Drivers stream onto East Aurora and Darrow roads from Exits 36 and 37 every day as the highway pumps business into the region and attracts renters and homebuyers to the once far-flung community. Prior to the construction of I-480, commuters had a much longer drive to and from the area. To negate or offset the cost, some would carpool and others would catch the trains to and from Twinsburg, destined for Cleveland and stops along the way.

But Chrysler was an economic juggernaut, attracting new residents and bringing an influx of tax-based income to the region. The introduction of the highway in the 1960s made the three communities more accessible and appealing. Originally known as I-80 before becoming part of I-480 in the 1970s, it opened a world of opportunities for builders and buyers, businesses and customers.

When interviewed for the Plain Dealer about the marketability of Heritage Hills, a housing development then under construction, noted developer and philanthropist Bert Wolstein said, “When finished . . . it should put the community just 19 minutes from downtown Cleveland as well as putting it on a direct route to Columbus, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Chicago ‘without stopping for a red light.’”

The Twinsburg Banking Company

It was almost an entire century after its inception before Twinsburg had its first bank. In 1911, E. O. Cristy made it widely known that he intended to open a bank, but few took his claim seriously. Sadly, he was not able to see his dream realized, as the bank he had worked to create opened a few months after his death. Cristy’s grit and determination paid off posthumously when the Twinsburg Banking Company finally opened on November 11, 1912, with C. E. Riley acting as president. The first customer was A. J. Brown, who stood patiently at the front door awaiting the initial opening of the bank in hopes he would have the honor of opening the first account for his grandson, J. C. Leland Brown.

The early years were difficult for Twinsburg’s fledgling bank. Sparse growth was a major concern. Adding to the instability of the bank, cashiers came and went at an accelerated pace. By the beginning of 1931, it was uncertain how much longer the Banking Company could remain in operation if business didn’t improve considerably. In March of that year a young banker named Lester W. Roxbury was hired as cashier. The hiring of Mr. Roxbury proved to be the elixir the ailing bank desperately needed. The young firebrand fearlessly forged a brave new path for the financial institution. No task was too small or great for Mr. Roxbury to perform if it would save the bank a dollar or add a dollar to its coffers. In just four years, under the helm of Roxbury, the bank’s resources grew from $241,000 to $350,000.

Growth and prosperity continued, and in early 1946 the Twinsburg Banking Company, which by this time had been dubbed “the biggest little bank in Ohio,” broke ground for construction of a large addition and a complete remodeling of their building. Resources had to climbed to the once inconceivable sum of $3,596,000. By the late 1950s the bank outgrew its original structure and a more modern building was constructed, featuring fourteen teller windows, a new safe-deposit vault, an employee lounge, and air conditioning.

Prosperity is not eternal, however, especially for the little man, or in this case the little bank. The rise of corporate banks rendered small banks such as the Twinsburg Banking Company nearly obsolete. On December 31, 1984, the Twinsburg Banking Company merged with First Merit Bank of Akron, signaling the end of little banks in Twinsburg.

Cleveland Clinic

At a cost of $71 million, the Cleveland Clinic opened the 190,000-square-foot Twinsburg Family Health & Surgery Center in June of 2011. Located off Darrow Road, just a short jaunt from I-480, the glistening new edifice brought the Cleveland Clinic, employer of the masses, to the people of Twinsburg. The Clinic, known to employ more workers than any other entity in the state, was slated to bring approximately three hundred jobs to the area when the new campus opened.

The facility was originally scheduled to open in late 2009, but progress was delayed due to “economic pressure,” according to a May 2009 Plain Dealer article. Environmental concerns were also taken into account with regard to the wetlands on which the campus was built. The same article stated, “The Clinic had requested to fill more than three acres of wetlands and 4,300 feet of streams, including some rare cold water streams and high-quality wetland. Under its revised plan, construction will not directly impact high-quality wetlands and streams, according to the EPA.”

Twinsburg Township

The Township’s story began in 1817, a mere blink of the eye after the arrival of Ohio’s first settlers. Ethan Alling, then a young man of sixteen, came to Ohio to survey family-owned land in what was then known as Millsville. Though he held countless positions in and around town over the years and his contributions to the area are indisputable, it was the Wilcox twins, Moses and Aaron, who would eventually bestow upon Twinsburg its current moniker. Arriving six years later, these young entrepreneurs purchased an expansive swath of land and began selling off parcels, contributed to the creation of a school, and eventually donated a small plot of land for the creation of a town square.

Much of the history to come would radiate outward from this point: Twinsburg Institute, Locust Grove Cemetery, family-owned businesses, farms, schoolhouses, and churches sprang up within view of the square. The streets lining the square were always the center of festivities. Richner Hardware, Lawson’s, and Roseberry’s appeared, providing big-city amenities with the comfort of small-town familiarity.

