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.’”

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.”

Richner Hardware

Few men or women can boast a lifetime as long as that of the locally owned Richner Hardware. For most of the twentieth century, the little store stood as a brick-andmortar reminder that quaint towns could hold on to remnants of their past, even when facing competition from larger competitors. Richner’s was a fixture of Twinsburg: a place where you could rest assured you’d run into someone you knew.

Opened in 1919 by Charles Richner and his sons Edward and George, the small hardware store occupied a rather ordinary two-tone building, once the storefront for the Crouse Tin Shop. The store kept long hours, operating from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. all week. The old storefront received a facelift in the 1940s, with a red brick facade visible in photos and postcards of the era. The business proved a success and eventually found company in Lawson’s Ice Cream and Roseberry’s Department Store, both just east of the hardware store.

Courtesy of the Twinsburg Historical Society

Courtesy of the Twinsburg Historical Society

Eventually outgrowing its original location near the corner of Darrow and Ravenna roads, the store was replaced by a new structure in 1962. Decade after decade passed and the store changed hands within the family. Time would eventually necessitate the construction of a third building, but all things come to an end and Richner Hardware proved no match for the movement of time. Closing their doors after 95 ty-five years of family-owned and -operated service, Richner’s succumbed to competition from big-box stores and the diversity of goods for sale at nearly every grocer. When interviewed as part of the bicentennial celebrations, dozens of individuals recalled stories and memories of the little hardware store.