Ashland, county seat of Ashland County, is located in northern Ohio about 85 miles from Cleveland. At one time, more than half the toy balloons in the world were produced by five companies in the Ashland area. The Ashland Balloon Festival originally celebrated this fact, but it has gradually been transformed into a hot-air balloon rally. Ashland was first settled in 1815 and, like Ashland, Kentucky, named for the Kentucky estate of Henry Clay. Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) often passed through Ashland and a monument commemorates him. The city was incorporated in 1844. In 1878, the Brethren Church, a branch of the German Baptist Church, established Ashland College. It became ^Ashland University^ in 1989. The city incorporated in 1916. Local history is on display at the Ashland County Historical Museum. The Ashland Community Arts Center is located in a historic former church. A group of local pioneers traveled to Ashland, Oregon and founded that city in the mid 1800's.