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Fremont, Ohio
Downtown Fremont, Ohio on South Front Street
Downtown Fremont, Ohio on South Front Street
Official seal of Fremont, Ohio
Cutlery Capital of the World
"Where People Come First"
Location of Fremont, Ohio
Location of Fremont, Ohio
Location of Fremont in Sandusky County
Location of Fremont in Sandusky County
Country United States
State Ohio
County Sandusky
Township Ballville, Sandusky
 • Total 8.74 sq mi (22.65 km2)
 • Land 8.53 sq mi (22.08 km2)
 • Water 0.22 sq mi (0.57 km2)
627 ft (191 m)
 • Total 16,734
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,867.10/sq mi (720.90/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 419, 567
FIPS code 39-28826
GNIS feature ID 1040674
Fremont, Ohio
Fremont, Ohio

Fremont (formerly Lower Sandusky) is a city in and the county seat of Sandusky County, Ohio, United States, located along the banks of the Sandusky River. It is about 35 miles from Toledo and 25 miles from Sandusky. The population was 16,734 at the 2010 census.

The city was the home of Rutherford B. Hayes, who served as President of the United States from 1877 to 1881. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center was the first presidential library and is one of the focal points of the city. The National Arbor Day Foundation designated Fremont as a Tree City USA.


The area which is now Fremont was originally a Wyandot village. In the 1750s a French trading post was established there. In 1787 the United States established the Northwest Territory, and in 1803 the southeastern portion of the Territory was admitted to the Union as part of the new state of Ohio. During the early and mid 1800s a few Europeans and African Americans, predominantly runaway slaves, settled in the area, which became known as Lower Sandusky for its location on the Sandusky River. Under the terms of Ohio's admission, Lower Sandusky was defined as Indian Territory, so the non-Wyandot settlements were in direct violation of the Treaty of Greeneville; at one point the United States Army considered removing the settlers by force, but did not carry out the threat. Fort Stephenson was built there during the War of 1812, and the Battle of Fort Stephenson was fought there in August 1813.

In 1821 Lower Sandusky became the county seat of Sandusky County. The town gradually expanded, with primary occupations being shipbuilding, fishing, and agricultural processing. In 1849 the residents changed the name of Lower Sandusky to Fremont, in honor of John C. Frémont. In 1873 future president Rutherford B. Hayes moved into a family home in Fremont called Spiegel Grove. The home is now part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, the first presidential library in the United States (founded in 1916).


Fremont is located at 41°20′56″N 83°7′2″W / 41.34889°N 83.11722°W / 41.34889; -83.11722 (41.348909, -83.117123), along the Sandusky River.

The city has a total area of 8.57 square miles (22.20 km2), of which 8.35 square miles (21.63 km2) is land and 0.22 square miles (0.57 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 351
1840 1,117 218.2%
1850 1,464 31.1%
1860 3,510 139.8%
1870 5,455 55.4%
1880 8,440 54.7%
1890 7,141 −15.4%
1900 8,439 18.2%
1910 9,939 17.8%
1920 12,468 25.4%
1930 13,422 7.7%
1940 14,710 9.6%
1950 16,537 12.4%
1960 18,767 13.5%
1970 18,490 −1.5%
1980 17,887 −3.3%
1990 17,648 −1.3%
2000 17,375 −1.5%
2010 16,734 −3.7%
2019 (est.) 15,917 −4.9%

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 16,734 people, 6,745 households, and 4,162 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,004.1 inhabitants per square mile (773.8/km2). There were 7,541 housing units at an average density of 903.1 per square mile (348.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.7% White, 8.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 5.3% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 16.1% of the population.

There were 6,745 households, of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 18.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.3% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 35.3 years. 27.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 24.7% were from 45 to 64; and 13.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

Arts and culture

Spiegel Grove (Rutherford B. Hayes Summer Home)
The Rutherford B. Hayes House at Spiegel Grove.

