Elyria is named for Heman Ely, who in 1817 settled in a strategically located area close to Lake Erie along the picturesque Black River. Historically, Elyria, which became the seat of Lorain County, has been a center of commerce and government while also serving as a market and source of supplies for the surrounding agricultural community. Industrial development has included steel mills, quarries, automobile-related firms, and a wide variety of other manufacturing facilities. Over the years, Broad Street has been an important center of retail and professional activity. For recreation, Elyria's citizens are able to enjoy beautiful parks and recreation facilities.