Yesterday's Magazette

5 – Picnic Time

Picnic Time at Brandywine Falls

By Linda Masek

Picnic time! Years ago the steamy summer months in Ohio brought happy thoughts of eating out under a sequined sky at night, or in the cool haven of pine trees during the day at Brandywine Falls. Air conditioning wasn’t common back in those days- schools, cars, hospitals, homes, businesses- all sweltered in the heat of Northern Ohio. However, sitting by the bank overlooking the Brandywine Gorge and feeling the spray from the falls float up unto your face was like a refreshing dip in a cold water lake or the ocean. 


When I was older, I wondered about Brandywine Falls and the large, beautiful bed-and-breakfast close to it, along with the little black pony in the field next door. I learned that this sixty-six foot waterfall was considered a highlight by visitors to the Cuyahoga River Valley (now Cuyahoga Valley National Park). Due to the waterpower provided, a bustling village grew up in the Brandywine area that once rivaled Cleveland in scope. 

In 1814 a sawmill was erected above the falls by George Wallace. Over the next ten-year period, a village of houses, two mills and a distillery were added. The village flourished for the next three decades, but business was ultimately diverted elsewhere due to the railroads and the Ohio and Erie Canal. 

The James Wallace (son of George) House still stands a short distance from the falls and has been converted into a bed-and-breakfast called the Inn at Brandywine Falls. Visitors can view both the Falls and the Brandywine Creek Gorge from the observation deck overlooking the flowing water. 

The 1848 Wallace home was lovingly restored by innkeepers George and Katie Hoy. The main house was transformed from an uninhabitable, condemned building into a library, multiple bathrooms and a formal dining area that oozes old world charm. Thirty-five thousand guests, many of whom are repeat visitors, have arrived and enjoyed the Inn at Brandywine Falls and the area where my family and I used to picnic many years ago. 

The observation deck now stands where I used to hover and admire the scenery in the Brandywine Gorge, especially in autumn when the colors of the leaves turned the entire area into a fairyland, complete with “elves” and “winged messengers of light” in my child’s mind. 

Seeing the falls today brings back pleasant memories of years gone by, when pleasures were simple, relaxing and healthy. Whether walking, riding horseback or merely seeing the Falls, this area was and is now a place to savor and enjoy. 

*Linda Lehmann Masek has had three books published: a thrilling romantic suspense novel, Soul Dance, set in Alaska and recently published by Fireside Books on Amazon’s Kindle, The Poison Tree, a murder mystery from Avalon Books and a children’s book, Mag-ni-fi-cat, narrated by a cat.

Vol. 38 No. 2 – Copyright © Yesterday’s Magazette


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