Nov 12 2013
These are updated regularly as I come across things that should be saved for future reference.
The L. W. Loomis Block, on the corner of Portage and Front streets is among the oldest brick buildings and the three story Apollo Block on the opposite corner was constructed by Israel James.
Most of the buildings were destroyed due to new construction throughout the years. One of the old buildings was originally built as an insurance company headquarters and afterward turned into a store on the ground floor and the upper floor was used for residence purposes. It was known as the Jones Block or the Alhambra Building.
Another old building is situated on what was the Tifft & Vogan property, on the east side of Front Street- a large old frame building which was formerly known as Mechanics’ Exchange Building. It is said that the Mechanics here, years ago, had an organization which held meetings in the upper part of this building.
1882 Town Hall, a fine two story town hall, 45×80 feet with a basement was erected on the northwest corner of Front and Broad streets at a cost of about $10,000. On the first story was the Council Chamber, School Board, two-roomed library, and a Band room. On the upper floor was one room used for caucuses and a gymnasium. The basement was a fire department, marshal’s office and a lock-up.
Still standing in the 1900’s was the Old Tavern and Hotel. it was located at, like everything else, the corner of Portage and Front streets. The building had its share of fires and remodeling.
Among the older residences are the E. N. Sill home that was on Front Street, The Newberry home on East Broad Street. Both of these homes were constructed of a high quality, reddish brown sandstone which was quarried on the bank of the Cuyahoga River, between High Bridge Glens and Mary Campbell Cave.
Elkhannah Richardson moved to Cuyahoga Falls from Stow in 1822 and built the “Big Red House” just north of the Big Spring on the east side of Front Street north of Wadsworth Street.
On August 22, 1923 Ellis Boso, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Boso, corner of Stow and Fourth Streets, scaled the post office flag pole to install a new flag rope.
What is Falls Avenue, 11th and 12th Streets was once known as Duncan’s Woods.
Sixth Street was once known as Allen Street
Cuyahoga Falls never possessed a clock tower in which to house a clock, as did most communities, so in 1890 it was deemed absolutely necessary for the public convenience so an agreement was made to purchase a town clock and keep it in repair and also by agreement it was housed in the bell tower of the Falls Methodist Church. When the church was rebuilt in 1922 the clock was transferred to the new church bell tower where it is today.
The first insurance company in Summit County was located in the Falls. It was known as the Mutual Insurance Company. It started in 1832 and did business for over 25 years.
Cuyahoga Falls did have a well operated hospital here in the 1900’s. “The Elms” was the old Babcock Home and stood on the southwest corner of Broad Boulevard and Second Street. (where St. Joe’s is now) It was operated by Dr. Middleton.
The paper mill founded by Henry Wetmore on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River was just north of Portage Street produced the first paper made west of the Allegheny Mountains on December 30, 1830.
The Second Day Adventists proclaimed April 4, 1843 as Judgment Day, as on that day the world was coming to an end.
Henry Newberry, in 1827, discovered a highly bituminous coal in the hills southwest of Six Corners and shipped it by canal to Cleveland. It was hauled by ox-cart to Old Portage for canal shipment.
Cuyahoga Falls settlers (then known as Manchester) took part in the war effort, indirectly, in the war with England in 1812-13. Lumber milled in today’s northend area was used for Commadore Perry’s fleet that defeated the British Lake Erie Fleet in Put-In-Bay on September 10, 1813. The ships were built at Old Portage then floated up the Cuyahoga River to Cleveland where they joined five more ships to make up Perry’s fleet. The local ships were named the “Hornet,” because a hornet’s nest was found in the tree selected for its mast; the “Porcupine,” because one of the prickly animals showed up just as the vessel was being launched in the Cuyahoga River at Old Portage shipbuilding yards and the third, the “Portage,” named for its place of construction.
The summer of 1816 was the coldest summer in man’s memory, all crops were ruined or never even started growing, cattle starved and all food prices hit a staggering amount.
Total Eclipse of the sun in the Falls was on June 16, 1806.
