Vermilion is a city in Erie and Lorain counties in the U.S. state of Ohio, on Lake Erie. The population was 10,594 at the 2010 census. The current mayor is Eileen Bulan. The Lorain County portion of Vermilion is part of the Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Erie County portion is part of the Sandusky Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Vermilion was initially settled in the early 19th century and incorporated as a village in 1837. It developed as a fishing and small boat harbor. The oldest permanent structure dates to 1811 (it is still a private residence). In 1847 the Congress of the United States built the Vermilion Lighthouse to aid navigation on Lake Erie.
As commerce grew in larger nearby cities, the Vermilion River proved inadequate to large commercial traffic. Later, recreational boating became very popular. During the early 20th century the area became known as a resort community, featuring many beaches and cottages. Most structures were eventually converted to year-round use; many still are used as summer homes or vacation houses. Linwood Park in Vermilion is a good example. Merging with the nearby village of Vermilion-on-the-Lake in 1960, Vermilion became a city, straddling Lorain and Erie counties.
A local non-profit group, Friends of Harbour Town actively promotes tourism and the historical connection to Vermilion's roots as a maritime community, using the slogan "Harbour Town 1837."