Elyria, Ohio

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City of Elyria
Elyria, OH
clockwise from top left: Ely Square Gazebo; Western Falls of Cascade; Old Courthouse; Ely Square Cannon; Hickories Museum.
Location of Elyria in Lorain County and state of Ohio
Location of Elyria in Lorain County and state of Ohio
Elyria is located in Ohio
Location of Elyria in Lorain County and state of Ohio
Elyria is located in the United States
Elyria (the United States)
Coordinates: 41°22′24″N 82°6′6″W / 41.37333°N 82.10167°W / 41.37333; -82.10167Coordinates: 41°22′24″N 82°6′6″W / 41.37333°N 82.10167°W / 41.37333; -82.10167
Country United States
State Ohio
County Lorain
FoundedMarch 1817
 • TypeMayor - Council
 • MayorFrank Whitfield
 • Total20.76 sq mi (53.78 km2)
 • Land20.50 sq mi (53.10 km2)
 • Water0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)
Elevation715 ft (218 m)
 • Total54,533
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,621.91/sq mi (1,012.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
44035, 44036, 44039, 44074
Area code(s)440
FIPS code39-25256[5]
GNIS feature ID1040177[2]
Former Lorain County Courthouse

Elyria (/əˈlɪəriə/ ə-LEER-ee-ə) is a city in the Greater Cleveland metropolitan statistical area and the county seat of Lorain County, Ohio, United States,[6] located at the forks of the Black River in Northeast Ohio 23 miles southwest of Cleveland. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 54,533.[7] The city is home to Lorain County Community College.


The city's name is derived from the surname of its founder, Heman Ely, and Illyria, the historical name used by ancient Greeks and Romans to refer to the western Balkans.[8][9][10]


The village of Elyria was officially founded in 1817 by Heman Ely, who built a log house, dam, gristmill and sawmill on the village's site along the Black River. Ely began to build more houses to accommodate European-American settlers migrating to what was, at that time, within Huron County, Ohio. By the time Ely died in 1852, Elyria had five churches, three grocery stores, three flour mills, a newspaper, and a population of more than 1,500. Early postal service from Cleveland was provided by Artemis Beebe, a rider who held the first contract to deliver mail across this section of the Black River.

By the turn of the 20th century, Elyria was a town of about 8,000. In 1908, Elyria Memorial Hospital was built. It has since evolved into an award-winning regional healthcare system. In the first half of the 20th century, the town developed some manufacturing, as well as a range of retail businesses.

In August 1967, at the peak of Elyria's population, Midway Mall was opened. It changed the local economy by attracting local businesses from the town center or causing so much competition they went out of business.[11] Industrial restructuring meant that good jobs left the area, and poverty increased. Three major car plant closings in the area lead to economic stagnation and joblessness in the 1970s and 1980s that affected numerous communities. The region was nicknamed "the Rustbelt," suggesting the decline of its former industries.

In the 1990s, Elyria experienced a minor revival with construction of some new roads and housing. It serves as a residential, suburban "bedroom community" for Cleveland, where new businesses and industries are developing with an increase in new jobs.

Hard times and new ideas came to Elyria in the 2000s and 2010s. Companies like Bendix, and 3M moved their operations elsewhere during this time. To prepare for this, voters passed Issue 6 in March of 2016. Issue 6 increased the city's income tax by 0.5%. It was used to pay for police, parks, and fiber-optic Internet in the city. With the reconstruction of State Route 57 on the city's northwest side by Midway Mall, traffic flow has been improved. There has been some new economic development near Route 57 such as new hotels. There is hope a buyer will revitalize the area with plans having been presented. Revitalization efforts for Downtown Elyria continue through the effort of groups such as Invest Elyria, Main Street Elyria, and local citizens. The historic Lorain County Courthouse is being renovated to so it can be used again. Several old building are being reconstructed. A few new ones also being built. As of April 2017, there are plans for multiple small businesses and restaurants to open downtown. The city is showing signs of hope and revival as its residents try to restore the city to its peak days of the early to mid-1900s. In 2017, Elyria celebrated its 200th Birthday.


