Cuyahoga Falls is a city with a very interesting history. There's often more to the story than most of us know, so in this post I'm going to share with you five surprising facts you probably don't know about Cuyahoga Falls.
1. Cuyahoga Falls was not the first name for the city.
Cuyahoga Falls was founded in 1812 by William Wetmore to develop land owned by Judge Joshua Stow of Middletown, Connecticut. As a result, the city was was originally named Manchester and later changed, at the request of the Ohio Postmaster General, to its present name.
2. Cuyahoga Falls has always had close ties to Tallmadge and Stow
Cuyahoga Falls was incorporated as a town in 1836, after occupying 240 rods from Stow and Tallmadge townships. In 1853, seeing that the village and township of Cuyahoga Falls occupied the same territory, the village council disbanded. The community was only a township until 1868, when it officially became a city.
3. The first Lawson's Opened in Cuyahoga Falls in 1939.
In 1939, dairy owner James "J.J." Lawson started a store at his Broad Boulevard dairy plant in Cuyahoga Falls to sell his milk. The Lawson's Milk Company grew to a chain of stores, primarily in Ohio. Lawson's neighborhood convenience stores were common in Ohio from the 1960s through the mid-1980s, selling milk, bread, eggs, orange juice, and specialty items such as deli counter 'chipped' style ham and sour cream potato chip dips. Locations also extended into neighboring states such as Pennsylvania.
Surprisingly, Lawson's still exists today but in primarily as convenience stores in Japan. Currently, Lawson operates over 11,384 stores but only two exist in the United States today. Both locations are in Honululu, Hawaii. One of the stores is in the Sheraton Waikiki and in the Moana Hotel.
4. The Story of Rex's Tower
In 1971, Rex L. Humbard began to building a 750-feet tall rotating tower restaurant similar to Calgary Tower (found in Calgary, Alberta), at his Cathedral of Tomorrow complex. Construction began on September 10, but stopped in November when the concrete tower was 494 feet in height.Neighbors filed lawsuits and Northampton Township, the community governing the Cathedral complex at that time, said that there were no provisions for water and sewer service for the tower. These additional costs are likely a factor in why the tower was completed, as the expenses were much higher than initially budgeted. The tower was purchased for $30,000 and is now used for cell phone service reception today.
5. Cuyahoga Falls Merged With Northampton Township
On January 1, 1986, Cuyahoga Falls and Northampton Township merged together to become one city. This was the first time in the history of the State of Ohio that two communities successfully merged by voter approval. In addition, when Cuyahoga Falls merged with Northampton Township, the city almost tripled in geographic area, to approximately 27 square miles. The rural character of Northampton township added a balance to the more developed core of Cuyahoga Falls.