Cuyahoga Falls Dam

Cuyahoga Falls Dam Removal

Written by Roger Hoover

Finally, a bit of good news for the environment…

In a few weeks, two dams in Cuyahoga Falls — the LeFever Dam and the Sheraton Dam — will be removed, and the river will run free for a few more miles. The Route 82 Dam in Brecksville will come down in 2016 with the First Energy Dam in Gorge MetroPark to be removed shortly after. The Cuyahoga Falls Dam Removal is the beginning of a long process to allow the river to run free and unimpeded.

You can watch live as the Sheraton Dam comes down on their website. They’re hoping to remove it this coming Monday.

LeFever Dam 1916LeFever Dam, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 1916

The LeFever Dam was constructed in 1914 after the 1913 flood destroyed an earlier timber dam just north of its location. This dam was associated with Walsh Industries and was constructed to power the Falls Hollow Staybolt Company, which was the most profitable division of Walsh Industries. Today, all that remains of the factory is the former powerhouse.

Sheraton Dam ConstructionConstruction of the Sherton Dam 1916

The Mill/Sheraton Dam was constructed between 1914 and 1918 to replace an earlier timber dam constructed possibly as early as the 1830s. The timber dam survived the 1913 flood but was replaced by a more modern concrete weir dam that was similar in construction to the Powerhouse/LeFever Dam. The Mill/Sheraton dam was associated with the Vaughn Machinery Company, an important and well-established factory in Cuyahoga Falls that produced large machinery for the steel, rubber, copper, and clay industries. Vaughn Machinery closed in 1971, and a Sheraton Hotel was built on the site in 1990, leaving only the dam and the foundation of the powerhouse associated with the dam.

For more historical information on both the dams and early Summit County, please read the following historical pdf.