MILL CREEK, a tributary of the CUYAHOGA RIVER that formed part of the southern boundary of old Newburgh Twp., provided the area with the waterpower that made early NEWBURGH more prominent than Cleveland. Near the present Broadway and Warner roads, the stream dropped more than 40' and abruptly turned to form 3 falls. In 1799 Wheeler W. Williams and Ezra Wyatt built the first sawmill in the area on one leg of the cataract, followed by a carding mill and flour mill. The gristmill opening was marked by a grand celebration among the 10 early settler families of Newburgh and people from the surrounding area. The corn ground at the mill supplied a local distillery, the first industry established in Cleveland. As the business pulled to Newburgh by the mills grew, 2 famous hotels and eateries were built nearby in 1840—CATARACT HOUSE at E. 88th St. and Broadway above the falls, and Eagle House at Miles and Broadway. The former prospered under a succession of owners as a hotel and popular local meeting place until 1905. Meanwhile, Eagle House attracted patrons in the 1840s with its nut cakes fried in bear grease and its famed "spring floor" ballroom. Mill Creek and its original falls were largely reoriented when the Pennsylvania Railroad relocated tracks near the cataract in the early 1900s.

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