From Ohio History Central
Port Clinton is the county seat of Ottawa County, Ohio. Residents established the community in 1828 on the shores of Lake Erie. They named the town after DeWitt Clinton, a governor of New York.
Port Clinton grew slowly. In 1846, only sixty homes existed in the community. Although the town had an excellent harbor, little shipping occurred. The town remained relatively small throughout the nineteenth century, with a population of 1,600 people in 1880 and 2,049 residents in 1890. By 1886, Port Clinton contained three newspaper offices, four churches, and one bank. Several manufacturing businesses existed in the town, with the largest employer being A. Couche & Company, a sawmill that employed ten workers. Most businesses provided services or products to farmers in the surrounding countryside.
During the twentieth century, Port Clinton's population continued to grow. In 2000, 6,391 residents lived in the community. As a whole, Ottawa County experienced a 2.4 percent increase in population between 1990 and 2000. Many of these new residents had left nearby Toledo, hoping to find a quieter lifestyle in Ottawa County. Numerous Port Clinton residents find employment in the tourism industry, operating restaurants, owning antique stores, or providing tourists with lodging in various inns and beds and breakfasts. Other locals work in Toledo, in neighboring Lucas County.