Significant growth didn’t arrive until the twentieth century. Farm and field began to give way to housing developments and commerce. Countless farms, once a familiar sight along the daily commute, began blinking out of existence. The way of life was evolving and many took note. Little could be done, however, and the transitions took place unimpeded.

During the 1920s, a man named Charles Brady saw a need to give African Americans an opportunity to purchase land in the area to form a community of their own. The newly purchased homesteads, known as Brady Homes, formed the foundation of what would become Twinsburg Heights, a tightly knit community in close proximity to the eventual site of the Chrysler stamping plant.

Chrysler would play a significant role in the area’s evolution. The formation of Twinsburg Village in 1955, separate from the Township, was sought as a means of collecting the taxes generated by the new plant, something an unincorporated township would be incapable of pursuing. So it was with that nudge that one became two, and Twinsburg and Twinsburg Township went their separate ways; Reminderville would follow suit almost immediately.

Something strange happened following the creation of these three communities, though: talks were held and attempts were made to recombine them, some as early as the 1960s. Former Twinsburg mayor Katherine Procop outlined some of the discussion: “There were three [major] attempts, one in the ‘80s and two in the ‘90s, to merge the township and the city. The first two attempts were voted for by city residents but voted down by township residents. The third attempt in 1999 was finally voted for by the township residents but voted down by city residents.” Following this last attempt, the Township attempted to forge its own way, negating any future potential for reconciliation. By establishing the Joint Economic Development District with Reminderville, Twinsburg Township increased its economic stability and lessened the likelihood of future annexation talks with Twinsburg.

According to documentation supplied by Twinsburg Township,

The Twinsburg Township-Village of Reminderville Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) is a separate political subdivision, established in 2002 . . . per a contract between the Township and Village. The JEDD levies a 1.5% tax on employee wages and business net profits in the JEDD area, which includes all land in the Township’s industrial district. The JEDD’s primary purpose, as stipulated in the JEDD Contract and as directed by the JEDD Board, is to promote jobs and economic development in the JEDD area. The JEDD Board takes this mission seriously and, in the years since establishment of the JEDD, has overseen significant investments in the JEDD area. JEDD area investments included reconstructing and adding sidewalks and decorative street lighting to all Township roads in the JEDD area, increasing police protection for JEDD area businesses, establishing a park in walkable distance to JEDD area businesses, enhancing public transit accessibility through the addition of METRO RTA bus passenger shelters throughout the JEDD area, and clearing snow from sidewalks and bus passenger shelters throughout the JEDD area during the winter season.

With the JEDD in place and community services secured for its residents, the Township has cleared the way for a bright and independent future. The Township began its Recreation Center Program in 2008, granting its residents access to nearby recreation centers, and its police, fire, and EMS services are outsourced to Twinsburg. Through the decisions and directives firmly in place, Twinsburg Township has managed to merge the best of both city and country.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, first published in 1923, is as an iconic part of newspaper comics as perhaps any strip which has ever been published. Over the years Ripley’s has grown to more than 100,000 cartoon panels with a peak readership of 80 million people a day.

Why does this matter to Twinsburg? Because our small region has appeared in a Ripley’s panel on three separate occasions.

The first was published on December 26, 1962. It featured Moses and Aaron Wilcox, not just because they were Twinsburg first twins, but because of how similar their lives were. Many people remember this particular cartoon panel plastered on the walls of Twinsburg’s classrooms in the 1960s.

The second, published on December 12, 1993, celebrated the Twins Day Parade and the over 3,000 sets of twins who register for the event.

Finally, on August 14, 2003, Ripley’s told the tale of Mark Blumenthal’s Irish Water Spaniel Spencer. It seems Blumenthal had trained Spencer to clear the table, load the dishwasher, climb ladders and fetch drinks from the refrigerator. A lot of parents were probably jealous of Blumenthal.

Ripley’s celebrates some of the most unique aspects of America, and because of that it makes perfect sense Twinsburg has appeared in Believe It or Not! more often than areas easily twice its size. Just another reason for our region to be proud of its history.

Twinsburg Ledges

The Twinsburg Ledges, possibly the most beautiful and beloved local natural marvel are located in Liberty Park. Widely known for its sublime sandstone ledges, which ascend nearly seventy feet skyward at some points as they pass by small caves, the Ledges are like nothing else in Summit County. In 2011 Ledges Trail opened–offering visitors a scenic 1.1 mile hike, with lovely ferns, lichen and other natural ephemeral in full-view. It is also a popular destination for birding.

Unfortunately some graffiti has appeared over the years, but for the most part the Ledges look very much as they did 100 years ago.

