Original site of old schoolhouse on corner of Route 91 and Munroe Falls Avenue, photo dated 1923.
Historical Sites: A Self-Guided Tour
Did you know that Munroe Falls is home to one of the oldest structure in Summit County? That two local homes were built by the father of a famous abolitionist? Or that the Munroe Falls City Hall was originally a one-room schoolhouse? Find out more about these and many other historic locations as you wander back in time exploring the local sites below!
1. Owen Brown House
Now home to the Munroe Falls Historical Society Museum, this 19th century home was constructed by Owen Brown, father of American abolitionist John Brown, in 1853. Built with two front doors, the right entrance led into a small bank and the left entrance led into the house itself. The porch was originally a wrap-around wooden porch with scrollwork at the top of the porch pillars. There were shutters on the windows and a white picket fence also graced the front of the property.
Prior to housing our museum, the home changed hands numerous times. Residents included the Yarger (1922-1957) and Kingsmill families.
To learn more about the Owen Brown House from one of the Yarger children, click here to download a brief presentation.
2. Munroe Falls Veteran's Memorial
Between Owen Brown House and City Hall
The Munroe Falls Veteran's Memorial was created by Carl Floyd, an environmental sculptor from Madison, OH, and dedicated in 1988. It was designed as a tribute to anyone, living or deceased, who served at any time in any branch of the armed forces.
The memorial features a 15-ton block of granite atop four of eight columns. Deep relief carvings on the sides of the block depict four branches of service with dramatic montages. Each column represents one of the eight wars in which the U.S. has fought.
Click here to download a presentation and learn more.
3. Coach House
50 Munroe Falls Avenue
Constructed by Owen Brown in 1850, this building was built with two entrances as it also housed the town's first bank with the P&O Canal flowing gently alongside. In fact, it was located on a large water basin where the canal boats were loaded with passengers and cargo. Owen Brown lived here until his death in 1855. The house has been refurbished and is now used as office space.
4. Old Schoolhouse
43 Munroe Falls Avenue
The current City Hall building was originally built as a one-room schoolhouse in 1885. It continued to serve as a schoolhouse until 1915 and was sold to the Munroe Falls Paper Company around 1920. Over the years, it has served many purposes, from a Methodist Church to a community center.
The building was originally located on the southwest corner of Route 91 and Munroe Falls Avenue, yet moved to its present site in the late 1960s and its bell tower removed. The bell tower was reconstructed by the Munroe Falls Historical Society in honor of the village’s Sesquicentennial celebration in 1988.
5. Thornton-Guise Kitchen & House
147 South Main Street
The Thornton-Guise Kitchen and House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built by the Guise family in 1885, the home itself has been featured in national magazines and remains a private residence.
The stone summer kitchen at the rear of the home, built circa 1817, is the oldest structure in Munroe Falls and one of the oldest in Summit County. Featuring a great fireplace hearth and bake oven, the 18x22-foot stone structure was used as a summer kitchen by the Cornelius Guise family. Thornton was the maiden name of Vianna, wife of Cornelius Guise. In 1875, Vianna was willed 113 acres of land in Munroe Falls by her father, Matthew Thornton, a prominent Akron landowner.
6. Summit County Home
1134 North Avenue, Tallmadge
For nearly 50 years, the Summit County Home was a fixture in the lives of Munroe Falls residents. The Home, located on Route 91 south of South River Road, was an expansive brick building in a classic revival style. From 1919 to 1970, it was known as a hospital, a surgical center for unwed mothers, and a home for many disadvantaged groups: the poor, the elderly, the developmentally challenged, the transient, and those with substance use disorders.
As a result of a Huron County nursing home fire, legislation enacting a fire code for nursing homes was passed in 1963. In 1970, as a result of failed safety inspections at the facility, the county closed the home. The 203 remaining residents were transferred to other area homes.
For nearly ten years, the home remained empty; it was vandalized and allowed to deteriorate while county officials debated the fate of the building. It was finally demolished in 1980. Heather Knoll Nursing Home occupies the site today. In 1988, a monument was erected honoring those buried in the Summit County Home cemetery.
7. C.P. Dixon General Store
10 North Main Street
Reportedly built by Lyman Beckley in 1836, a Summit County auditor's map indicates that this building was a sash factory in 1846. It was one of 11 buildings owned by C.W. Cartwright, a Boston industrialist who bought out the assets of the Munroe Falls Manufacturing Company after the Munroe brothers industry when out of business after the Financial Panic of 1837.
Later, the building served as a general store and post office. Outgoing mail was hung in a heavy canvas bag on a tall pole next to the railroad to be picked up as the train went by. The bag of incoming mail was thrown off the train, while the outgoing mail was mechanically grabbed from the pole.
From 1912 through 1919, the Dixon family worked in the store and lived on the second floor. Starting in 1920, the building was known as the McCracken General Store. Today, the building houses a construction company and barbershop.
8. Geistweite Home
21 North Main Street
Built in 1868 by the site where the Pennsylvania & Ohio Canal once flowed, the Geistweite home is listed on the Summit County Century Homes Registry. Its first owner was Newton W. Taylor, who owned a great deal of local real estate at the time. The Geistweite family owned the house from the 1920s through the 1960s. According to long-time resident Maxine Kline, her father (Theron Geistweite) filled in adjacent parts of the old canal with dirt and bricks to try to correct water problems at the house.
Designed in the (Charles) Eastlake architecture style, the house was next owned by Maxine and Snowden Kline – from 1963 until 2002. The Kline heirs sold the house to an investor, who turned the house into offices; the house was later sold at auction to the Hallrich Corporation. Today, it is home to the Scissor Room, a full-service salon and spa.
See an undated photo of the Geistweite house behind a Pittsburgh and Western Railroad train.
9. Munroe Falls Paper Mill
59 North Main Street
The site of the old gristmill which was purchased by the Cleveland Paper Company and refitted for paper manufacturing. The original building burned down in 1868. The new building, which was eventually purchased by Sonoco Products in 1960, was built on the same site. While the Sonoco Paper Mill closed on April 13, 2001, its paper tube plant – located at the same address – has continued operation.
Visit our Museum or the Collections page to learn more about the Munroe Falls Paper Mill.
10. Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal
Brust Park, 154 North Main Street
In 1884, railroad tracks were laid in the former canal bed by the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad. A plaque was erected in 1999 by the City of Munroe Falls, Munroe Falls Historical Society and The Ohio Historical Society just north of the Cuyahoga River, near the intersection of North Main, North River and Falls River Road. The railroad tracks through Munroe Falls are located approximately one thousand feet south of this marker across the Cuyahoga River from the marker’s location.
11. The Falls
Brust Park, 154 North Main Street
The dam that created the falls in Munroe Falls was removed in 2006 to improve the river water quality. The falls were located on Route 91 on the north bank of the Cuyahoga River (within Brust Park). A lighted observation deck marks the former dam site, and a small amphitheater has been added to the hillside, constructed of large hewn stones salvaged from the dam.
To learn more about our namesake falls, click here.
12. Rattle House
364 North Main Street
The WIliam Rattle house, located at the corner of Main Street and Rattle Road (now called Bermont Road) was built in 1848 by Gaylord descendant William S. Rattle. Rattle was a metallurgist who lived on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland during the winter months and maintained his summer residence in Munroe Falls. In 1959, Ken and Ruth Alexander purchased the historic William Rattle house and opened it as the Alexander Manor restaurant with authentic colonial dining. The home has also served as an adult care center.