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How the different communities along the Chagrin Valley flourished

Chagrin Falls Near Cleveland Ohio

Located in one of the most lush areas of northeastern Ohio, the Chagrin Valley is a remarkable place to settle down or seek out nature in all its splendor. From the sight of kayakers paddling down the Chagrin River to the sound of people milling about in the farmers market, this region’s 13 towns and villages teem with activity. Each of these communities have distinct character and local culture, but their histories converge due to their proximity to the eponymous river. Below is a glimpse of how four of these communities came to be.

Chagrin Falls Near Cleveland Ohio

Chagrin Falls

In 1833, settlers (many coming from Massachusetts and England) in search of new land to call home found a clear river close to two waterfalls. With an abundant supply of lumber from the surrounding forest, the pioneers of Chagrin Falls steadily built one of the very first structures in the area. Later on, the small community established a milling industry that fuelled further expansion. By 1844, Chagrin Falls was officially incorporated as a village and had nine mills powered by the river.

Gates Mills

The village of Gates Mills was named after Halsey Gates, who was one of the very first people to settle in the area in 1825. Gates was a professional miller and saved enough capital to purchase a sizable piece of land in the fledgling Mayfield Township. After building a sawmill and gristmill, he and his family initiated the first spurt of development of their newly founded community. One of Gates’s sons, Washington Gates, would go on to become a prolific architect and builder who was instrumental in the development of the nearby villages of Chagrin Falls and Bedford.


Although Bentleyville was only incorporated in 1929, its history goes back nearly a hundred years before that. In 1831, a certain Reverend Adamson Bentley arrived in the area with a small group of early settlers. Subsequently, the beginnings of a small town and a manufacturing center took shape along the Miles and River roads. The community developed as part of the larger Chagrin Falls Township, until local residents decided to be recognized as a separate village in the late 1920s.

Moreland Hills

Like many of its neighbors, Moreland Hills was created from a portion of Chagrin Falls. In the late 1820s, settlers from the Connecticut Western Reserve set down roots in the area and named their new home Orange Township. In 1845, a subsection of this town was annexed to the newly incorporated Chagrin Falls. After significant growth as a burgeoning community known for farming and dairy products, residents expressed their desire to be recognized as a distinct village. In 1931, the eastern half of Orange Village separated from Chagrin Falls and was named Moreland Hills.

Work with Chagrin Valley’s top Realtor

If you’re in the market for a new home in any of Chagrin Valley’s wonderful communities, get in touch with me, Michelle McQuade. With over a decade of real estate experience and unmatched knowledge of northeast Ohio, I can help make your home buying journey a hassle-free experience. Feel free to reach out by phone at 440.823.2448 or send an email here.

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