Creation of Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce

No organization binds the three communities and their businesses together more than the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce. Founded in 1921 with a mere dozen members, the organization has steadily grown and now boasts over 260, according to Abby Fechter, executive director of the Chamber. There are approximately four hundred businesses in Twinsburg, the Township, and Reminderville, with over half belonging to the Chamber of Commerce (there are more than 260 active members as of 2018). Though the main focus is on businesses located in the three communities and on drawing new industry to those areas, the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce also serves businesses in neighboring cities such as Shaker Heights and Hudson.

The Chamber’s mission is “to promote the interests of its members, strengthen the local economy and advance educational, tourism and community development programs that contribute to making the Greater Twinsburg area a better place to work, visit and live.” Educational programming is determined by the member’s needs and wants. When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed, members asked for and received a program on how the new plan would affect their business and their employees. Programming is tailored toward different types of businesses to assure every company is accommodated.

Visual Marking Systems (VMS)

Visual Marking Systems (VMS) has been a vibrant mainstay in Northeast Ohio for over fifty years. Initially it was a small printing company known as VM Corporation, tucked snugly away in North Royalton, but that changed in 1982 when the recently retired electronic engineer, Herman Kahle decided to purchase the company. Kahle renamed it VM Decal Co. Four years later he again renamed it–Visual Marking Systems, Inc., relocated it to Twinsburg, and “created a visionary market niche that placed the company on a steady growth path for 20-plus years.”

From the outset of Kahle’s reign: “VMS strived to be on the leading edge in technology by acquiring the most modern equipment in their industry, and emphasizing the best in customer service.” In 2005 Kahle retired for good, handing over the reins of the company to his progeny, Dolf Kahle (who been appointed President in 1992). The company is currently one of the leaders in the  customized digital, screen and large format commercial printing industry.


Alling Croquet Club

One of Twinsburg’s more unique sports fads in the middle of the twentieth century was croquet.

The elite of Twinsburg met and played often at the Alling Croquet Club. Led by Dr. R.B. Chamberlin the club was state of the art for its time and even featured a lighted scoreboard. The matches continued after Dr. Chamberlin’s passing in 1955, the only difference being they were conducted with a bronze plaque honoring Dr. Chamberlin present in the southeast corner of the club.

The sport gained such popularity in Twinsburg that the Bulletin printed tournament scores on the front page of the newspaper in the mid 1950s.

Jim Mathis

Possibly the most unique sports story in the annals of Twinsburg history involved one of the more successful athletes to ever reside in the region, Jim Mathis. Amazingly, his many athletic achievements occurred after injuring his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, at the age of 16. His rehabilitation took almost three years, but it wasn’t too long before he started the Cleveland Comets, who became a member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.  With that he found himself competing against teams from New York City to St. Louis, but basketball was not to be his most successful sport.

He was in New York City in 1957 when the first Wheelchair Track and Field Games were held in the United States, and decided as somewhat of a lark that he might as well compete in some of the events. Incredibly he won an archery competition, repeating his victory in 1958 and 1959.  And while he finished second in 1960 it qualified him for the 1960 Wheelchair Games held in Rome.  It was the first time the Wheelchair Games were held following the Summer Olympics in the same city. Mathis won the silver medal in Archery at the Rome Olympics, and considers it the most exciting athletic achievement in his career, according to an article he wrote for the Twinsburg Bulletin in 1972.

Noted Wheelchair Athlete in front of his Trophy Cabinet in 1972.

During the 1964 games in Tokyo, Mathias won both a gold and silver medal in the archery competition.  Mathis, who was living in Twinsburg at the time, finished 3rd in the 1972 National Competition and qualified for the U.S. Wheelchair Olympic Team for a 3rd time.  Mathis, who at the time was also giving archery exhibitions in Twinsburg, had the region clearly in his corner when he left for the Olympics. He found himself on the front page of the Bulletin a few times that summer.

Mathis traveled to Heidelberg, Germany to compete in the Wheelchair Olympics, which occurred few weeks before the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.  For the first time he didn’t medal. It was his last Olympics, although by that time he had won three Olympics Medals as well as being a national archery champion four times, having competed in all 16 competitions up to that point. 

Twinsburg High School Girls Basketball Mini-Dynasty

The pride of Twinsburg High School athletics is the girls’ basketball program. From 2011 to 2013 the Lady Tigers parlayed hard work, determination, and great skill into a mini-dynasty, reaching the Division I state finals, three years in a row, and winning the championship on their first two trips.

