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Carriage and wagon makers were an important part of the commerce of early Chagrin. Early carriage and wagon makers were W.A. Braund, John Rowe, A. A. Kingsbury and J. H. Thomas. Braund, Rowe and Thomas were located along Mechanics Row, while Kingsbury was on River Street.

During the Civil War, Rowe, as a civilian, relocated to Franklin, TN and built wagons for the Union. The Union Army, having conquered the region early in the war, made Franklin into a major manufacturing center to support the Union campaigns.

Following the war, Rowe returned to Chagrin and his business became Rowe and Sons. They were known for producing excellent carriages and wagons. Kingsbury eventually sold his business and bought the Falls Hotel on S. Main St. We have numerous photos of the wagon makers, carriage makers and their workshops. As cars became more available in the early 1900s, wagon and carriage makers either adapted, or went out of business.

Photo for Carriage Makers
Rowe and Menges wagon works on north side of Front Street (now Bell Street) circa 1860s.
Photo for Carriage Makers
Bell St. looking east from N. Main St. On the far left is Richard Rowe & Son, carriage shop of Braund and Redfield then J. H. Thomas’s shop.
Photo for Carriage Makers
John Rowe auctioning off a carriage in front of the Irving House Hotel livery barn.
Photo for Carriage Makers
Six covered wagons made by John Rowe’s wagon shop parked on Bell St.

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