Elyria, part of the Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor metropolitan area, is located at 41°22′24″N 82°6′6″W / 41.37333°N 82.10167°W / 41.37333; -82.10167 (41.373396, -82.101692).[12] Elyria's primary zip code is 44035 with post office boxes being assigned the zip code 44036.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.84 square miles (53.98 km2), of which 20.57 square miles (53.28 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.70 km2) is water.[13]

The Black River flows through Elyria.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)53,757[4]−1.4%

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 54,533 people, 22,400 households, and 14,093 families living in the city. The population density was 2,651.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,023.6/km2). There were 25,085 housing units at an average density of 1,219.5 per square mile (470.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.1% White, 15.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 1.2% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.9% of the population.

There were 22,400 households, of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.1% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.97.

The median age in the city was 38.1 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.8% were from 45 to 64; and 14.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 55,953 people, 22,409 households, and 14,834 families living in the city. The population density was 2,813.7 people per square mile (1,086.2/km2). There were 23,841 housing units at an average density of 1,198.9 per square mile (462.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.3% White, 14.2% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.78% of the population.

There were 22,409 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.6% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,156, and the median income for a family was $45,846. Males had a median income of $34,898 versus $24,027 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,344. About 9.5% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.


Elyria is served by University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center. Neighborhoods are spread throughout all areas of the city, with most neighborhoods being traditional. Most housing developments are on the far east-side of the city.

Parks and Recreation[edit]

Elyria has a large number of parks and recreational centers that include a variety of activities such as baseball, playground equipment. The four recreational centers are named after their location on the map - North, East, South, and West. They each include one or more baseball fields and at least two tennis courts. There are two main parks, Cascade and Elywood, which are connected by a drive-on ford in the center. The Lorain County Metro Parks took over control of Cascade Park in late 2014, and has unveiled a master plan project throughout 2018 to restore the park for better and safer use, as well as maintain the park.

Cascade Park[edit]

East Falls on the Black River in Cascade Park

Cascade Park is the largest and most popular park in Elyria. The park is located in a ravine carved by the same glaciers that created the Great Lakes. Cascade park has a large playground and a large hill that was previously used for seating at the 4th of July fireworks show, and was a popular spot for sledding during winter months. The park is centered along the Black River.

The park used to have three captive black bears, held in cages attached to a rock. Bears were featured in the park from 1920 to 1980.[16]


Elyria is home to many businesses and several worldwide headquarters. Invacare, Ridge Tool Company, Diamond Products, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, and EMC Precision Machining are all headquartered in Elyria. Riddell previously operated a factory in Elyria. Elyria Plating Corporation has been in the same location since 1937.

Top employers[edit]

According to the city's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[17] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer Employees
1 Lorain County Community College 1,965
2 UH Elyria Medical Center 1,934
3 Lorain County 1,743
4 Elyria City School District 961
5 Walmart 786
6 Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC 682
7 Invacare Corporation 660
8 Ridge Tool Company 573
9 City of Elyria 566
10 Parker Hannifin Corporation 348


Elyria has a large number of public and private schools including Elyria High School. The Elyria City Schools district consisted at one time two high schools, five junior high schools, nine elementary schools, and one kindergarten school. Elyria is also home to Elyria Catholic High School. In 2010[18] Elyria High School was torn down for plans to build a new one. The building was fully completed during the 2012–2013 school year. Elyria is also home to the Open Door Christian School.


Lorain County Transit is based in Elyria. Elyria is served by many highways, including U.S. Route 20, the Ohio Turnpike, and State Routes 2, 113, 301 and 57.[19][20]

The general airport for Elyria and Lorain is the Lorain County Regional Airport (located in New Russia Township), and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is the nearest major airport.[21][22] The Elyria Amtrak Station provides train transportation.[23][24] Greyhound bus service is also available in the city.[25][26]

Elyria in popular culture[edit]

The film Take Shelter includes a scene in which Michael Shannon enters the Elyria Main branch library and looks for books. The character of Officer Richard Lymangood, in the film Blue Thunder, was born in Elyria, according to the helicopter terminal database. In the 2015 film The Bronze starring Melissa Rauch, Midway Mall was used for a number of scenes with Elyria residents as extras in the film.

