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Imagine a life without phones! Well, up until 1876 there were no phones. The first private telephone came to Chagrin Falls in 1878 when Dr. Reuben Walters ran a phone line between his house and office. Phones needed to be connected through a wire and soon there were wires running every which way. This was highly inefficient, so a central office was created. All the lines ran to that location and an operator connected the incoming and outgoing calls through a plug board.

By the 1880s telephone lines were connecting paper mills, train depot and a few residences. A telephone exchange was set up in the Post Office. The exchange connected Chagrin to the rest of northeast Ohio. The Chagrin Falls Telephone Company was organized in 1895 and within two years there were 60 telephones in Chagrin Falls. In 1941, Ohio Bell Co. took over and built a new facility on E. Orange St.

Photo for Telephone Service
Woman using phone at The Chagrin Falls Exponent. It was the first phone in the village on which people could call out.
Photo for Telephone Service
Two toddlers posed for a photograph. One is holding a telephone. Circa 1915.
Photo for Telephone Service
Bell Telephone Exchange building on E. Orange St. It was built in 1941.
Photo for Telephone Service
Telephone booth on N. Main St. in the 1970s.

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