• When the last senior class graduated from Chagrin Falls Philomethian Street School building in 1959, 20 of the 72 classmates had fulfilled their education from kindergarten through 12th grade in that building — Sandi Foster Chmelovsky, Suzie Class Feick, Beverly Kreycik Stamper, Bill Mares, John Moorehead, Carol Neidhardt, Leanne Pealer Bahnick, John Rice, Loretta Rufener Pinkett, Bruce Sekeres, Carol Sprague, Karen Stoa Cordes, Meta Strick, Bill Szitar, Rick Thomas, Al Thompson, Christine Wagner Hacker, Terry Wells, Ted Whaley, and Bonnie Wilson Gatlin.
• The swimming pool located on the 7 – 12 campus was built with the help of the Works Progress Administration and Federal Economic Recovery Act during the Great Depression. The Chagrin Falls Board of Education ran the pool in the late 1930s until 1943 when the Chagrin Valley Rec Center was formed.
• The Popcorn Shop opened in 1948.
• The first high school tennis team was organized in 1924.
• Rolling Ridge Colony, which includes the streets of Daisy Lane, Deerfield Road, Woodside Road and Forest Drive, began in 1955. The community now has 71 homes not including the four homes on Deerfield in Deerfield Estates.
• During the late 1800’s one wing of the Chagrin Falls Township Hall was used as a jail.
• In 1836 the Chagrin Falls’ Fourth of July celebration had Sidney Rigdon, the assistant to Joseph Smith of the Mormon Church, as its main speaker.
• The steps to the bottom of the natural falls were built by the Jaycees in 1963.
• Chagrin Hardware is located in a building where there has been a hardware store since 1867. The Shutts family has operated the store since 1965.
• In 1839 the first Chagrin Falls’ post office was established with Lorenzo D. Williams as the first postmaster.
• The Sassy Cat building was originally built as a harness shop in 1846. Peter’s Bakery occupied the building from 1946 to 1964. The Chagrin Valley Woman’s Exchange (aka. The Sassy Cat) began in 1967 behind the Village Exchange under the direction of Marguerite Kelly. It soon moved to 88 North Main Street in 1968. The all-volunteer, non-profit consignment shop closed in 2006. During that period, they donated nearly $400,000 to area non-profit organizations.
• Bob Dahl ’87 was a 3rd round pick (72nd overall) out of Notre Dame by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1991. Bob also played for the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins as a guard.
• Jeff Groth ’75 was a 8th round pick (206th overall) out of Bowling Green State University by the Miami Dolphins in 1979. Jeff played a season with the Houston Oilers, but his career was primarily with the New Orleans Saints. Jeff was also drafted by the Chicago Cubs in baseball.
• Sean McHugh ’00 was a 7th round pick (241st overall) out of Penn State University by the Tennessee Titans in 2004. Sean has played with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and is currently on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster.
Excerpts from the 1918 High School Course of Study book:
Total Number of Graduates: Girls, 278; Boys, 182; Total, 460.
Tuition Rates: High School – $6/month; First eight years – $4/month
“Formal 8th grade commencements have been eliminated and the Junior High School graduation at the end of 9th year substituted.”
16 credits, which represent 4 classes/year, were necessary for graduation. While in senior high school (grades 10 – 12) students would follow one of five courses (tracks) for their education: Classical, Scientific, English, Commercial, or Agricultural.
The CFHS Principal was Florence Hanna, who also taught Latin and History. The Grade Building Principal and 6th grade teacher was Cora Sanders, while Alice Russell was the Primary Building Principal and 1st grade teacher.
The high school included such rooms as a library with over 1700 books, a domestic science cooking room, sewing room, agricultural laboratory and a school museum.
“The Senior class each Friday morning conducts chapel exercises. On other mornings the teachers have charge of the program.”
Students were required to attend school until age 15 for boys and 16 for girls provided that the boy could pass a 6th grade test and the girl a 7th grade test.
The school year was 36 weeks and began on the 2nd Monday of September.
The school day was from 9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. with a lunch break from 12:00 – 1:20 and recess from 10:30 – 10:45 and 2:40 – 2:50. High school students did not have recess.
“Pupils are tardy unless they are in their rooms at the stroke of the tardy bell.”
• CAA wrestling began during the 1972 – 73 school year for boys in grades 5 – 8. The season finished with the 1st Annual CAA Invitational Wrestling Tournament. Placing at the tournament were Kyle Hanson ’80 (69 lbs. – 1st), Dennis Henderson (75 lbs. – 1st), David Henderson (81 lbs. – 2nd), Jim Fischley ’77 (87 lbs. – 1st), Kevin Machnics (95 lbs. – 1st), Dave Kelly (103 lbs. – 2nd), Kirk Gebler ’77 (110 lbs. – 1st), Scott Rudolph ’77 (117 lbs. – 3rd), Dave Pitz ‘77 (124 lbs. – 4th), Mark Croft (130 lbs. – 2nd), Chip Barber ’77 (140 lbs. – 1st) and Drew Lesica ’77 (HVT – 4th).
• In observance of National Library Week in 1974, the library had a poster contest with the theme “We Love Libraries.” Winners were in Kindergarten: 1st – Susan Crecelius, 2nd – Jason Rosette, 3rd – Kim Hutten; 1st & 2nd grade: 1st – Eileen Clegg, 2nd – Bob Craig, 3rd – Liane Harsh; 3rd & 4th grade: 1st – Bill Sheehan, 2nd – Becky Shillman, 3rd – Janet Spearing; and 5th & 6th grade: 1st – Margaret Shillman, 2nd – Barbara Finnerty, 3rd – Mike Sheehan.
• Paw Paw Lake was named due its close location to a large grove of the fruit tree. Wade McIlrath developed the community in 1921. It is the oldest in S. Russell and includes 41 homes. The homes were initially going to be summer cottages.
• Nina Blackwood, the first of the original five MTV veejays, lived in Chagrin Falls. While a resident, she gained notoriety when she appeared in a 1978 issue of Playboy. As a gifted harpist, she performed in the Village, but it was not without some concern due to her recent pictorial. She would soon move on to Los Angeles.
