Brownhelm Township Government

1940 North Ridge Road
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
Phone: (440) 984-2243 

The township is governed by a three-member board of trustees, who are elected in November of odd-numbered years to a four-year term beginning on the following January 1. Two are elected in the year after the presidential election and one is elected in the year before it. There is also an elected township fiscal officer who serves a four-year term beginning on April 1 of the year after the election, which is held in November of the year before the presidential election. Vacancies in the fiscal officership or on the board of trustees are filled by the remaining trustees. The Board of Trustees meet at 7 pm on the first Monday of each month at the Township Hall. Much of the township resides in Vermilion, Ohio.

Brownhelm Township Zoning Department

Phone: (440) 670-2238

Zoning in Brownhelm Township is designed to "protect the health, safety, and welfare" of those living in the community. Most zoning regulations are a matter of common sense and help to make sure that people use their property in such a way that is not detrimental to those living in the same area or to the community as a whole. All construction, from decks to homes and businesses, requires a zoning certificate which is available from the Zoning Inspector.

Brownhelm Township Maintenance Department

Brownhelm Township Road & General Maintenance Services
Township Garage: 1360 Claus Road, Vermilion, Ohio

Phone: (440) 984-2257
Superintendent of Labor: (440) 670-1375

The Brownhelm Township Maintenance Department is staffed with full-time and part-time employees. The Department's responsibilities include road maintenance, snow removal, mowing and maintenance of the cemetery, the parks, and the Township Hall, plus several other duties included in the upkeep of the Township.

Brownhelm Township Parks & Recreation

Brownhelm Schoolhouse Park

The Brownhelm Schoolhouse Park is located behind the Township Hall at 1940 North Ridge Road in Vermilion. The park has soccer and baseball fields along with basketball courts, a picnic pavilion, and a playground for children.

Brownhelm Lakefront Park

Brownhelm Lakefront Park is located at the end of Woodside Avenue, north off Lake Road (US Route 6), about a mile west of Baumhart Road. Beautiful views of Lake Erie can be seen from the park benches in this park which also has a handicap accessible picnic area.

Brownhelm Township Parks Rules & Regulations

  • No person shall injure, deface, destroy, disturb, or remove any part of the park, signs, facilities, or growing things. Damages incurred become the financial responsibility of the perpetrator(s) or their parents, if a juvenile.
  • No loitering or dumping of any material of any kind in the park except any refuse arising from the normal use and enjoyment of the park. All refuse must be placed in appropriate trash containers.
  • No person may molest, injure, or destroy any wildlife in the park.
  • No portable stoves or grills are permitted in shelters or on compositional picnic tables.
  • No fires except for cooking purposes and only in a designated area.
  • No dumping of hot ashes or fire onto grass, plants, ground, or trash receptacles.
  • No use of firearms, fireworks, or any other explosives.
  • No overnight camping or parking on township park property.
  • No person shall disturb the peace of other park patrons or park neighbors.
  • There shall be no gambling or alcoholic beverages permitted in the park. No one under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug of abuse shall be permitted in the park.
  • No person shall be in the park with indecent conduct or exposure.
  • No person shall use obscene or abusive language in the park.
  • All vehicles in the park must remain on established roadways or parking areas and observe a 10 mile per hour speed limit. No reckless operation shall be permitted in the park.
  • All animals must be on a leash and their litter picked up by the owner or other responsible party.
  • Park facilities are closed from dusk to dawn and all juveniles are subject to the township curfew. Anyone on township property after curfew or closing hours will be considered trespassing and subject to arrest for criminal trespass unless special permission has been previously obtained from a township official.
  • Any person directed to leave the park premises by a township official or law enforcement officer for any misconduct must do so immediately or face charges for criminal trespass. 

Showse Park & Beach

Located in Vermilion on the Lake, this park contains a beach, two ball diamonds, a basketball court, tennis courts, a soccer field, a pavilion and a playground. Located along the shore of Lake Erie, Showse Park gives people the opportunity to stop for a rest or to enjoy the boats and scenes of the waterfront. Showse Park & Beach are managed by the City of Vermilion.

