CAHOON, JOSEPH (28 Aug. 1762-16 Mar. 1839), the first settler of Dover Twp. (BAY VILLAGE), was the son of Reynolds and Rebecca Cahoon. He was born in Rhode Island and settled in Vergennes, Vt. before emigrating to the Western Reserve. He was primarily a miller, but also invented a cotton compress, a tie buckle machine, a grape hoe (drawn by 1 horse), and a shingle-making machine.
With his family, Cahoon left Vergennes for the WESTERN RESERVE in 1810 after visiting Ohio in 1799 and buying land west of the Cuyahoga near the lakeshore, where the climate seemed favorable for fruit trees. On 10 Oct. 1810 the family arrived in Dover Twp., and in 4 days erected a log cabin on Lot #95 (north of Lake Rd., at the mouth of Cahoon Creek).
Within the first year, Cahoon planted seeds for apple and peach trees. On 10 Sept. 1813, the family erected the first gristmill in the Western Reserve west of the Cuyahoga, as they heard the distant guns of Perry's fleet off Put-in-Bay. Cahoon later built a sawmill, enabling him, with his son Joel, to build a frame house in 1818. When his fruit trees matured, Cahoon built a distillery to manufacture peach brandy. Around 1786, Cahoon married Lydia Kenyon and had 12 children: Samuel, Amos, Mary, Joel, Abigail, Rebecca, Daniel, Benjamin, William, Joseph, and a pair of twins who died in infancy. The family remained in their original frame house, Rose Hill, until 1917, at which time the house was deeded to the community and used as a library until 1960, when it became the Rose Hill Museum. It is maintained by the BAY VILLAGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Cahoon died in Dover Twp. and was buried in the Dover Twp. Cemetery.