• The home at 373 E. Washington St, which is directly across from CFHS, used to be the Track Horse tavern during the days when the campus was the Fairgrounds.
• The 1956-57 Boys Basketball team scored a record 103 points in the Philomethian Gymnasium on their way to a 103 – 39 victory over Cuyahoga Heights. The season also culminated in the first East County title in fourteen years.
• Dorcas Ann Elizabeth Williams, a runaway slave, lived in a cabin along the High Street hill above the paper mill. Old Aunty came to Chagrin in 1851, spent nearly 20 years in the village and is buried in Evergreen Hill Cemetery.
• The 1951 football team came into the last game of the season with a 4 – 2 record. The final game was a memorable one where the Tigers and Comets of Solon battled through snow and ended with a 0 – 0 score.
• During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt’s New Deal had an impact on the Village in three building projects. The Works Projects Administration (WPA) built the old post office located on W. Washington Street, the paving of Grove Hill and creation of the retaining walls along the Main Street hill, and the building of a pool and cinder running track at the former Fairgrounds (now the 7 – 12 campus).
• The 1972 football team racked up a 10 – 0 record, featured the Greater Cleveland Coach of the Year in John Piai and held the opposition to 17 points over the entire season, the lowest in the Cleveland area.
• Bus service in Chagrin Falls began in 1921 and took the rider to the Shaker terminal at Warrensville Center Road.
• The 1972-73 school year was the first year for varsity gymnastics at Chagrin. The team went on to be CVC champs and easily outdistanced eight other schools in the Chagrin Invitational that season.
• In 1925 Front Street was renamed Bell Street. A year later Pearl Street took the name W. Washington Street.
• In 1876, the Village created a Board of Police, which consisted of seven policemen. In time the position of Marshall was created and was elected by the citizens. Alvin “Smitty” Smith was the last Marshall of Chagrin Falls from 1929 – 1942. He would later become the first Chief of Police and held that position until 1964.
• Christopher Lowell, the design and decorating guru, started his rise in the business when he opened his own home-arts store in Chagrin Falls over 20 years ago.
• The railroad trestle on Chagrin Road near the Chagrin Roller Rink that was continually painted by neighboring rivals Chagrin Falls and Kenston came down in 1991.
• In the spring of Peggy Engel ‘69 and Peggy Norlin Hamlin ’69 helped to open the CFHS Student Union in the Rec Center. The union was open after school for two hours. Although smoking was not permitted during the daytime, it was permissible during the evenings and on weekends. There were no written rules of conduct. The building had a pool table, vending machines, radio and television.
• Glenn Wyville’s 350th victory as head basketball coach was an 84 – 60 victory over Wickliffe during the 1987 – 88 season. Coach Wyville finished with 352 wins and 223 losses. While Coach Wyville mentored the team from 1961 – 1988, Mr. Gurney was at the helm from 1927 – 47 compiling a record of 155 wins to 130 losses.
• The 1911 boys basketball team was ranked 3rd in the state.
• In 1942 the total school enrollment was 631. By 1967, it had risen to 2425. From 1962 – 1967, there was an average yearly increase of 50 students in the high school. By 1980, it had fallen to 1733.
• The current library at CFHS was opened on September 12, 1966, the first day of the school year. The building was named the Gordon C. Nichols Library. Miss Mary Meyer was the high school librarian.
• The Chagrin Valley Rotary Club used to present the Gold Book Award to the school that is ranked highest in performance and sportsmanship at athletic events between Orange and Chagrin. The award was given out in the 1950s and 1960s in an effort to eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct by both participants and spectators.
• In 1976 the Chagrin Board of Education rejected a bid to erect a 70-foot TV tower on the high school roof to improve reception of Channel 25 in the Chagrin Valley area.
• The Tiger Wrestling team entered the 1967 season with the third longest winning streak in Ohio. They had won 22 straight matches under the guidance of Coach Jim Hoppel. Although the streak would end at 23 with a loss to Chardon, the mat men would win or share in the CVC title 5 out of 6 years from 1964 to 1970.
• Joe Trohman, lead guitarist for Grammy nominated Fall Out Boy, grew up in South Russell, before moving to Chicago. He started his music and educational career in Chagrin Falls Schools and would have been a member of the Class of 2002.
• Karen Skeel Bartlett ’71 was the first girl to walk across the length of the gym floor on her hands.
• In 1937 the Chagrin Falls Schools became the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools, “exempt” from county control.
• In 1959, 41 out of the 63 teachers at Chagrin Falls were married and 42 teachers were also Chagrin district residents.
• Doug Kenney was the creative force behind “Animal House” and “Caddyshack,” while he also played the role of Stork in the former movie. Although a Gilmour graduate, Doug was brought up in Chagrin and attended CFMS.
• 1st OABR was held by the Class of ‘61
• The first outdoor graduation was held in 1959.
• The character Barnacle Boy on Sponge Bob Square Pants is voiced by Tim Conway ’52. Tim also does the voice of Hermie on the animated show Hermie and Friends, while his partner from the 1975 film The Apple Dumpling Gang, Don Knotts, played the voice of Wormie.
• Philomathean is derived from the Greek philomath, which means “a lover of learning.”
• In August of 1933, Chagrin Falls held a celebration for the towns’ 100th birthday.
• Dignitaries in attendance included the presiding governor of Ohio, Mr. George White. In the bathing beauty contest Miss Betty Boswell was selected over eighteen women to reign as “Miss Chagrin Falls Centennial”. The two day celebration was highlighted with reenactments that included: the Native Americans leaving; founder Noah Graves coming down Grove Hill where he envisions the possibilities of water power; breaking ground for the first mill; first families arriving by foot, horseback and wagon; first mail delivery; first school teacher and children; and first religious society event.
• In 1932, baseball was abolished for the year at CFHS. The idea was to devote all the time to track.
• The first boys’ basketball banquet was held in the Home Economics Department building in March 1932. Coach Gurney was in attendance with the players and their parents.
• The school year opened nearly a month late in 1933 due to the Great Depression. During this period, the school frequently employed the teachers on a month-to-month basis due to the financial concerns of the time.
