Even before written history and the colonization of Ohio, the Cuyahoga River stood as an important lifeline to Native Americans who used the river and surrounding valley for fishing, hunting, trading and transportation. The exact origin of the name “Cuyahoga” remains uncertain. Common belief is that it is derived from either the Mohawk word “Cayagaga” meaning “crooked river,” or the English corruption of words from the Seneca language meaning “place of  the jawbone”

Settlers from New England quickly recognized the falls on the river as having great natural beauty and as a source of tremendous untapped power. Mills were built speeding up the production of items like ground grains. Later, entrepreneurs used the power of the Falls to generate electricity and harness mechanical energy for operating factories that made paper, wrought iron staybolts, machinery, ground materials, and many other goods.

Cuyahoga Falls continues to be a prime location in the state of Ohio for entrepreneurs, travel, art, recreation and innovation. The City’s rich history is constantly evolving and is heavily influenced by the River and the falls themselves. We invite you to explore our historic downtown!

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Historic Buildings Downtown History Trail

For more history please visit our CF Historical Society and Museum at 2083 Cook Street and follow along online here! 

The Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society and Museum is committed to preserving and promoting interest in the history of Cuyahoga Falls. We are the official home of historical artifacts, documents and everything else related to our City's heritage.