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In October 1894 the residents of Chagrin Falls first experienced a new technology, electricity, that would change life in the village. At first the change was small, only street lighting and then only from 5 pm to midnight.

Almost immediately however, businesses began to use electric lights. The H. C. Tenny Novelty store being one of the first, followed by individuals bringing electric lights into their homes. No longer would people have to put up with the smoke, odor and fire danger of kerosene lamps. Farmers electrified their barns and milking parlors, making milk production more efficient. They put lights in the hen house resulting in more eggs in the winter.

When the electric railroad came to town, making Cleveland only 30 minutes away, people could live in Chagrin and work elsewhere. Farmland became more valuable as land for housing developments. The farms ultimately disappeared, as did the water powered factories.

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Interior of the Chagrin Falls Electric Company which was established in 1894. It was at the southeast corner of Bell and Philomethian Sts.
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Corner of River and N. Main Sts. showing electric pole. Electricity was put in the village in 1894. This image is dated circa 1899.
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Aftermath of the fire that destroyed the Chagrin Falls Electric Company on September 27, 1910.
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People’s Christian Church on Walnut Street updated in 1897. It seated 450 people and was “lighted throughout” with electricity.

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