• Today the CFHS school day begins at 7:40 A.M and concludes at 2:50 PM. Years ago students began their school day at 8:30 A.M, took a lunch break from 11:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. ending their day at 3:30 P.M.
• The earliest graduation ceremonies used to take place on the opera house stage, which was located on the second floor of Town Hall. In 1891 there were eight graduates. The annual senior class and alumni banquet would follow the Thursday ceremonies on Saturday at Lake Punderson.
From the September 22, 2005 issue of the Geauga County Maple Leaf newspaper:
“A house on Bell Road in South Russell that was part of the Underground Railroad was also the home to one of America’s most famous painters. Arhibald Williard – the painter of ‘The Spirit of ‘76’ resided in the farm purchased by Isaac Rarick in 1850. The walls of the house were covered in paintings and drawings Williard had done as a boy growing up in the house.”
“In June 1849 a meeting took place at the South Russell Disciple Church in Soule’s Corners in South Russell – located at the intersection of Route 306 and Bell Street. A.L. Soule, owner of the property of the church, proposed that all those interested in creating a school or a college in the area come to the meeting.
On Oct. 3, 1849 a committee of five members named seven towns for consideration for the location of the college – North Bloomfield, Newtown Falls, Hiram, Shalersville, Aurora, Bedford and South Russell. When the vote took place on Nov. 7, 1849, South Russell received 10 votes, while Hiram received 17 votes. An article in the Ravenna Republican said that Hiram was chosen for its beauty, as well as a ‘subscription of $4,000’ which was also ‘no means inducement’ for choosing Hiram as the location.
The Western Reserve Eclectic Institute was opened and dedicated on Nov. 27, 1850. Today, it is known as Hiram College.”
• The first meeting of the CFAA was on April 11, 1890. The CFAA began by members of the Class of 1889.
• The Parent Teacher Association began in October 1922.
• Although he was the President of his class, Elwyn B. Robinson ‘24 would become most noted for his extensive research on the State of North Dakota. Besides writing and producing forty radio shows on “Heroes of Dakota” in the late 1940s, he also authored the 600-page History of North Dakota, which was published in 1966. His later work would also be utilized in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Although he passed away in 1985, his efforts are still remembered for the University of North Dakota, an institution he taught at for over 35 years, has named its Department of Special Collections the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections in his honor.
• From the Valley Lantern (June, 1966): “Unknown to many Chagrin students, Mr. Ted Gurney’s interest range far beyond the principal’s desk at Chagrin Falls High School. Through work with the Kenley players and his friendship with John Kenley, he has met many celebrities, such as Edie Adams, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Carol Lawrence, and Robert Goulet. Mr. Gurney even chauffeured Zsa Zsa Gabor to Cleveland once!”
Scores of the 1st Season – 1924
Euclid 37 CFHS 7
Faculty 2 CFHS 15
Rocky River 14 CFHS 12
Maple Hts. 13 CFHS 12
Shore 26 CFHS 0
Berea 15 CFHS 3
• From the 1915 – 1916 School Handbook: The tuition for grades 9-12 was $3.00/month and $2.50/month for grades 1-8 during that school year. Although most textbooks were under $1.00, the 10th grade history book was by far the most expensive fee for a student at $1.42 for that year. The school year consisted of thirty-six weeks with the first semester beginning on the second Monday of September. The hours of daily exercise were from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. with lunch from 12:00 to 1:45.
• Although Chagrin Falls has been considered a very safe place, our history does include one murder. Aaron R. “A.R.” Chance was shot during a robbery of the First National Bank of Chagrin Falls on June 19, 2004. The 78-year-old lived in an apartment above the bank and came downstairs during the hold-up. Although the bank teller missed being shot, Mr. Chance was not as lucky. The trio of gunmen made off with $2,500 in cash and a Liberty Bond. Mr. Chance is buried in Evergreen Cemetery. His story was a recent senior research project for Kenston graduate Scott Stoner and he was aided in venture by Pat Zalba and the Chagrin Falls Historical Society.
• This is an excerpt by Ann Huggett Gumprecht ‘42 from Echoes of the Past – Vol. III: “It was customary for the senior class to have a Kid Day at the end of the school year. It was fun and silly because everyone dressed as little kids. Since our country was at war, the superintendent and principal, Mr. Sands and Mr. Gurney, decided that our class should forgo Kid Day. Naturally we were upset and disappointed, but we got together and planned a different day. This may have been the biggest event of our year. On Kid Day every member or our class played hooky and we enjoyed a day together playing ball and visiting. Due to the war, we knew many of the boys would be drafted as soon as they graduated. Now we cherish our pictures of that day at the Shelter House.”
• In 1927, there were 664 unmarried youths between the ages of five and 18 years in the Chagrin Falls School System. Of this total 33 came from Bainbridge and 28 from South Russell. There were 337 girls and 327 boys. The largest group was the ten year olds with 62, while the eight year olds had 62.
• One of the biggest events in the Chagrin athletic program during the 1920s used to be the inter-class basketball games and the track meets. The spring track meet occurred up at the fairgrounds and only included the boys.
• The Weisenberger’s Orchestra played several P.T.A. sponsored dances in the 1920s. These get-togethers would include parents, teachers, and students. Admission was 50 cents for adults and 35 cents for children.
• In the summer of 1929, Coach Gurney attended a coaching school held at Wittenberg College. Coach Gurney heard the very latest about football from Coach Knute Rockne of Notre Dame.
• With a theme of Squaw Rock, the 138-page 1929 Zenith yearbook sold for $1.75.
• A football season ticket pass, which covered five games (including an alumni game), was $2.00 for adults and $1.25 for school children in 1928.
• The CFHS Choral Group under the direction of Mr. William Freeland provided the music for the World Day of Prayer services at the Chagrin Falls Methodist Church in 1956. This event was organized by the Chagrin Falls District of Church Women.
• Leona Edwards Trippeer, a CFHS graduate, was named “Mother of the Year” for the state of Virginia in 1956. The honor was due to the success she had in raising her ten model children and being “mother” to youngsters in a juvenile detention home where she taught and supervised children.
