In 1670, Cavalier LaSalle was the first white man known to have explored the Western Reserve. Ten years after the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, King Charles the 1st of England conveyed to the Earl of Warwick’s Corporation, known as the Council of Plymouth, the vast tract of land that included the Mahoning Valley. In 1755 the Middle British Colonies sent a map maker, Lewis Evans, to explore the area west of the Allegheny Mountains.
While traveling through the territory that would soon become the Western Reserve, he marked with a star the location of a salt lick. This salt lick was known to the Indians of the area since ancient days and gave the county its name. MA-HO-NIK the Indian word for “at the salt lick”. This salt lick is located very near Salt Springs Rd. and State Route 46 near Mineral Ridge, Ohio. When Lewis Evans took his survey information back to Philadelphia it was printed into the “1st Map of the Middle British Colonies in America” by then printer Benjamin Franklin.
Some historians believe that Lewis Evans never actually surveyed this area but instead got his information from a 1747 survey made by William Franklin, son of Benjamin, who was accompanied by George Croghan.