athena Tacha.”
Toledo boasts several other attractions as well. Stranahan Theater, built in 1969, has a 2,424 seating capacity and is primarily used as a concert venue. The Toledo Opera began in 1959 and perform in the Valentine Theatre Downtown. This theater opened in 1895 and was built by the architect E.O. Fallis.
As for sports, Toledo features the Toledo Speedway and the Automobile Race Club of America (ARCA) headquarters. The city also serves as the home of one of minor league baseball’s oldest teams, the Toledo Mud Hens, who began operation in 1896. Currently, they play at Fifth Third Field. Toledo also serves as the site of Inverness Golf Club, which has hosted six major USGA events over the years.
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