• Miss Eva Jane McCreary, Home Economics instructor, had her senior girls enter the General Mills “Homemaker of Tomorrow” contest. The 1956 Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow winner from Chagrin was Cynthia Arnold Stuckey ’56. Cynthia received a golden pin and the school earned a cook book.
• Diana Munz ’00 has 21 U.S. National titles in swimming, ranking her second among active swimmers (Jenny Thompson has 26).
• In 1959, 41 out of the 63 teachers at Chagrin Falls were married and 42 teachers were also Chagrin district residents.
• In 1849 the board of education adopted McGuffey’s Eclectic Reader and Ray’s Arithmetic as the primary textbooks for the schools.
• In July, 1857, the board of education established some new rules which all teachers were expected to enforce in addition to “all the rules and regulations as appropriate to teachers generally.” These new “rules for students” were as follows:
• There shall be no talking or whispering in the hours of school without permission to do so.
• There shall be no moving around the room, hitching upon the seats or unnecessary noise shall in any case be allowed.
• Scholars shall be required to attend with assiduity to their studies during the hour of school, and at recess shall not remain out over five minutes and when out shall not be permitted to holler and make unnecessary noise, shall go into no neighbor’s yard without permission, shall not be permitted to do any injury of the buildings connected with the school property inside or out.
• Any scholar refusing to submit to and obey in any particular foregoing rules shall be dealt with and punished as the teacher thinks most suitable and proper.
• Repeated offenders were to be reported to the superintendent and expelled unless “reformation, improvement and more were promised.” The board required all teachers to enforce these rules to maintain their employment as teachers. If found not enforcing these rules, a teacher could be dismissed.
• In 1859 the board of education voted to pay male grammar school teachers $7.00 per week and female teachers $5.00 per week. The superintendent’s salary was set at $500 per year.
• Schools were closed in May, 1861, for “one week in consequence of the presence of smallpox.”
• According to board minutes, the first disciplinary case appeared on September 11, 1869, when two students were brought before the board after being suspended by the superintendent for “inbriation.”
• The next violation brought before the board was a week later when a student left school to “drink beer.” It is noted that the board allowed all three to remain in school with a promise of better behavior.
• As a preliminary to the basketball game between CFHS and Burton High School in the winter of 1905, the CFHS girls played an exhibition game with the girls from the community of Orange. The final score was Orange 2, Chagrin 0. In the following game the high school boys’ team defeated Burton 70 to 2.
• The annual spring concert held in 1940 was the dedication program for
• the new auditorium at the present middle school.
• In 1849 the Chagrin Falls Board of Education adopted the use of McGuffey’s Eclectic Books and Ray’s Arithmetics for the Chagrin Falls Schools.
• In 1968 a press box was added to the visitor’s bleachers at the high school athletic field.
• A domestic science department was formed at Chagrin Falls High School in 1915 with two divisions—sewing and cooking.
• In 1915 a manual training department was formed at Chagrin Falls High School because “the hands need training.”
• In March, 1924, the schools were closed for three weeks due to a smallpox scare.
• The Chagrin Falls High School golf team finished fourth in the state golf tournament in 1991, finished third in 1992, and fourth in 1993. During those three years their record was 56 wins and 11 losses and 3 CVC championships.
• A bond issue to build a school at the old Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds (1874-1924), the present home of the high school campus, Sands School and the “Rec Center,” was defeated in 1928. The first school built at the old fairgrounds was Sands School in 1957.
• In 1935 the P.T.A. bought the first “motion picture machine” for the Chagrin Falls Schools.
• For many years a carnival was held on Halloween night at the high school for the benefit of various school organizations.
• On November 30, 1943, the Chagrin Township Hall was partially destroyed by a fire.
• In the spring of 1947 Chagrin Falls High School conducted its first boxing tournament under the direction of Coach Quesinberry.
• In the fall of 1958 the Falls Footlighters presented Mardi Gras, the first costume dance at the high school.
• During the 1930’s the Girls’ Glee Club sang Christmas carols for the tubercular invalids at the Warrensville Sanitarium.
• There were 107 graduates in the class of 1991.
• The Chagrin Falls School District has 50 more students in the 1996-97 school year than it did last year, raising the district’s enrollment to 1,874. The 1896/97 school year had an enrollment of 326 students.
• The first organizational meeting of the Chagrin Falls Board of Education was held May 25, 1849.
• Since 1852, 27 people have served as Superintendent of the Chagrin Falls Schools with W.S. Hayden performing the duties on two different occasions.
• In contracts with earlier superintendents it was a part of their contract that they teach so many classes per day.
• During the 1917 football season Chagrin Falls High School defeated Solon H.S. 74-0, Kent (Roosevelt) H.S. 80-0 and Ravenna H.S. 82-0.
• The Chagrin Falls High School football team of 1934 holds the record with the 1897 and 1900 squads for the least points scored (0). However, they
• did manage two 0-0 ties for the season.
• In 1962 substitute teachers in the Chagrin Falls schools were paid $15 per day. In 1997 substitute teachers were paid $60 per day.
• Lewis Sands served the most years as Superintendent of the Chagrin Falls Schools – 24 (1934-1958).
• Until 1926 Bell Road in South Russell was known as Soules’ Corners Road. Early settlers at what is now the corner of Chillicothe and Bell Roads were three brothers, A.L., Benjamin and Myron Soule.
• The first Chagrin Falls High School newspaper was published November 29, 1922. In lieu of a better name it was called “C.F.H.S.” Issue #2 of the high school newspaper dated January 10, 1923, had a name, “The Echo,” which lasted for many years. Alvin Neuman ‘24 is credited as the founder of “The Echo.”
• Theodore C. “Ted” Gurney, Ralph Quesinberry and John Piai won a combined total of 320 football games, lost 218 and tied 30. Since 1897 and until the 1997 season, the “Tigers” have won 412 games.
• In the 1913 football season the orange and black overwhelmed Hudson H.S. by a score of 84-0 in the first game of the season and finished with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss.