Elyria is also home to a yearly charity event: The Elyria Superhero Weekend where local businesses hosted by Atlas Cinema Midway Mall 8, Keith's Comics, Super Heroes To Kids In Ohio and the Mayor's Office participate in a citywide free event for local and Cleveland area residents which was started in 2012. The event promotes literacy through comic books, community unity and works to help children suffering from illness. The event is centered on whichever super hero comic book film comes out the same weekend as Free Comic Book Day and is split between a number of days during that period: the first day being at Altas cinema, the 2nd in Ely Square and at Keith's Comics in downtown Elyria. The Elyria Public Library, Elyria Comic Book Initiative and The Gathering Community Church among many other notable Elyria organizations and businesses have contributed during the growth of the event.

In December 2020, an incident occurred at an Elyria convenience store, after a white customer repeatedly directed a racist slur at a Black customer and taunted him, demanding that the Black man hit him with a can of hard iced tea. The man complied, and the two began fighting with fists, with the white assailant being subdued quickly.[27] A video documenting the event was viewed over one million times across various social media platforms and spawned dozens of memes.[28]

Notable people[edit]

Lucille Meredith (1916–2004) actress, Lucille Meredith was born on May 8, 1916 in Elyria, Ohio, USA as Lucille Goldsmith. She was an actress, known for They Live (1988), Matlock (1986) and Simon & Simon (1981). She was married to Roland Kibbee. She died on May 1, 2004 in Los Angeles, California, USA.


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census website". Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  8. ^ Lewis, Charlton T.; Short, Charles. "Illyria". A Latin Dictionary.
  9. ^ Polybius. Histories, 1.13.1.
  10. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 118.
  11. ^ "Greetings from ELYRIA, OHIO: History". Elyriapride.elyria.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  14. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. 1960. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  15. ^ "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  16. ^ Mancine, Benjamin (2004). Elyria in Vintage Postcards. Chicago, Illinois: Arcadia Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 9780738532707.
  17. ^ "City of Elyria CAFR" (PDF). cityofelyria.org. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  18. ^ Roberson, Lisa (8-7-2012). "Demolition to begin Monday at Elyria High School". The Chronicle Telegram. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. ^ "Lorain County Transit (LCT)". loraincounty.us. Elyria, OH: Lorain County Commissioners (ARR). Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Lorain County Transit - Home". Retrieved 22 September 2018 – via Facebook.
  21. ^ "Lorain County Regional Airport". loraincounty.us. Elyria, OH. Retrieved 22 September 2018. The airport facility is managed by MRK Aviation, Inc. (2018)
  22. ^ "CLE Going Places | Cleveland Hopkins Airport". Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Airport System. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Amtrak - Elyria, OH (ELY)". trainweb.org. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Elyria, OH (ELY)". Amtrak. Retrieved 22 September 2018. Train Station - Platform only (no shelter), Elyria is famous for its charming central square and popular Apple Festival.
  25. ^ "Elyria OH Bus Station". Greyhound. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Greyhound Bus Lines in Elyria , OH". yellowpages.com. DexYP. Retrieved 22 September 2018. 40 East Ave, Elyria, OH 44035 (800) 231-2222
  27. ^ "Viral video shows fight allegedly in Elyria convenience store". The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria). Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  28. ^ "'Twisted Tea' Video Viewed Over 1 Million Times, Inspires Wave of Memes". Newsweek. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  29. ^ "Midview graduate Eric Lauer stars in Cape Cod". Morning Journal. Retrieved May 19, 2016.

External links[edit]


  • Elyria travel guide from Wikivoyage