It was a total team effort that carried the Lady Tigers to three straight finals, but there were two stars who shined brighter than the rest. Malina Howard, who had been receiving national attention since junior high for her hardwood prowess, was the undisputed leader of those championship squads. The six-foot-four basketball dynamo dominated the post in two straight state tourneys, rendering opposing post players defenseless, and sometimes offense-less. In 2012, the same year she led the Tigers to their second consecutive state title, Howard was named Plain Dealer Girls Basketball Player, also for the second straight season. Howard went on to become an Academic All-American at the University of Maryland.

The other star was guard, Ashley Morrissette, who fully blossomed in her senior year, when she was named Ohio’s Ms. Basketball while leading the Lady Tigers to their third straight state final. After graduating from Twinsburg High School, Morissette moved on to Purdue University. In her senior season as a Purdue Boilermaker, she leads the team with over fifteen points per game. 

James Posey

Possibly the greatest, or at least the most successful, athlete to ever emerge from Twinsburg is James Posey. He attended Twinsburg Chamberlin High School and was named the Division II high school basketball player of the year as a senior, in 1995. Aptly capable of playing all five positions, the versatile six-foot-eight senior averaged 24.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. After graduating from Chamberlin, he went on to star at Xavier University. He ranks sixteenth in scoring and tenth in rebounding in the history of Xavier Musketeers basketball. His collegiate success lead to the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association selecting him with the eighteenth pick of the NBA draft. In the NBA, he excelled as a defensive stopper and clutch shooter for numerous teams over the course of his twelve-year career. Twice he was a crucial member of championship winning teams, first with the Miami Heat in 2006 and two years later with the Boston Celtics. Today, he is an assistant coach for the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Area Police Departments

Glenn R. Osborn, the first police chief in Twinsburg, is reported to have said: “It has always been my firm conviction that there is no more certain barrier to crime than efficient local policing supported by an enlightened, cooperative citizenry. Community respect and assistance are so vital to the success of law enforcement [and] are achieved only through unified police and public effort.” One need look no further than the three communities to find the truth in this statement.

Prior to splitting into three separate entities, the three communities were policed by the Twinsburg Township constables. Twinsburg in the early years of policing has been compared to Andy Griffith’s Mayberry. It was a rural farm town where almost everyone knew everyone else and crime was a rarity.


Twinsburg Constable force in the early 1950s before the Village and Township split.


When the City of Twinsburg split from the Township and started its own police department on March 4, 1955, Glenn R. Osborn was named police chief for the newly formed Twinsburg Police Department. Osborn and patrolman Otto Clarvat were the first two full-time officers for the Twinsburg PD. In the beginning, Osborn’s wife was in charge of all dispatches for the PD and volunteer fire department. She did this from the Osborns’ house with the use of five telephones.

Osborn was progressive in his approach to policing. Current police chief Chris Noga, who also acts as unofficial Twinsburg PD historian, has commented, “He embraced the concept of the police radio and brought those in. He was one of the first users of the police computer, that system where we can query and find out information on license plates, and driver’s licenses . . . does this person have a warrant out for their arrest.” He also served as the president of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Possibly his most important contribution was lobbying for the pension system for police officers and firefighters that now greatly benefits those who serve.


Osborne sitting in police cruiser.

Reminderville also would form its own police department, but until recently it lacked many of the advantages afforded the Twinsburg PD. When current Reminderville mayor Sam Alonso first took office, he recalls, village police officers were making well under ten dollars an hour. A number of the officers were enrolled in the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program to feed their families. The police station was a small backroom at City Hall, barely sufficient as an office for one more person, much less a police station.

Presently police officers are making over twenty dollars an hour due to the efforts of Mayor Alonso. A new police station was funded by money procured from a major drug bust. The new station is located less than half a mile away from City Hall on Glenwood Boulevard.

During a meeting on September 12, 1983, the Board of Trustees decided Twinsburg Township would start its own police department. Previously there had been talks with Reminderville about forming a joint police force, but no agreement could be reached. The Township police department officially came into being a mere nineteen days later, on October 1. Prior to the formation of the police force, the Township contracted with Reminderville for all its law enforcement needs.

Four officers, including the chief, comprised the entire department when formed in 1983. Additionally, two patrol cars (purchased at a cost of $5,200 each) were procured, as well as equipment including radios, cameras, and an assortment of other necessities.

In spite of these investments, the department did not last long. In January 1988 the trustees voted to disband it due to a slew of indiscretions combined with financial woes. Corruption was corroding the unit to the core, commencing at the top with Chief Samuel Williams. The discredited chief, who had resigned the previous year for “health reasons,” was charged on one count of theft and tampering with records, as was Sergeant. Demetrius MacKannon. The allegations mainly revolved around the chief and sergeant “double-dipping” by working on security jobs while still on the clock for the police department.