• The 1918 football season was shortened due to the world-wide flu epidemic. Chagrin Falls Schools’ 1997 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Everett Kline, Jr., finished his third straight season as captain.
• In the 1927 season the football team lost to Garfield Hts. H.S. by a score of 96-0.
• In 1930 the orange and black defeated Bainbridge H.S. by a score of 87-7 and Orange H.S. by a score of 54-0.
• The first Orange and Black Revue at Chagrin Falls High School took place in the spring of 1961.
• The 1978 Orange and Black Revue was directed by Ed Gardner and Tony Sharnas, teachers at the middle school.
• Under new head football coach, Michael J. “A.C.” DePaola, and athletic nickname, the “Skippies,” the 1941 season ended with only 1 win. The name “Skippies” came from a little dog that was the team mascot in the early 1940’s.
• The first middle school yearbook was issued in 1968.
• The Chagrin Falls shopping plaza was opened for business in 1959. Building of the plaza began in 1957.
• The Chagrin Falls Village Hall was seriously damaged by fire in January, 1962, and then restored several years
• later. At one time it was used as the village’s public library. The historic building still remains as the Chagrin
• Falls Village Hall.
• The steps to the bottom of the natural falls were built by the Jaycees in 1963. A grist mill once stood on that site.
• The Popcorn Shop was built in 1875 and served as a display room for the products of the grist mill next door where the “Stairway to the Falls” is located.
• In 1979 the varsity soccer team won the CVC title and finished the season with a 9-3-4 record. Mario Gerhardt
• remains as varsity soccer coach at Chagrin Falls High School.
• Chagrin Hardware is located in a building where there has been a hardware store since 1867. The Shutts family has operated the store since 1965. The following Shutts family members are alumni of Chagrin Falls High School: Ken Shutts, Sr. ’38, Ken Shutts, Jr. ’63, Bob Shutts ’64, Jack Shutts ’66, Sue Shutts Johnson ’67, Steve Shutts ’70, and Jared Shutts 2003.
• Squaw Rock, located in the South Chagrin Reservation (Cleveland Metroparks) was carved by Henry Church, Jr. in 1885. He was the second child born in the settlement of Chagrin Falls.
• Evolving from the rowdy “Seniors of ’79,” in the 1978-79 school year an organized group of high-strung, loud,
• often obnoxious, but always spirited Tiger fans rocked the gym with a new spirit club known as the “Zoo”. The
• “Zoo Keeper” in 1980 was Dave Revelle. Presently Dave is a pilot with the U.S. Navy.
• The first mayor of Chagrin Falls was John Bullard in the 1840’s. For many years his home on West Washington
• Street was the parsonage for the present Federated Church of Chagrin Falls.
• Tiger football captains during the 1950’s were as follows: 1950 – Ken Wiley and Don Evans; 1951 – Jim Fitzpatrick; 1952 – Larry Kachele; 1953 – Jon Fitzpatrick and Pete Shelton; 1954 – Larry Wiley; 1955 – Darryl “Corky” Solether; 1956 – Dave Banning and John Thomas; 1957 – Steve VanNort; 1958 – Bill Cordes and Rick Thomas; 1959 – Don Mitchell.
• In 1961 a separate “little red schoolhouse” was built next to the Lewis Sands School. This section of Lewis Sands School will be torn down this summer to make way for a new 7th and 8th grade building next to the present high school.
• The Sassy Cat building was originally built as a harness shop in 1846. Peters’ Bakery occupied the building from 1946 to 1964.
• During the late 1800’s one wing of the Chagrin Falls Township Hall was used as a jail.
• In 1983 Gurney School was closed due to declining enrollment.
• In 1988 Gurney School was opened due to increasing enrollment. At that time major renovations were made at
• Gurney School.
• During the Civil War the property on what is now 68 West Summit Street was a grove used for a Civil War fund-raiser. Later it became known as “Stoneman’s Grove” after the property was purchased by Grace Stoneman.
• In 1961 a new gymnasium and language arts building, now used as the cafeteria and commons at the high school, were built.
• In 1892 a 750-seat assembly hall and elementary classrooms were added to the Philomethian Street School. The brick Philomethian Street School was torn down in 1940.
• The Chagrin Falls High School cafeteria had the following menu on May 29, 1947:
• Plate Dinner – meat loaf, green beans, potatoes .15
• Soup – chicken noodle or tomato .05
• Sandwiches – cheese, deviled egg or jelly .08
• Salads – tossed, waldorf or pineapple .10
• Dessert – ice cream, cake or pudding .05
• Milk – chocolate or white .06
• Chagrin Falls graduated 115 students in 1963. Until that date that was the largest graduating class. In 1962 diplomas were given to 99 students and in 1961, 77 seniors graduated. The class of 1954 had 44 graduates.
• In 1910 there were 2194 books in the Chagrin Falls Public School library.
• An innovation for the Chagrin Falls High School band in the fall of 1947 was the wearing of flashlights on the band hats. Also new that year, majorette Jo Ann Honeywell ’48, used a lighted baton.
• The first Thespian Club started at Chagrin Falls High School was initiated by English teacher, Eleanor Nunvar in 1929. Its first president was Eleanor Brown ‘29. They presented six plays in their first year of existence.
• Geauga Lake held dog races at its Bainbridge race track in the 1930’s. The admission charge was 25 cents.
• Quoted from Ralph Miller’s 1945 football banquet program: “first quarter, salad; second quarter, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and peas; third quarter, pie-a-la-mode; fourth quarter, coffee.”
• During the 1935 football season Chagrin Falls High School acquired the nickname, “Wildcats”, from local Athletic News sports writer, Tom Walling. The name lasted one season.
• The “little red schoolhouse” at Lewis Sands School was connected with the original Lewis Sands building in 1971. However, it no longer exists as the new 7th and 8th grade school is being built at that location.
• The first teacher hired to teach art in the Chagrin Falls Schools was Grace Cook in 1927.
• Chagrin Falls’ reputation as an art center had an early beginning. Henry Church, Jr., born in Chagrin Falls in 1836, was a blacksmith in the village and a gifted artist. Noted not only for his carving of Squaw Rock in the Chagrin Metropolitan Park, his works are in prestigious collections and museums including the Folk Art Museum in Williamsburg, VA.
