A.C. Gardner (1799-1875) moved his family from Newbury to Chagrin Falls and purchased the land on the south side of the river from Aaron Bliss in 1843. George Fenkell operated the grist mill located on the property. Gardner sold the property to Washington Gates in 1867.
Gardner was a successful dry goods merchant in town and a major land owner within the village limits and south of the village in Geauga County. A member of the Methodist Church, he was an incorporator of the Asbury Seminary.
His first home in Chagrin was built in 1848 at the corner of Philomethian and Washington Sts. He later built a large home at the corner of Carriage Stone Dr. and S. Franklin St. Gardner was an abolitionist and a conductor on the Underground Railroad. He was active in politics and represented Cuyahoga County in the Ohio Legislature.