Annual cultural events

  • May 17–19, 2012: 1st Annual Sandusky County Arts and Music Festival
  • June 16, 2012: Farmer's Market and the Fremont Federal Credit Union Car Show
  • July 21, 2012: Farmer's Market featuring the AEP Ohio Art and Music Fest
  • August 4, 2012: Farmer's Market and the Fremont Athletic Supply Front Street Relay!
  • August 18, 2012: Farmer's Market and the Green Bay Packaging Dog Days of Summer
  • September 15, 2012: Farmer's Market and the Croghan Colonial Bank Service Club Olympics
  • October 6, 2012: Farmer's Market and the Kid's Market
  • October 20, 2012: Farmer's Market and the Memorial Health Care System Scarecrow Contest


Historic downtown Fremont

Downtown Fremont is located next to the Sandusky River on Front Street. Front Street is home to many small businesses that include boutiques, gift shops, restaurants, and many other attractions fully listed below. Downtown Fremont, although it has been through many economic ups and downs has been the center point of the city for many years.


The world's largest ketchup plant, operated by Heinz is located in Fremont, producing 80% of the ketchup sold in the United States. At one time the city was home to several cutlery companies: the Christy Company, Clauss Cutlery Company, Quikut, B.A.P. Manufacturing, the Ginsu Cutlery Line, and Herbrand tools. It was also home to a Pioneer Sugar processing plant which closed in 1997, but as of 2020, remains a Michigan Sugar warehouse, despite plans in 2009 to open an ethanol refinery plant on the site.


Public education is provided by the Fremont City School District, which enrolls 3,519 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school, Fremont Ross. The city is also home to Vanguard-Sentinel Career and Technology Centers, offering career-specific college level classes, Bishop Hoffman Catholic Schools, affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo, which serves students in grades preschool through 12 and includes Saint Joseph Central Catholic High School for grades nine through 12. Another private school for grades preschool through grade 12, Temple Christian Academy, is operated by Fremont Baptist Temple.

Terra State Community College, a two-year community college founded in 1968, is located on a 143-acre (58 ha) campus in the western part of the city. It has an enrollment of approximately 2,400 students, mainly from Sandusky, Seneca, and Ottawa counties.

Fremont has a public library, a branch of the Birchard Public Library of Sandusky County.



Two long-distance US routes run through Fremont, U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 20. State Routes 12, 19, 53 and 412 also pass through or terminate in the Fremont area. SR 53 roughly parallels the path of the Sandusky River, designated as a state scenic river, to its mouth at Sandusky Bay.

None of these routes passes through Fremont but were constructed outside. They are multiplexed on a bypass of the city, most of which is 4 lanes. The bypass has both grade-level crossings and controlled-access interchanges. Prior to completion of the bypass in the late 1950s, all of these routes passed through Fremont. Their former alignments are currently signed as "City Route (number)", with the number being that of the predecessor highway.

The Ohio Turnpike, another long-distance east–west route, passes approximately 4 miles north of the city. The Turnpike is signed as Interstates 80 and 90. Exit 91 (originally Exit 6) links the Turnpike to Fremont via State Route 53.

Industry is served by the Norfolk Southern railroad. In the city, it uses parts of two defunct railroads as spurs to factories.

Notable people

  • Margret Holmes Bates (1844-1927), author
  • Alycia Baumgardner, Professional Women's Boxer and Model , WBC Champion of the World, IBO Champion of the World
  • Tom Beier, National Football League player, All American in college football
  • Bob Brudzinski, National Football League player
  • Clarence Childs, 1912 US Olympic team, bronze medalist, hammer throw
  • Mark Coleman, mixed martial artist, UFC champion, UFC Hall of Fame, 1992 US Olympic wrestling team
  • Everton Conger, capturer of John Wilkes Booth
  • Dana DeMuth, Major League Baseball umpire
  • Paul Dietzel, college football coach
  • Doug Gallagher, Major League Baseball pitcher, Detroit Tigers
  • Robert W. Hines, national wildlife artist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Alice E. Johnson, architect
  • Carla F. Kim, Associate Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School
  • Robert Knepper, actor, role of "T-Bag" in the Prison Break television series
  • Tony Little, television fitness personality
  • Rob Lytle, football player, member of College Football Hall of Fame, player for NFL's Denver Broncos
  • Shawn McCarthy, National Football League player, New England Patriots
  • Walter R. Nickel, dermatologist
  • Myles Porter, 2012 US Paralympic Team, silver medalist, judo
  • Bob Snyder, football player, 3-time NFL champion, coach of Los Angeles Rams
  • Diane Wray Williams, Minnesota state legislator, businesswoman, and teacher
  • Charles Woodson, football player, Heisman Trophy winner for University of Michigan, 9-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, Pro Football Hall of Famer.
  • Jacob Wukie, recurve archer, 2012 Olympic silver medalist
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