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Joseph O’Malley came to Chagrin in 1869 from Canada. He was trained as a master carpenter and ship’s carpenter. He rented space for his planing mill on River St. across from the Bullard Woodenware Factory.

In 1877 he constructed a larger facility on River St. closer to Main St. His fine craftsmanship is evident in the Italianate and Eastlake style homes he built toward the end of the 19th century. Many of the beautiful homes in the village historic districts are products of his work, featuring gingerbread details, octagonal bay windows and corbels. He contributed his talents to renovating Township Hall in 1875.

He moved his factory into a building on the east side of Main St. that had been Noah Graves’ paper mill. He was a contractor and lumber dealer specializing in sash blinds, doors, moldings, planning, and house buildings. The Chagrin Falls Historical Society and Museum building is a good example of his work.

Photo for Joseph O'Malley
House at 68 Water St. built by Joseph O’Malley as his personal residence in 1875.
Photo for Joseph O'Malley
Chagrin Falls Historical Society and Museum at 87 E. Washington St. built by Joseph O’Malley in 1874 as a residence for George Ober.
Photo for Joseph O'Malley
Sam Armour riding his bicycle on River Street. Joseph O’Malley’s planning and lumber company is visible behind Mr. Armour.
Photo for Joseph O'Malley
1899 Sanborn Insurance map showing the location and layout of Joseph O’Malley’s Planing Mill.

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