Colerain Township :: History
Colerain Township was first settled in 1790 by a surveyor, John Dunlap, who named the settlement after his birthplace, Coleraine, Ireland. The settlement was named Fort Coleraine, and was commonly called Dunlap's Station. He settled on the bend of the Great Miami River several miles below the bridge to Ross, Ohio. Dunlap's Station suffered a serious attack from Native Americans one year after it had been settled. Subsequently, John Dunlap and the 11 families living at the fort moved down river to a settlement at North Bend.
Early travel was by water on the Great Miami River or Mill Creek, or by horse over narrow Indian Trails.
In 1794, Coleraine was established as a township. The "e" at the end of Coleraine was dropped sometime later, Americanizing the name to Colerain.
The villages of Barnesburg, Bevis, Dunlap, and Groesbeck were established along Colerain Road (laid in 1796) and Blue Rock Road (laid in 1807), two of the oldest roads in the area. The township stretches 43 square miles between the Mill Creek Valley and the Great Miami River basin.
German immigrants arrived between 1840 and 1870 and began farming the southwestern part of the township. Their presence influenced the cultural and architectural traditions of the area.
Colerain Township contains 18 historic cemeteries with around 5,000 graves. The historic Dunlap's Station Cemetery on East River Road holds the graves of the original settlers and early soldiers, and is near the original site of the first settlement. The original location of Fort Coleraine is known, and future plans of the historical society are to reconstruct the fort as it was in 1790.
The township has grown to be the most populous township of Hamilton County's 12 townships. Still, over half of the township remains wooded, with over 200 acres of public green space.