Did you know……..
….the man who invented Life Savers lived in Chagrin Falls?
Most of us have had a Life Saver candy some time in our lives. That little ring shaped hard candy that looks like a life preserver was invented by Clarence A. Crane in 1912. Clarence was a chocolate manufacturer and wanted to invent a candy as a summer alternative to chocolates that would easily melt in the summer. Utilizing a pill making machine, he formed hard candies with a hole in the middle. He noticed that the candy looked like a life preserver so he called them Life Savers.
Originally, the Life Savers came in peppermint flavor only and came in cardboard tubes with a wrapper that had a picture of a sailor tossing a young woman a life preserver. Crane sold the rights to Life Savers in 1913 for less than $3000 (Approximately $72,300 in 2015 dollars). Clarence would continue to manufacture chocolates for many years.
Clarence was the father of the poet Hart Crane.
In 1927, Clarence Crane purchased two cottages in Chagrin Falls. He spent $10,000 on the two cottages and built a two story, 10,000 square foot addition that connected the 2 cottages. He painted the combined buildings a bright yellow and added gardens and fountains and opened business as a restaurant called ‘Crane’s Canary Cottage’. The restaurant served local meat and produce. In 1930, Crane married Bessie Meachem, the restaurant hostess. The cottage served as the out-of-city home for the Cranes, who stayed in private rooms upstairs. The employees lived in the north end of the building without heat or insulation, but holes cut in the floor provided warmth from the kitchen below. With impressive fireplaces, good food and a sophisticated atmosphere, the restaurant gained a national reputation. Will Rogers and Duncan Hines ate there, Charles Lindbergh had a reception and stayed in one of the guest rooms, and John D. Rockefeller had his own table.
The cottage eventually closed down during WWII. The building has been used for many commercial endeavor since and is now home of the Inn of Chagrin Falls and GamesKeeper restaurant.
[Sitting room, Crane's Canary Cottage, Route 422 Chagrin Falls Village Ohio]
The Cottage today as Inn of Chagrin Falls and GamesKeeper
More Information on Clarence Crane: