Munroe Falls School, 1906
With exhibits on local history and a local history library and archives, the Munroe Falls Historical Society Museum helps tell the many stories of Munroe Falls’ past. Below are highlights from some of our special collections and displays.
Howard and Florence Gaylord Wedding Photo, 1902
The Gaylord family was among the very first to settle in the southern part of Stow Township, now known as Munroe Falls.
In 1809, Jonathan Gaylord, Jr. purchased land in Stow Township from Joshua Stow, a surveyor and among the first exploring party to the Western Reserve. Jonathan was accompanied to Stow Township by 40 friends and family, including his parents, seven children, uncles and aunts, and sister Margaret “Peggy” Stow and brother-in-law William Stow (a distant cousin of Joshua Stow).
Munroe Falls Train Depot
In 1884, railroad tracks were built on and near the old canal bed as part of a single line owned by the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad. The B&O (Baltimore and Ohio) Railroad bought out the original railroad in 1900 and laid a second set of railroad tracks. For many decades, trains stopped at the town’s station, delivering and picking up passengers, mail and freight. Today, the tracks are owned by CSX Transportation.
A B&O passenger and freight depot and warehouse were built next to the Route 91 railroad crossing on the southwest side of the tracks. A telegraph service was available in the depot. When the building was torn down the sign was donated to the Munroe Falls Historical Society Museum.
If there was only mail “to go,” no stop was necessary. The mail pouch was hung on a mechanical arm adjacent to the tracks and snagged “on the fly” by a train worker. The train worker also would throw out a bag of outgoing mail to the ground while the train kept moving (see photo below). The Munroe Falls Historical Society Museum has a metal canister that was used for this purpose as well.
Regular trains continue to stop traffic at the city’s Darrow Road crossing. However, they are “through trains” and no longer make stops at Munroe Falls.
Munroe Falls train depot prior to building addition.
Munroe Falls railroad stop, 1946
Station Agent E.W. Wood attaching a mail bag for pickup at the train station.
Munroe Falls Paper Company
In 1866, the old gristmill, located on the north side of the river, was purchased by the Cleveland Paper Company and refitted for paper manufacturing.
According to Charles Nelson Gaylord's diary, he worked at the paper mill in 1899. His job varied from loading and unloading railroad cars to hauling coal, paper, bales and stock. His workday fluctuated from five to 10 hours a day and was affected by flooding, weather and machinery breakdowns.
The original building burned down in 1868. A new brick building, which was eventually purchased by Sonoco Products in 1960, was built on the same site. Paper manufacturing was discontinued on January13, 2001. The Sonoco Industrial Tube Company is still in operation there today.
Come see the displays in the Munroe Falls Historical Society Museum to learn more about one of our oldest businesses in Munroe Falls.
In the 1960s, the old schoolhouse was moved to its present site (Munroe Falls City Hall).
Munroe Falls Schoolhouse
The building that houses the Munroe Falls City Hall on Munroe Falls Avenue has served a variety of purposes over the years. It was originally built as a one-room district schoolhouse around 1885, yet closed in 1916. Later, a steeple was added and the building was used temporarily as a Methodist Church. It also served as a community center for civic functions, and new additions were made to meet needs, including adding a large entrance way. The village took over the building in the 1930s.
Originally, the schoolhouse was located on the southwest corner of Munroe Falls Avenue and Route 91. It was moved down the street to its current location at 43 Munroe Falls Avenue (now Munroe Falls City Hall) in 1965 to make room for a gas station, which later was repurposed into a bank.
For most of its life, the former schoolhouse was painted white. In the 1980s, the two-story structure was painted a camel color and was missing its bell tower and steeple. The Munroe Falls Historical Society reconstructed the bell tower as a gift to the village in honor of its one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary in 1988.
Visit the Munroe Falls Historical Society Museum to learn more about early school days in our community.