Just as instrumental in the downfall of the department were the financial difficulties the Township was dealing with. Paying the sheriff’s department for five full-time deputies to patrol the area saved the Township almost $150,000 in the first year ($237,000 as opposed to the $377,000 it cost to run the police department).

Most recently (in 2014) the Township entered into a three-year agreement with the Summit County sheriff for police protection services. The Township pays for these protective services via property taxes, intergovernmental revenues, and “General Fund transfers.”




Twinsburg Historical Society, 1963

Civic-minded residents decided to start the Twinsburg Historical Society (THS) in 1963 in order to preserve and promote local history. To be a member of the THS originally an individual had to live in Twinsburg for a specified duration of time, but there are no longer such strict restrictions on membership. The original members of the THS were Marjorie Percy, Larry Richner, John L. Eggleston, Fred Bissell, Marian Jewell, Jean E. Zahniser, M. Leland Zahniser, Carl Herrick, and Sarah M. Riley. Original member and former president Marge Percy recalled: “The Historical Society began with a building, a charter, a board with enthusiastic volunteers, a shabby barn in great need of repair, and an empty treasury.”

The THS has a substantial collection of papers, photographs, maps, books, and various vital artifacts pertaining to local history. They are also responsible for staging events such as the Olde Thyme Faire, at which youngsters can view how their forefathers lived and actively participate in an outmoded way of life as well.

The structure that is now the THS building was built in 1865 by the Reverend Samuel Bissell, almost exclusively with his own hands. The Bissell Institute, established and run by the Reverend Bissell until his death in 1896, was housed in this building. In the course of his tenure more than six thousand students received an education, regardless of their ability to pay. In 1920 the Twinsburg Grange purchased the building, retaining ownership until 1963, when it was sold to the THS. The second story was removed when the building started to settle, rendering it unsafe due to the weight of the stones. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Veterans Day Tornado, 2002

The potential for a storm to spawn a tornado peaks during the heat of summer. Mother Nature decided to mix things up, however, when Ohio was rocked by an unusually late tornadic outbreak on November 10, 2002. News stations around the state had their hands full as nineteen tornadoes touched down across the region. One left a scar on the land and lives of area residents when damage and destruction from a swirling storm damaged dozens of homes and completely leveled others.

According to an issue of the Plain Dealer dated November 23, 2002, “Twinsburg, Macedonia, Solon and Glenwillow filed a joint application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for emergency funds to help pay for recent tornado damage, said Macedonia Mayor Barbara Kornuc. Public officials have asked FEMA to consider their communities one disaster area. The communities will have to pay a total of more than $500,000 to clean up damage.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

A small F0/F1 tornado touched down in Macedonia near the intersection of Valley View Drive (SR 631) and Aurora Road and moved northeast. The tornado gradually strengthened and reached F2 intensity as it crossed State Route 14 and moved into Twinsburg. Extensive damage was done in Macedonia and Twinsburg. In Macedonia, 60 homes were damaged including two that were destroyed and 15 others were damaged enough to be declared uninhabitable. The most severe damage in the county occurred in the Glenwood Preserve neighborhood on the north side of Twinsburg. Extensive damage was done on Andover Drive and Deeplake Circle where several homes were leveled and a total of 45 homes damaged. Damage estimates in Twinsburg alone were well over $5 million. The damage path was continuous and about 100 yards in width. Dozens of cars were damaged or destroyed and hundreds of trees and power poles downed in Summit County.

Fire Department History

“To protect and preserve life while conserving property, utilizing specialized skills and compassion.” A rather brief statement for so large a responsibility, yet the men and women of the Twinsburg and Reminderville Fire Departments take this burden upon themselves anew every day, regardless of the simplicity or seriousness of the task at hand.

The Department (TFD) can trace its roots back nearly a century to 1919, when the very first informal members fought smoke and fire with little more than perseverance and a bucket—tough work considering the peril and pay. In 1921, the informal brigade became a more organized, yet still volunteer-based organization and stayed that way into the 1950s. Four years later, the department acquired its first fire engine, a technological leap over its two-wheeled hand cart.

Further purchases would follow, and the firehouse would move more than once. According to a history of the TFD compiled by retired fire chief Daniel J. Simecek (served 1957–1997), the department’s first permanent home was a ten-by-twenty-foot addition built onto a garage owned by Earl Bowen (who served as chief from 1972 to 1932) in 1923. From there, they relocated to what is now the VFW Hall in 1939.

Perhaps the most notable move came in 1954, when, according to Chief Simecek, “Twinsburg Township passed a bond issue for money for a new fire station. Twentyone firefighters formed the Twinsburg Land Company and cosigned a loan from Twinsburg Bank and used their summer vacation to build the building on the north side of the VFW Hall. Chief Ray Richner purchased the land, and when the building was finished the Township used the bond money to pay off the loan for the land and materials used.” For private individuals to take on such a financial burden, even if briefly, was a tremendous show of responsibility by anyone’s standards.