• The first teacher hired to teach art in the Chagrin Falls Schools was Grace Cook in 1927.
• A popular swimming and recreation area in the 1930’s and 1940’s was located along the Aurora branch of the Chagrin River by River Road in Bentleyville. It was known as Wallace Beach and named after the mayor of Bentleyville, Bill Wallace.
• The Chagrin Falls men’s basketball individual game scoring record is held by Ken Lauterer ‘56, who scored 36 points against Strongsville High School during the 1955-1956 season and Bill Cordes ‘59, who scored 36 points against Kent State High School during the 1958-1959 season.
• The Chagrin Falls women’s basketball individual game scoring record is held by Jane Phend ‘83, who scored 43 points against Twinsburg High School during the 1980-1981 season.
• The Chagrin Falls Village Hall, built in 1874, was originally the Washington Gates residence. Alterations in its appearance were made when rebuilding was necessitated following a fire on January 3, 1962.
• Quote from the March 15, 1883, Chagrin Falls Exponent: “Sitting in the Exponent sanctum last evening we heard by telephone, distinctly, a man talking in New York City 700 miles away!”
• Prior to his presidency, James A. Garfield roomed at 23 Water Street while contracting work for the old Disciples Church, at that time located on Walnut Street.
• The fire in 1897 at the Irving House Hotel on the corner of Washington and Main Streets (present Key Bank location), initiated the beginning of the Chagrin Falls Fire Department.
• In 1923 there were 19 teachers employed by the Chagrin Falls Board of Education with a total enrollment of 700. The graduating class from the high school had 32.
• Crane’s Canary Cottage Restaurant, presently Gamekeepers Tavern and The Inn of Chagrin Falls, was built by C. A. Crane, the man who invented the “Life Saver” candy. John D. Rockefeller had a special table at the restaurant overlooking an attractive patio. He and his sons helped to make the restaurant famous. A reception for Charles Lindberg was also held there and Lindberg stayed overnight in an upstairs room. C. A. Crane was also the father of Hart Crane, the famous American poet.
• The first of many future developments in South Russell was Paw Paw Lake in 1921. It was developed by Wade McIlrath and named for the paw paw trees that grew around the lake. Many early residents of the lake were members of the Masonic Fraternal Order.
• The prelude to Blossom Time in the Valley during the 1930’s was an event titled Chagrin Valley Home Week which included, among other things, a carnival and a parade with a queen titled, “Queen of the Blossoms.”
• In 1873 the Union Fair Association of Chagrin Falls purchased 34 acres on the south side of E. Washington Street to build a half-mile horse racing track. One year later because of the new track, Chagrin Falls was selected as the site for the Cuyahoga County Fair.
• At the first Cuyahoga County Fair in Chagrin Falls, as an added attraction, a $10.00 purse was presented to the winner of a footrace once around the track. The victor, in 1874, was Tom Bright of Chagrin Falls with a time of 2:38.5. Today, 125 years later, Chagrin Falls athletes still run on a portion of that original track.
• At a meeting of the Chagrin Falls Board of Education on September 2, 1926, the Board voted to accept the Village of South Russell into the school district.
• In the 1925-1926 school year Chagrin Falls had 635 pupils of school age while South Russell had 23.
• The most wins during a Chagrin Falls men’s basketball season was 21. This was accomplished during the 1955-1956 and 1986-1987 seasons.
• The C.A.A. (Chagrin Athletic Association) was organized in 1968 for boys in the 5th through 8th grades. Only football and basketball was offered at that time.
• By 1972 the C.A.A. offered softball and basketball for girls.
• The Chagrin River was first named the Elk and it appeared as such on a map prepared by Lewis Evans in 1755. Later the river was called Shaguin to memorialize Sieur de Saguin, a French trader in the area.
• In 1881 the cost per pupil to run the Chagrin Falls Union Schools was $9.30. Also in 1881 the market price for eggs was 12 cents a dozen, butter was 18 cents a pound and apples were 30 cents a bushel.
• A 750-seat assembly hall and elementary schoolrooms were added to the old Philomethian Street School in 1892. It was torn down in 1940.
• In 1989 the high school science labs were renovated and a new entranceway was built at the Ralph L. Quesinberry Gymnasium.
• The class of 1988 has 10 members in the teaching profession.
• Retired Chagrin Falls teacher, Margaret Heitch Johnson, graduated from Chagrin Falls in the class of 1920.
• In 1887 “desirable” lots on Cottage and North Streets were being sold for “$3.50 to $5.00 per foot front” according to the local paper, The Chagrin Falls Exponent.
• The most wins during a Chagrin Falls women’s basketball season was 28. This was accomplished during the 1997-1998 season when the Lady Tigers won the Division III State Championship and became the only undefeated team, men or women, in the state of Ohio.
• The Chagrin Falls Exponent ended publication in 1964.
• The Chagrin Valley Little Theater, organized in 1929, held its productions in the “Opera House”, the 1895 second floor addition to Township Hall, until it was destroyed by a fire in 1943.
• The Chagrin Falls women’s basketball team opened their 1925-1926 basketball season with a 30-0 win over the Spencerian College team of Cleveland, OH.
• During the 1958-1959 school year the junior high school (grades 7 and 8) had a 45-minute class period. It encompassed a 9-period day from 8:05 to 3:34. The high school had a 60-minute class period encompassing a 7-period day from 8:05 to 3:45.
• In 1898 the tax rate in Chagrin Falls Village, including the school tax, was $3.30 per $100.00. It was the second highest rate in a list of 39 Cuyahoga County subdivisions. The Chagrin Falls rate included $1.00 for schools.
• By 1918 460 students had graduated from Chagrin Falls High School (Girls-278; Boys-182). The first graduate was Hugh Christian in 1879.
• In 1899 the first annual Chagrin Falls High School football banquet was held at the Irving Hotel where the Key Bank is presently located at the corner of E. Washington Street and N. Main Street.
• 28 Chagrin Falls graduates served in World War I.