Vermilion River Reservation

Vermilion River Reservation is managed by Lorain County Metro Parks. Spanning two adjacent areas separated by the Vermilion River—Mill Hollow on one side and Bacon Woods on the other—this immaculate park is a favorite of picnickers, naturalists and anyone who just wants to enjoy its natural beauty.  If you're looking to picnic in a beautiful place with plenty of activities for both adults and children, this is an ideal place to come. With 273 picnic tables and four reservable shelters, the Vermilion Reservation draws over 230,000 people a year—making it the number one picnic area in the Lorain County Metro Parks system. It's not surprising considering the spotless maintenance, plenty of open space, 5 miles of wooded trails, a playground and two ponds that attract visiting waterfowl year-round.

Surrounded by tall trees and a split-rail fence, you can't miss the picturesque Bacon House Museum and Carriage Barn at Mill Hollow. During museum hours you can walk through the original settler Benjamin Bacon's house, built in 1845. The museum features themes of daily living and puts an emphasis on the community life in Brownhelm, including the profound effect the railroad had on the economy and on people's lives.  Just next to the Bacon House Museum, the Carriage Barn offers visitors information about the park and hosts nature programs throughout the year. A large rustic meeting room can be reserved for groups and includes a kitchen and large fireplace.

There's more than natural beauty at Vermilion Reservation. Bacon woods hosts a sizable amphitheater for musical concerts during the warmer months, and the park in general features several special programs including the Annual Car Show (which shows over 1000 cars.)  Perhaps the most striking feature of this reservation is the winding ribbon of shale cliffs carved by the Vermilion River. Millions of years old, these cliffs reveal layers of the past and drop bits of sandstone, shale and turtlerock along the riverbed. Since the Vermilion River has no industry along its banks, it is especially rich in wildlife. Aquatic life includes freshwater clams and several species of darters (small fish that feed along the bottom of the river) that turn brilliant colors during the mating season. Some insect species include mayflies, cadis flies and water pennies (beetle larvae that lie flat against a rock surface and look like pennies.)

The park naturally hosts a range of wildlife, but perhaps most singular at Vermilion River Reservation are the bald eagles. These magnificent creatures can be seen almost daily at Mill Hollow, perched in one of the tall trees near the center of the park. Other wildlife at the reservation is more typical of the area and includes Great Blue Heron, Greenback Heron and various geese and ducks.  Wildflower lovers come from all over in spring and early summer to see the color and variety of these indigenous species which include Dutchman's britches and Blood Root along with a long list of other species found throughout northeast Ohio.

Brownhelm Township Recycling & Trash Collection

Household Trash Dumpsters:

Dumpsters are available twice per year and can be found at the Township Garage at 1360 Claus Road in Vermilion. Household trash may be deposited in these on the first Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and the first Saturday morning (after the first Friday) from 8 am to noon of the months of May and October.


Those residents who’ve contracted with Allied Waste/Republic Services [1-800-449-5463] for their weekly trash collection are provided with recycling containers for free. Items collected for recycling include newspapers, magazines, aluminum cans, glass, plastic bottles, and similar recyclables. Special recycling events, sponsored by the Lorain County Solid Waste Management District, for the collection of such items as tires, oil, paint, and all hazardous waste are held occasionally.

Curbside Trash Pickup:

Residents have the opportunity to choose their own refuse company which can be found in the Centurytel Yellow Pages under rubbish or garbage collection services. Please keep trash bins at least 3 feet from the paved road surface. The trash trucks’ collection arms can reach 8’ off the road and bins in the road make snow plowing difficult.

Brownhelm Township Government

1940 North Ridge Road

Vermilion, Ohio 44089

Phone: (440) 984-2243

Brownhelm Township Law Enforcement & Fire Department

Please Dial 9-1-1 In Case Of Emergency

Brownhelm Township law enforcement is provided by the Lorain County Sheriff's Department who may be contacted at (440) 244-0373 for non-emergencies.

Fire protection is provided by the Vermilion Fire Department, the South Amherst Fire Department, and the Florence Township Fire Department.

