The CHAGRIN RIVER has its headwaters above Bass Lake, near Chardon, in Geauga County. It rises at an elevation of 1,335' (above sea level), flows a distance of 47.9 mi., and empties into Lake Erie at Eastlake, in Lake County, at an elevation of 571'. The river flows in a southwesterly direction from its source to a place approx. 1 mi. west of CHAGRIN FALLS, where it makes a U-turn and flows on in a northerly direction to Lake Erie. The fall of the river, where it turns back, is at an elevation of 876'. The village of Chagrin Falls is centered at the waterfall, located just west of the Main St. Bridge. There were sawmills and gristmills along its length, notably the sawmill established by HOLSEY GATES and his two brothers at GATES MILLS, in 1826. The Chagrin River has 2 branches: the Aurora Branch and the East Branch. The Aurora Branch rises in Portage County and is formed by the confluence of 2 tributaries, approx. 1 mi. east of Aurora. It flows 16.1 mi. and empties into the Chagrin River south of Miles Rd. in BENTLEYVILLE. The 19.4-mi. East Branch rises in Chester Twp., Geauga County, flows in a southerly direction to a place near Wilson's Mills, and then turns back and flows on into the Chagrin River at Daniels Park, Willoughby. The Chagrin River was first called the Elk, and it appears as such on a map prepared by Lewis Evans in 1755. It came to be called the Shaguin to memorialize SIEUR DE SAGUIN, a French trader, because the Indians had only an sh sound in their language. Saguin's name was further corrupted when SETH PEASE, preparing a map of the WESTERN RESERVE in 1797, anglicized the word and labeled the Shaguin the Chagrin.

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