Chagrin River facts

First called the Elk River in the 1700s, presumably because of the number of elk, buffalo and other game animals in the area. Later named the Shaguin to memorialize a French trader named Sieur de Saguin. The anglicized name became Chagrin.

Drainage area: 267 square miles in portions of Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga and Lake counties.

Mainstem: Mainstem has headwaters above Bass Lake in Geauga County at an elevation of 1,335 feet above sea level. Flows 48 miles and empties into Lake Erie at Eastlake.

Two major branches: The East Branch has headwaters near Chardon; the Aurora Branch rises in Portage County and is itself formed by the confluence of two tributaries near Aurora.

Waterfalls: Falls about 74 feet within the limits of Chagrin Falls. Water power was harnessed for sawmills and gristmills at Chagrin Falls and Gates Mills.

Major tributary streams: Griswold Creek, Willey Creek, Silver Creek, Beaver Creek, and McFarland Creek.

Scenic River: State designated scenic river, including the Aurora Branch from the SR 82 bridge to its confluence with the mainstem, the mainstem from the Aurora Branch to the US 6 bridge, and the East Branch from the Heath Road bridge to its confluence with the mainstem.

Sources: The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and "Chagrin River Water Quality Update" by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.


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