Brownhelm Township Curfew For Minors

That a curfew for all persons age sixteen (16) and under is hereby enacted for the immediate perservation of the public peace, health, and safety in the unincorporated areas of the Township of Brownhelm, Lorain County, Ohio. That the provisions of the curfew shall be as follows:
  • No minor age sixteen (16) and under shall be or remain upon any public road, street, sidewalk, alley, or public places in the unicorporated area of the Township of Brownhelm between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or person having legal custody and control of the child has a legitimate excuse therefore.
  • The within curfew shall be extended one hour from the termination of any school sanctioned activities and shall likewise be extended from the hour of termination from work for any employed minor.
  • Any person age sixteen (16) or under who violates the provisions of this curfew shall be apprehended and taken home to parents, guardians, or other authorized persons.
  • Any person apprehended for second or subsequent violations shall be charged as being an unruly child and taken before the Juvenile Court of Lorain County as provided in Chapter 2151 of the Ohio Revised Code.
  • The reasons for such curfew are that certain incidents of vandalism and destruction of property by minors have occurred at certain hours of the night in the township; that life and property has been endangered; and that a threat to the comfort and safety of the residents of Brownhelm Township exists.
  • The aforesaid curfew shall be enforced by the Lorain County Sheriff's Department and shall become effective immediately.
Adopted by the Brownhelm Township Trustees on July 22, 1995.

Brownhelm Township Historic Cemeteries

Brownhelm Cemetery - North Ridge Road, Vermilion, Ohio

Historical Brownhelm Cemetery, located at North Ridge and Sunnyside roads, is the resting place of early settlers and prominent residents of the area, including:
  • Col. Henry Brown, a New Englander, was among the first pioneers who settled the area. The township was named after him. He was a successful businessman and civic leader. Brown helped found Oberlin College and was instrumental in the development of Case Western Reserve University.
  • Hannah James was the second wife of Ezekiel Goodrich, a well-known cabinetmaker. The couple had several children. They divorced in 1837, an act unheard of during the times.
  • George Bacon Sr., at the age of 17 years old, dumped tea into the Boston Harbor during the Revolutionary War-era incident known as the Boston Tea Party. He lived to be 85 years old.
  • Grandison Fairchild was the father of James H. Fairchild, third president of Oberlin College who was an abolitionist and took part of the 1858 Oberlin-Wellington Slave Rescue of the fugitive slave John Price. His sister, Harriet Fairchild Alverson, taught the first school in Brownhelm in her own home in 1819. Grandison was the first teacher in the first schoolhouse built next to his sister's home. He lived to be 98 years old.
  • Amanda Church Bacon was the wife of William S. Bacon, the grandson of Benjamin Bacon, one of the area's most famous pioneer settlers. He was justice of the peace, county commissioner, and owner of Bacon’s Mills. Her mother, Anna Bacon, was Benjamin Bacon’s third wife.

Brown’s Lake Road Cemetery - Liberty Avenue, Vermilion, Ohio

Brown’s Lake Road Cemetery, the once 'lost forgotten cemetery', is located at 1863 Liberty Avenue in Vermilion. It is no longer forgotten. Through much time and legal effort, the Brownhelm Historical Association managed to gain ownership to protect, renew, maintain and honor the cemetery site.  Brown’s Lake Road Cemetery was named after Col. Henry Brown, founder of Brownhelm and who established the first ‘burying ground’ in the new township. His daughter Charlotte Brown, young wife of Ezekiel Goodrich, was one of the first to be buried there. Many of Brownhelm’s early settlers were laid to rest there, including a Revolutionary War veteran, Bildad Belden.

Rugby Cemetery - North Ridge Road, Vermilion, Ohio

Rugby Cemetery is located on North Ridge Road, about one mile west of Mill Hollow Park. Contact the Township Superintendent of Labor at (440) 670-1375 for cost, lot purchases, scheduling, or other services.

Grave Sites:
Resident - $500.00 per grave site
Non-Resident - $650.00 per grave site

Above ground headstones and monuments are permitted. Foundations for all headstones will be set by Township employees and a charge will be made. Only standard grave markers are allowed. Headstones are limited to 48 inches in length, 14 inches in width, and 36 inches in height.

Decorations are permitted if placed within one foot of the headstone and in such a manner as to permit mowing and trimming. Any faded, wilted, or out of season flowers, or anything else that the cemetery workers deem to be inappropriate will be removed from grave sites. Spring clean-up is March 15th to March 30th. Fall clean-up is November 1st to November 15th.

  • Permanent planting of trees, shrubs, and flowers is not permitted.
  • All grave decorations are placed at the owners risk.
  • No glass containers are allowed.
  • Resale or transfer of lots are to be made only to Township Trustees.
  • Opening and closing of graves and cost of graves are to be paid in full prior to burial.
  • The cemetery is closed from dusk to dawn.