Between 1955 and 1956, what had been one entity quickly become three. The villages of Twinsburg and Reminderville splintered off from Twinsburg Township. To prevent a lapse in protection and avoid taking on the financial burden of creating their own department, the Village and the Township agreed on a contract by which the Township would pay for services rendered. Various levies have been used to pay for these services, although there was a point when the Township sought to fund a completely independent fire department. The rising cost of the yearly contract came to a head in 1978, encouraging the Township to reevaluate its agreement.

Farther north, the newly organized Reminderville Fire Department took control of the Geauga Lake Station, its men, and its equipment. As is often the case with a new organization, growing pains are to be expected. William J. Delgado, Reminderville Fire Chief for seventeen years, his assistant, Joseph W. Algeri Sr., and another firefighter all quit the fire department in the same week in February of 1972. They jointly alleged the burgeoning village’s budget and equipment were inadequate. Their potential inability to keep the village safe as the population continued to grow, in particular with the addition of Aurora Shores, weighed heavy on the department. At the time of the unrest in the department, the three engines utilized were a 1939 Ford, 1946 Dodge, and a truck purchased for $150 by the firefighters and subsequently remodeled.

Little has changed since the schism with a few exceptions. As has been tradition, a mix of paid and volunteer firefighters continues to protect and serve the community, although over the past twenty-five years it has become mostly full-time professionals.. Twinsburg Township continues to contract fire and emergency response services out to the City of Twinsburg.

According to the documentation provided by the Township, these services are currently paid for with proceeds from two property tax levies and supplemented by EMS billing revenues collected from insurance providers and nonresidents. Population growth and urban sprawl did necessitate the construction of a second fire station for the TFD. Station #2 opened on Glenwood Drive in 2007.

Troyer’s Restaurant

Run by Ann and Roy Troyer, the sandwich shop was a popular hangout for area teens needing an escape. Where Tip Top was more of an adult spot, Troyer’s was geared toward a younger crowd. “The owners would let us play music and dance after hours,” Mildred Karabec recalled fondly. The menu offered standard diner fare, but it was Troyer’s sandwiches that will forever be etched in the minds and palates of its former customers. When he wasn’t satiating the appetites of hungry townsfolk, Roy honed his culinary skills as a cook at the Cleveland Browns’ training camp.

The First Congregational Church

Like a boulder that withstands the flow of a rushing river, the First Congregational of Twinsburg has remained unmoved, in spite of time and transformation. A house of worship, it has stood through the ages, a silent witness to generations of parishioners and the coming and going of reverends, as well as periodic renovation and expansion.

Twinsburg’s oldest church during a long ago Christmas season.

The origins and essence of the church predate its physical embodiment. The first assembly coalesced in August of 1822. Though small in number, the thirteen founding members formed a cohesive community, united in their belief in a higher power. The work and worship they dedicated themselves to began within the walls of a small log structure in close proximity to Public Square. The church standing today owes its construction and craftsmanship to the skilled laborers who completed the structure in the autumn of 1848.

Over its nearly two centuries of service, numerous leaders would guide the flock; schisms fractured the congregation and time brought them together again. The street it stood along, Church Street, was named for its houses of prayer, though Congregational Church would eventually stand alone, much as it was when it began its life. Of all the reverends to serve, Dewey Long held the distinction of serving the longest, doing so from 1972 to 1991. It was during his tenure that in 1974 the National Register of Historic Places bestowed a place within its ranks on the church, recognizing its longevity and importance to the community. Patricia Jefferis, the first woman to shepherd the flock, arrived in 1998.

For more information, visit the First Congregational Church website here.

Roseberry’s Department Store

Twinsburg’s first department store.

Nestled between the Twinsburg Banking Company and Lawson’s stood Twinsburg’s very own department store, Roseberry’s. The shops surrounding Public Square were owned by a veritable who’s who of area families. Staking a claim there made complete sense for the up-and-coming business. The store originated within the confines of an old Gulf

The store originated within the confines of an old Gulf gas station near the intersection of Routes 91 and 14 that Stan Jewell owned and operated. It was October 1945, and Stan had just made it home from serving his country. Seeing an opportunity to use his mechanical skills and provide for his family, he moved quickly to establish a sound and successful family-owned business. One of the ways in which he provided services to the community was having his father-in-law, Wilmer Roseberry, open a small store within the station. Stan Jewell referred to the section of the gas station that would become Roseberry’s as the “Notion Nook.” It was just one room, as he described it, consisting primarily of women’s goods, like blouses and underwear. “It was the only place in town [to get such things].”

