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Look Up as you walk through downtown Chagrin Falls and find signs of Village History

Chagrin Falls Historical Society
87 East Washington Street
Chagrin Falls, OH • 44022
(440) 247-4695 • chaghist@gmail.com

Hours: 2-7 pm Thursdays

11am-3 pm Saturday
-or by appointment-

Did you know……..

 

….why Cuyahoga County has that little bump on the east side?

 

   Ever notice the little bump on Cuyahoga County when you look at the map during a weather broadcast?  Ever wonder why there is that little bump out on the east side that seems to take a bite out of Geauga County?

Cuyahoga County map

 That little bump is Chagrin Falls.  Prior to 1841, the Cuyahoga County/Geauga County line ran right through the middle of town.  The border cut through the middle of East Summit, East Cottage and East Orange.  It then crossed the river and went down the middle of North Main and Franklin Streets (Black line in picture below).   

Chagrin Map from 1874 – Line shows where border was prior to 1841

  

Because much of the property in town straddled the border, it was difficult to purchase and transfer land ownership since both counties needed to be involved. One had to file a deed in both counties, which meant physically going to Cleveland for Cuyahoga and then going to Chardon for Geauga.  This also meant that one had to pay taxes to each county.  The placement of this border through the middle of the town prevented Chagrin Falls from becoming a unified village.  In 1840, Dr. Justus Vincent was elected to the Ohio Legislature and was instrumental in providing and orchestrating the solution to this problem.

   The solution that was proposed in 1841 was to authorize Orange Township in Cuyahoga County to annex 900 acres of land in the southwest corner of Russell Township in Geauga County.  In exchange, Russell Township annexed 900 acres land that was currently in Orange Township (in what is now Hunting Valley).  Cuyahoga County was pleased with this swap since it acquired good farmland.  Geauga County was not as happy since most of the land it received was hilly land along the river that was not farmable.  In 1843, Russell Township petitioned the Ohio Legislature to return the land in received back to Orange Township.  They however, never petitioned to have their original land returned.  As a result, Orange Township and Cuyahoga County kept the 900 acres they acquired and Russell Township and Geauga County received no land in return, thus creating the bump on the county map we see today.  This allowed Chagrin Falls to become a unified village.

Land Acquired from Geauga County in 1841

All rights reserved Chagrin Falls Historical Society 2007-2015

Chagrin Falls Historical Society
87 East Washington Street - Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
P.O. Box 515
440.247.4695