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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Upper Sandusky


Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1920 3708 5
1940 3907 2
1960 4941 0
1970 5645 2
1990 5854 6
2000 6533 12

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


Testimony of an Ohioan: “I remember my grandfather telling me a story about such a thing in the small town of Upper Sandusky, Ohio. He told me that there was a sign posted on the banks of the Sandusky River next to the Indian Mill that read, ‘N*##@& don’t let the sun set on you.’ I’m sure the sign has been taken down, or I hope so. He was born in 1917, so I am assuming that the sign he spoke of was in the 1930s and 40s. Apparently it worked as it is one the whitest towns I’ve ever been to!”

A former resident said: “I’m from Upper Sandusky originally, and the sign by Indian Mills is definitely no longer there. Even though there are no official signs around preventing minorities from living in Upper, there is definitely still discrimination occurring in the town. When I was a young child in the 1990s, an African American family moved in for about a month, and later moved out; there were comments among the town’s residents about how they needed to put up another sign. Their children were definitely targeted at schools for bullying. I don’t remember my fifth grade teacher doing anything to protect the kids who were being bullied. Currently, there seems to be a growing population of Latino Americans, and the discrimination against them seems to still be going strong. Additionally, I do think that prior to the African American family moving in, there had been an unofficial policy at the community banks in town to prevent any non-whites from getting a home loan (perhaps it still stands, but there is a growing population of Hispanic immigrants and Asian immigrants who own businesses and homes).”