And shop they did! Business was doing well and a storefront vacancy between too older, more established businesses proved too titillating to pass on. Roseberry would take the essence of the Notion Nook and expand it into what many area residents remember so fondly. During its years of operation the store was a bastion of convenience for those in need of items not typically available in Twinsburg at the time. “The main floor,” according to Mildred Karabec, “had a little bit of everything and anything anyone requested . . . all kinds of personal items and household items.”

Mr. Roseberry was not only the owner of Twinsburg’s first department store, but the owner and publisher of the Twinsburg Bulletin.

The holiday season stood out for many as a particularly special time for shopping at Roseberry’s. Karabec worked there for two years, including one memorable holiday season. Asked to describe it, she spoke of how the basement was stocked with toys, but only accessible to children nearer the holidays. One of the notable things missing from the typical seasonal offerings of a larger department store was the jolly presence of St. Nick himself. According to Karabec, Roseberry’s was just too small to accommodate the girth and grandeur of a seasonal Santa.

Twinsburg Pharmacy

In 1956, James Richard Hill, Jack Vorhes, and another financial backer bought the store fronting Public Square that would become the Twinsburg Pharmacy. “It was a very old pharmacy at the time,” Dave Hill recalled of his father’s store. It was once the storefront for Twinsburg pharmacist Hugo Braunlich, and prior to that it was the A. E. Bishop General Store. Images of the various iterations show a similar scene: a small interior brimming with goods of all kinds.

Hugo Braunlich’s Pharmacy, which eventually became the Twinsburg Pharmacy while being run by the Hill family. Also pictured are Trejbal’s Bakery and Jewell’s Gulf Station.

Dave Hill, who worked there with his father, spoke about what it was like during the early years. “At that time, pharmacies were quite a bit different than they are today . . . they had an old soda fountain. It was like what you would expect in a 1920s pharmacy.” Although the pharmacy was, for a time, “the only game in town,” the business’s budget was tight, and income and expenses ran neck and neck. Dave said, “When they first started out, they were filling so few scripts, they couldn’t support two pharmacists.” His father would man the pharmacy during these lean times, and his partner, Jack, would work at another pharmacy he had business with.

The years ticked away and customer wants and needs changed with the times. By the early 1970s, the soda fountain was removed to make way for other things, like greeting cards. The Twinsburg Pharmacy stood in opposition to new stores eroding its market share. In 1984, the senior Hill suddenly fell ill and died during the summer. The mid-1980s saw the arrival of Revco, the first, but not the last, competition to arrive on the scene. By 1996, the writing was on the wall. The Twinsburg Pharmacy shuttered its doors, heralding the closing of yet another family-owned and -operated business and bringing to an end the years of personal attention and the friendly phone calls from loyal customers asking for emergency prescriptions and extended hours. In the end, it wasn’t necessarily competition from large chain stores that did the store in but an unwillingness by insurance companies to work with mom-and-pop stores, preferring to do business with the Walgreens and Drug Marts of the world.

Twinsburg Bulletin and Aurora News

Hot off the press and into the hands of a news-hungry public, the Twinsburg Bulletin became the source for all news fit to be printed in 1956. It was at least the third attempt at a local paper. The paper was the brainchild of Wilmer Roseberry, owner and operator of the local department store bearing his name. Roughly nine hundred copies of the paper were delivered when the first edition rolled out, with a focus on locally relevant goings-on. More than a hundred issues were delivered for free, but as the cost began to rise, a fee of five cents was placed on each issue. The timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous for the expanding publication, as Twinsburg was in the midst of a population explosion. Between 1950 and 1960, the resident base more than doubled, no doubt due in part to the introduction of Chrysler to the employment infrastructure.

Usually published every Thursday, and sometimes not at all if Wilmer Roseberry was out of town, early iterations of the paper was more advertisements than articles. Sales at stores, specials at restaurants, and the event times filled the pages. As time passed, the length of the paper grew as did the scope of its content.

The McGhee family took control of the paper in early 1959 and ran it for decades before it was finally sold. Local stories appeared side by side with coverage of state and national issues. Although the appearance and professionalism of the paper has matured over the last sixty years, the heart of its mission has remained the same—local issues for the local community

Twinsburg Public Library

The year 2010 marked a century since the people of Twinsburg dedicated the area’s first public library. The door to the Samuel Bissell Memorial Library swung open on May 1, 1910. The locale of this “book nook” was a two-story residence located along the northern side of Public Square. Funding for materials came from donors, patron subscriptions, and a healthy dose of donations. For a time, the small structure seemed well suited for the little library, and the little library seemed well suited for the tiny town.