• The first class at Chagrin Falls High School to wear caps and gowns at graduation was the class of 1932.
• During the 1955-1956 basketball season the men’s basketball team set the school scoring record by beating Independence H.S. 106-52.
• In 1924 Chagrin’s first tennis team was organized and several matches were played. The following year matches were played with such schools as Shaker Heights H.S., University School, Cleveland John Marshall H.S., Western Reserve Academy and Cleveland East Tech H.S.
• The domestic science class (home economics) in 1918 included cooking, sewing design and “chemistry of foods.”
• The first prom held off school property was in the spring of 1963.
• Bill Watterson, cartoonist for “Calvin and Hobbes,” graduated from Chagrin Falls High School in 1976.
• The cost per pupil for the school year in 1881 was $9.30.
• Brett Rudolph ‘83 holds the men’s school record for the 100-meter dash at 10.95 seconds.
• The first electrical scoreboard used by the “Tigers” at the C.S. Harris Stadium was during the 1954 football season.
• •The admission fee to the swimming pool at the present “Rec” Center was 10 cents per child of school age and 25 cents per adult during the summer of 1940.
• 48% of the students in grades 7-12 in the Chagrin Falls Schools participate in school-sponsored team sports.
• 40% of the students in grades 8-12 participate in elective music programs.
• 80% of the high school juniors and seniors contribute at least 50 hours of community service.
• The 1914 high school building still facing East Washington Street at the corner of Philomethian Street included an agricultural laboratory for agricultural experiments and classes. It remained as an important part of the curriculum until the late 1920’s.
• Required readings in English for seniors according to the 1918 high school course of study were Minor Poems (Milton), Essay on Burns (Carlyle), Hamlet (Shakespeare), Democracy Today (Gauss) and The Iliad (Pope).
• Tuition in 1918 for attending the first eight years in Chagrin Falls Schools was $4 per month. Tuition for the high school was $6 per month. Approximately 30% of the students paid out-of-district tuition fees.
• Because of the possibility of an infantile paralysis (polio) epidemic, school did not open the first week in 1937.
• There has been a school on the Philomethian Street property since 1842.
• The first class to graduate from the new high school, built at the old East Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds on East Washington Street, was the class of 1960.
• Gurney School was built in South Russell in 1966, abandoned as a school in June, 1983, and reopened as a school in September, 1988.
• The parent Teacher Association of Chagrin Falls was organized in October, 1922, for parents, teachers and persons interested in the welfare of children.
• There is a town in Vermont where the kids roll stolen pumpkins down their main street’s big hill. The name of this town is Springfield.
• The 1963 Tiger football team scored 363 points in 9 games. The 1972 Tiger team allowed only 17 points in 10 games.
• Triangle Park, located in the middle of Chagrin Falls Village, was built in 1873. The bandstand in Triangle Park was built in 1877. The bandstand was restored in 1951 by the Chagrin Falls Historical Society.
• There have been 20 head football coaches at Chagrin Falls High School since 1897.
• The men’s cross country team finished 2nd in the 1970 state meet, 1st in 1971, 12th in 1974, 4th in 1982 and 2nd in 1993.
• From 1893-1897 a touchdown was worth 4 points, a field goal 5 points, a point after touchdown two points and a safety 2 points.
• Beginning in 1892 local bicycle races were part of the July 4th celebration in Chagrin Falls. They were also held later in the summer at the Cuyahoga County Fair in Chagrin Falls (the present 7-12 campus on E. Washington St.).
• Elmer Zepp ’23 won two state championships in the state potato growing contest in 1923.
• South Russell was annexed to the Chagrin Falls School District in 1927.
• The Popcorn Shop was built in 1875 to serve as a display room for products from Washington Gates’ grist mill . The grist mill stood where the steps to the falls are today.
• A cemetery is located at the top of Grove Hill on the north side of Main Street. Buried there are some of the early settlers of Chagrin Falls which was founded in 1833. One of the gravesites includes the remains of a Revolutionary War soldier.
• Tuition fees for students living outside the village of Chagrin Falls in 1874 were: high school $5.00 per term; grammar school $4.00 per term; and primary school – $3.00 per term.
• On July 4, 1898, a tightrope was stretched from the top of the G.A.R. Building (presently Rick’s Café) to the top of the then two-story Town Hall. An aerialist completed a tightrope walk, but an attempt to ride a bicycle across was a failure due to a lack of courage.
• The Chagrin Falls High Schools girls’ cross country team won the Division II State Championship in 1991.
• The swimming pool at the “Rec” Center was built in 1935 with funds from the Federal Economic Recovery Act and labor by the W.P.A. It was administered by the Chagrin Falls Board of Education until the Chagrin Valley Recreation Council was established in 1943.
• The first Chagrin Falls High School yearbook was published in 1911. It was named the Annual. In 1925 the Annual was renamed the Zenith by a vote of the students.
• Since the first graduate, Hugh Christian in 1879, 8,341 students have received diplomas from Chagrin Falls High School, including 138 in the class of 2000.
• The early settlers in Chagrin Falls came predominantly from New England and England.
• The Chagrin Valley Little Theatre was organized in 1929.
• The Chagrin Falls Historical Society was formed in 1949 with a membership of twelve and dues of one dollar per year.
• The charter presentation for the Key Club at Chagrin Falls High School was held on October 2, 1950, at the high school cafeteria. The first president of the Key Club was John B. Rodgers, Jr. ’51.
• The first established library in the Village of Chagrin Falls was organized in 1842 by the Chagrin Falls Ladies Library Association.
• Tim Conway ’52 was honored by his proud hometown of Chagrin Falls with a banquet on June 24, 1963. It was a testimonial dinner to honor his achievements as Ensign Parker on the “McHale’s Navy” television show. Such notables attending were Jack Riley and Ernie Anderson, better known as “Ghoulardi.”
• The west side of the Village of Chagrin Falls is listed in the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. It includes the streets of West Washington, Church, Maple and South Franklin Streets.
• Chagrin Falls Township was not an original township. It was created in 1845 when it was formed out of parts of Solon and Orange Townships, Cuyahoga County and Russell Township in Geauga County. The Russell portion was annexed to Cuyahoga County.