After World War I there were many concerts that played in the bandstand on the Third Street side of Church Park that a great number of residents attended before going on to downtown.
During World War I Falls women pitched in and knitted socks, prepared kits with writing paper, stamps and books they had collected along with Bibles and other similar items for the servicemen. The homemakers accepted rationing of food and fuel without question, anxious to do all they could. Many of the wives, sisters, sweethearts, and mothers went to work doing the jobs the men had done before they went into the service. In most cases Falls women were delighted to return to the jobs of homemakers on the return of the soldiers.
In 1900, Mr. George James was elected a member of the Cuyahoga Falls Board of Water Works Trustees. Because of his experience with fires, he realized the necessity for fire protection and made a push for the first municipal water plant and distribution system for Cuyahoga Falls. His efforts were rewarded in 1901 when water was first pumped into Falls homes.
Children of the 1930’s collected pop bottles, copper wire, old newspapers, etc. to buy matinees, model airplanes and pulp magazines.
First Birth in the “New Village” of Cuyahoga Falls is said to have been that of Edward Wetmore, a son of William Wetmore Jr. and Elizabeth Wallace Wetmore, in 1827. He lived the greater part of his life at Stow Corners and then later removed his house to the Hale Homestead Village in the Cuyahoga Valley.
First Child Death was a one year old son of the same family as above.
First Adult Death was Elizabeth Newberry Sill, the wife of Hon. Elisha N. Sill and the daughter of Henry Newberry, Esq., in 1829.
First Marriage was Aurora M. Hamlin, the Daughter of Deacon Jabez Hamlin to Lysander Washington Butler on 10 Mar 1829 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. They had two children Charlotte P. Butler on Dec 16, 1829 Lysander Shaw Butler on Feb 23 1835.
First Owners of Phones were Mary E. Cook and Laura Sill in 1882.
The Ohio Review of April 5, 1833 gives the village lyceum officers elected as President: Henry Newberry, Vice President: William H. Taylor, Treasurer: Oliver B. Beebe, Secretary: Charles W. Wetmore, Curators: Henry Wetmore, Timothy P. Spencer, and Dr. Richard Fry. The question for the next meeting was: “Ought United States Senators in all cases to be bound by the instructions of their respective State Legislatures?” Members were requested to bring to this meeting such books that could be conveniently spared for the purpose of forming a library, in accordance with a late resolution of the society to that effect. This was the beginning of a fine public library, probably of 1,000 to 1,200 volumes, so highly enjoyed and cherished by the people of the village at that time.
A writer on Cuyahoga Falls stated in 1837 that the “population of the village is now, probably, about 1,250; three years ago it was but 375.” The census of 1870 gives the population of the village and township at 1,861. The census of 1880 gives it at 2,294 and 1890 at 2,614
Street Lighting – For several years the streets of the village were lighted by gasoline vapor lamps but as of October 1891 electric lighting was used.
Cuyahoga Falls was first laid out in 1825 by Judge Elkanah Richardson who in 1822 had built the house that was known at that time as the Red House and afterwards became the Peck House and was located on the west side of Front street a little north of the ”Big Spring”.
In 1844, an engineering feat called the Chuckery Race was completed to channel water for the proposed industrial town of Summit City, but economics doomed the project and the race was abandoned. Hand-cut sandstone blocks located along a steep cliff in the inaccessible upper reaches of Gorge Metro Park formed one part of the channel. Chuckery Race is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There was an old stage route or trail on which travel from Pittsburgh west came through Cuyahoga Falls and continued west out what is now Northampton Road down to Old Portage (Smith Road). It is said that in the early days that General Smith passed over this route with a body of soldiers in some of the Indian wars.
Brick Buildings were also known as ‘Blocks’. i.e. Apollo Block
Largest Turtle caught in the river was 44 inches across his shell and weighed 66 lbs. He was caught behind Water Works Park by a fisherman who didn’t want him. He turned him loose.
Record Fish caught in the Falls on the river was a Great Northern Pike it weighed 22 lbs and was 42 inches in length.