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Old Brandywine

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The following is transcribed from the old newpaper article shown at left.

Although the first four or five families built their cabins in the present Boyden – Valleyview road area, subsequent settlers located in four small communities within the township. These were at Brandywine, where business and homes clustered around the falls of Brandywine Creek; “The Center” where the town park was formed; Little York which grew up along the banks of the Brandywine east of the falls; and Macedonia where the coming of the railroad in later years stimulated growth.

One of the first of these communities was Brandywine, which between 1810 and 1820 threatened to outgrow the little community of Cleveland to the north of Brandywine, named by its settlers after an historic battle in the east, offered the nearby Cuyahoga river for transportation and the water-fall for power. The first sawmill there was built by George Wallace in 1814.

Brandywine Falls – 1892

The next year a grist mill was constructed. This was a three-story building which had a store on its second floor. At about the same time a distillery was built on one of the farms bordering the creek above the falls. It processed twelve bushels of grain daily, and turned out 30 to 40 gallons of whiskey a day. This whiskey became known as “Brandywine Currency,” as it was often used in place of money.

In 1821 a woolen factory was built at Brandywine and was perhaps the most important industry in the settlement. All processes of carding, spinning, weaving and dressing wool were handled there. A flash flood on the Brandywine in 1843 washed the woolen mill over the falls and severely damaged the grist mill. The latter was repaired but the woolen mill was never rebuilt. Some of its machinery was purchased by David Armstead and Carl Storrs and moved to Macedonia. The distillery operated until 1830, when it was abandoned, and the sawmill was abandoned in 1851.

A postoffice, known as Brandywine Mills, was located at the falls from 1822 until 1855. Despite its thriving industry, records show that the Brandywine settlement never had more than a dozen families living there.