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The village is located in Cuyahoga County, but borders the neighboring counties of Geauga and Lake. It is part of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area. Chagrin Falls was settled by European Americans in 1796 as a farming community along Chagrin River and its tributaries, including Chagrin Falls Creek (named after the falls) which runs through downtown on Main Street. The name "Chagrin" comes from an Algonquian word meaning "crooked river." In 1826, William Wetmore built a sawmill on land purchased from General Simon Perkins; this mill later became known as Wetherbee's Mill or simply The Mill. A gristmill was added to process flour for area farmers who had previously ground their grain at home using hand querns made of stone or wood with iron wheels attached to grind against them (called quern stones). By 1827 there were about twenty families living near what would become downtown Chagrin Falls; these settlers included John Blystone Jr., James Harkness Sr.