Joseph O’Malley came to Chagrin in 1869 from Canada. He was trained as a master carpenter and ship’s carpenter. He rented space for his planing mill on River St. across from the Bullard Woodenware Factory.
In 1877 he constructed a larger facility on River St. closer to Main St. His fine craftsmanship is evident in the Italianate and Eastlake style homes he built toward the end of the 19th century. Many of the beautiful homes in the village historic districts are products of his work, featuring gingerbread details, octagonal bay windows and corbels. He contributed his talents to renovating Township Hall in 1875.
He moved his factory into a building on the east side of Main St. that had been Noah Graves’ paper mill. He was a contractor and lumber dealer specializing in sash blinds, doors, moldings, planning, and house buildings. The Chagrin Falls Historical Society and Museum building is a good example of his work.