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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 •

Hours: 2-7 pm Thursdays

11am-3 pm Saturday
-or by appointment-


Did you know……..


….the Gurney school was built 50 years ago (1966)?





Gurney Elementary school opened in 1966.  It was built in response to the growing population in South Russell. When it was completed, children in grades 1-4 that lived in South Russell attended Gurney school while children in grades 1-4 that lived in Chagrin Falls continued to go to Lewis Sands Elementary.  The school was named in honor of Theodore (Ted) C. Gurney.  Ted Gurney was a teacher, coach of all sports at one time or another, athletic director and high school principal during his 40 years of service to the Chagrin Falls school system (1926-1966).



  Dedication Program



  Dedication Program



The first principal was Jess Rankin, who started out in Chagrin Falls as the first male elementary teacher in Chagrin’s history.  He was principal at Gurney from its beginning until 1983. 



Program from Jess Rankin Appreciation Day



Jess Rankin - Years of Service



Gurney School 1976



Volunteers Gardening 1972





 Gurney school has had many changes to it during its existence.  Additional classrooms were added in 1968.  A Bus Garage was constructed in 1971 that housed all busses in the school district.  Even more additional classrooms were added in 1972.  The school was closed from 1983 until 1988 because of declining enrollment numbers.  Major renovations were made to the school before it was re-opened in 1988.  A brand new 2 story classroom wing and gymnasium were added in 1998.

   Today it is being used for grades Pre-school-4th grade. The fields surrounding the school and the gymnasium are always active with sports and the playgrounds are used very often.





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