• During the 1987 football season Chagrin Falls Athletic Hall of Famer, T.J. Florkiewicz ’88, kicked a record 9 field goals, with the longest a 46-yarder against Hawken School.
• A separate “Little Red Schoolhouse” was built next to the Lewis Sands School in 1961. It was connected with the original Lewis Sands building when new classrooms were built in 1971. Most of that structure was torn down for the building of the new middle school in 1999.
• During the 1917 football season Chagrin Falls High School beat Solon High School 74-0, beat Kent High School 80-0 and beat Ravenna High School 82-0.
• In the 1870’s the Village of Chagrin Falls was a mill town with polluted, smokefilled air and a reputation for wild and noisy saloons.
• During the 1911-1912 men’s basketball season Chagrin Falls High School defeated the Ohio Wesleyan University freshman team 14-11.
• Chautauquas were very popular in Chagrin Falls during the first quarter of the 20th century.
• Moving homes was once popular in the village. It is estimated that over 40 local homes have been moved from their original lots.
• The annual Firemen’s Ball was the big social event of the year in Chagrin Falls in the 1890’s and well into the 20th century.
• During the 1913 football season Chagrin Falls High School had an opening victory over Hudson High School 84-0.
• The first annual “hall decorating contest” was held in December, 1983. The second annual event was won by the seniors.
• The 1985 Zenith was dedicated in memory of retired teacher, coach and athletic director Ralph Quesinberry who passed away January 20, 1985.
• During the 1917-1918 men’s basketball season Chagrin Falls High School beat Cleveland St. Ignatius High School 51-16.
• The senior class play in 1965 was “Kind Sir.”
• The 1984-1985 men’s basketball team averaged 70.5 points a game while winning 15 games and losing only 5. They were C.V.C. champions.
• The 2000 Chagrin Falls High School marching band had over 100 musicians.
• 1972 was the first year that men’s tennis was a league sport in the C.V.C.
• The Little Darlings, consisting of teachers Jim Halloran, Bob Furst, Lenny May, Jim Bucar and Bob Lonchar sang “The Duke of Earl” in the 1975 O.A.B.R.
• The 1976 Zenith featured the artwork of world-famous cartoonist and class of 1976 graduate, Bill Watterson. He was the originator of the cartoon characters “Calvin & Hobbes.” Bill is currently retired from the cartoon world.
(The early history of the Chagrin Falls High School Alumni Association from 1890-1910, as written in the 1911 Annual, the first Chagrin Falls High School yearbook)
The Chagrin Falls High School Alumni Association was organized April 11, 1890, for the purpose as stated in the Constitution, of promoting acquaintances among the Alumni and the interest and immediate success of the Chagrin Falls High School. The first officers of the Association were Geo. B. Haggart, Pres.,
Miss Lena L. Pratt, Rec. Sec’y. Previous to the class of ’89, by whom the Association was organized, there had been ten graduates, Hugh Christian in ’79; Theodore Modroo and James Short, ’81; Ella Whitlock Dudley ’82; Geo. Haggart, ’87; and the class of ’88 containing four members: H. C. Cleverdon, Lewis Richards, Fred Gates and Lucy Foster. June 14, 1890, the first banquet and reception for new members was held at Punderson Lake, the Class of ’90 becoming members at that time. At the same time it was decided to hold a reception or affair of a social nature each June. In ’91 and ’92 the banquets were held at Punderson Lake, but in ’93 it seemed the desire of the majority to make it a more formal function, and Hotel Irving (where Key Bank is located today) was selected as the place of meeting. This proved quite satisfactory and several receptions were held at the Irving House.
One of the most enjoyable events in the history of the Association occurred June 21, 1901, when, in response to an invitation extended by Supt. Shumaker, the annual reception was held at his home (the present Chagrin Falls Village Hall). A most delightful evening was spent. Since that date, the Assembly Hall (located in the old Philomethian Street School, torn down in 1940) has seemed the most desirable place for the receptions. The last meeting held June 28, 1910, resulted in the election of the following officers: Pres., Harry Stroud; Vice Pres., Madaline Harris; Cor. Sec’y., Helene Dripps; Rec. Sec’y., Lilon Pugsley; Treas., Vernie Fuller. The Association has an enrollment of over three hundred, nearly every profession being represented. Each year adds a class to the membership. It also adds to the list of names that will respond to roll call no more.
All activities of the society in the past have been of a social nature, but suggestions have been made that the Association assume responsibilities along other lines.
Realizing, that with a rapidly increasing membership, the society should become a potent factor in raising the educational standard among the young people, another year may find some of the suggestions acted upon.
Written By: Miss Cora M. Sanders
Class of 1890
(She later taught in the Chagrin Falls Schools for 20 years)
• During the American Civil War, Union General Benjamin F. Pritchard was responsible for the capture of the President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. Jefferson was attempting to flee from capture dressed in women’s clothing. General Pritchard was a resident of Chagrin Falls for many years before the Civil War.
• The school colors, orange and black, were adopted by the football team and its first coach, Lute Harris, during its first regularly scheduled football season in 1898.
• In 1907 the Chagrin Falls Schools were granted a charter from the Ohio State Department of Education entitled “First Grade High School,” meaning a four-year high school. Since many surrounding schools were three-year high schools, many students from surrounding school districts paid tuition to do “post-graduate” work at Chagrin Falls High School.
• The worldwide flu epidemic in 1918 closed Chagrin Schools for several weeks. There were several flu-related deaths in the Chagrin Falls area. Even the 1918 football season was shortened due to the flu epidemic.
• In March, 1924, the schools were closed for three weeks as a smallpox scare spread through the community.
• In 1937 the Chagrin Falls Schools became the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools, “exempt” from county control. Also, because of the possibility of an infantile paralysis (polio) epidemic, school did not open the first scheduled week. It finally opened on September 13, 1937.
• In 1972 Ralph L. Quesinberry, a long-time teacher, coach and athletic director in the Chagrin Falls School System, was named the Outstanding High School National Athletic Director of the Year.