But as the city grew, so did the demands placed on the diminutive library. Eventually, demands for new materials and services outstripped traditional sources of income, and additional funding was needed. By the end of the 1920s, the library became tied to the school district and those who supported it. More people meant more books, more books meant more space was needed, and more space meant an inevitable move to a new location.

Little of note happened during the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. With resources spread thin for many Americans by the Depression and World War II, activities for many remained close to home. However, statistics during this time frame do show circulation increasing by a factor of twelve, from 5,325 in 1929 to 64,657 in 1966. By 1963, the fruits of planning and budgeting were reaped and a new building was completed, marking the first time the Twinsburg library occupied a space specifically designed for the learning and literature its staff strove to provide. For thirty years, staff, students, and the public utilized the services of the library at 9840 Ravenna Road. Classes were taught, meetings were held, and the minds and imagination of youths were opened to new possibilities. With the newly completed edifice, the evolution of the Twinsburg Public Library paralleled that of the city. Close-knit and quaint when the first library opened, the city became larger and less rural, evolving into something more akin to other cities and offering similar amenities.

By 1991, after nearly three decades of utilization, once again a move and a more expansive home were needed for the library. According to census records for Twinsburg, the population more than doubled between 1960 and 1990, from roughly four A number of Twinsburg’s favorite locales, including the Public Library, Richner Hardware and Lawson are featured in this photo of the Town square. {Courtesy of the Twinsburg Historical Society} CHAPTER NAME 39 thousand to nearly ten thousand. The building couldn’t handle an increase of that magnitude, so books, fixtures, movies, and music were packed up and relocated. The new building, at 10050 Ravenna Road, opened in 1993 under the leadership of director Karen Tschudy and the Board of Trustees. Even more space was added in 2003.

Under the stewardship of director Laura Leonard, standards of customer service have been retained while the evolving needs of the patron base have been brought into the twenty-first century: patrons have access to one-on-one personal assistance, a soundproof audio/video studio, a well-equipped computer lab, and a bookmobile acquired in September 2016. Leonard envisioned the bookmobile as a way to “reach communities that don’t have easy transportation—some of the people in the township, especially in Pinewood Gardens; some of the people in Reminderville; some of the smaller senior living areas.” Today, the Twinsburg Public Library serves an average of thirty-two thousand patrons per month and strives to do more for a user base with an ever-evolving list of demands.


Premature Burial in Locust Grove Cemetery

Fear and paranoia lead many to do strange and irrational things. One case in point can be found resting within the confines of Twinsburg’s Locust Grove Cemetery. Prior to the advancements in medicine and biology we have all come to take for granted, there was a time when the fear of being buried alive was a very real, very plausible scenario. Many stories exist of those unfortunate souls found minutes, hours, or days too late to be saved, having run out of air, food, and drink. Such a scenario was immortalized through the words and writings of Edgar Allan Poe in 1844, when he published “The Premature Burial.” The notoriety of Poe’s prose and other stories may have led one local to take precautions so as to avoid a similar fate.

A body rests in Locust Grove Cemetery with not one but two bullets in its head. The victim of foul play? Not at all. According to Twinsburg Historical Society member Marti Franks, the woman interred in the grave, Rebecca Young, stipulated that upon her death the attending doctor ensure her departure was final. And so he did, or so the story goes. No nails clawing at the inside of the coffin, no muffled cries from beneath the ground, no lasting uncertainty; in this very unusual instance, peace of mind came from two shots from a gun.

Apparition in the Chamber of Commerce

An otherworldly apparition is said to haunt the halls of the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce. Who…or what this eerie entity might be is open to speculation, though an edifice as old as this may offer any number of possibilities: a previous occupant with unfinished business, an enraged local business owner, or perhaps something more tragic.

The sizable home sits atop a rather expansive basement, whose rooms and walls are outlined with large blocks of sandstone. There, beyond those walls, lies another room; an almost secret room accessible only through a roughly-hewn hole in the stone. It is through this passage that runaway slaves are rumored to have found refuge. Might the specter that stays there be a remnant of this tragic tale? How sad to think that those who suffered in life may continue to do so beyond it.

Louis “Babe” Triscaro

An otherworldly apparition is said to haunt the halls, and especially the basement, of the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce. Who . . . or what this eerie entity might be is open to speculation, though an edifice as old as this may offer any number of possibilities: a previous occupant with unfinished business, an enraged local business owner, or perhaps something more tragic.

The sizable structure sits atop a rather expansive basement, whose walls consist of large blocks of sandstone. There, beyond those walls, lies another room: an almost secret room accessible only through a roughly hewn hole in the stone. It is through this passage that runaway slaves were rumored to have found refuge. Might the specter that stays there be a remnant of this tragic tale? How sad to think that those who suffered in life may continue to do so beyond it.