Ghost Towns: Allens Corners, Baldwins Corners, Beardsley, Beudale, Calm, Center Road, Chardon Centre, Clifton, Damon, Downings Corners, East Munson, Fedo, Fords Mills, Geauga Lake, Handy, Joint, Julia, Kelloggs Corners, Little England, Little Ireland, Mansfields Crossing, Mulberry Corners, Munson Center, New Market, Plank Road Corners, Posts Corner, Powders Mills, Roots Corners, Sissons Corners, Slab City, Smithville, Spencer Corners, Summit, Trumbulls Mills
Fowlers Mills, OH – (1834 – present farming & mill town with less residents than in the past)
Classification: historic town
Location: Munson Township, Geauga County – On Fowlers Mill Rd near the intersection of Mayfield Rd (SR 322)
Fowlers Mills was named after two brothers, Hiram Fowler (1800 – 1879) & Milo Fowler (1802 – 1860). They were born in nearby Burton, Ohio to parents from Connecticut & arrived in the area in 1829. Milo brought along his wife, Elanor (Foot) Fowler (1803 – 1875), & their 2 children. Hiram later married Minerva (Stone) Fowler (1809-1885) & had one child. The brothers built a millrace & saw mill along the Chagrin River on Fowlers Mills Rd, followed by a grist mill that opened for business in 1835.
A couple years after building the grist mill, the Fowlers traded it for a wool mill. The town’s post office was established in 1834 with Milo being the first postmaster. In 1837 Hiram was elected to one of the Munson Township trustee positions & Milo was a township treasurer. Milo constructed a new house for his family next to the grist mill in 1840. A marker for the Fowlers Mills Historic District is in the parking lot of the mill & has more information on the town and house. The two-story house was considered to be a frontier mansion when it was built, by far surpassing normal construction efforts of the time period.
The town also had a hotel, township hall, several stores, schools, & churches over the years. Hiram & Milo built more houses across the road from the mill in the 1840s. They’re easily identified while cruising through town with wooden “Century Home” plaques next to the doors. More markers can be spotted around the area & are mostly metal plaques, indicating structures that are on the National Register Of Historic Places.
Fowler’s Milling Company changed ownership a bunch of times. It was listed as the last operating flour mill in Munson Township in the 1878 History Of Geauga And Lake Counties, Ohio. Charles S. Johnson purchased it in 1874. The mill was in bad shape by that time & needed a lot of repairs. Local residents were going to other mills in the county to get their grains turned into flour. Charles removed the turbine that powered the mill & replaced it with a 13 foot overshot water wheel with 2 sets of buckets for 2 sets of grinding stones. He also rebuilt the dam in 1877.
Those improvements lasted until production stopped in 1966. Rick & Billie Erickson bought the property in 1985 & restored the mill, making it the last surviving grist mill in Geauga County. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. & closed on Sundays & holidays. The mill can produce 700 pounds of flour per hour from locally grown corn & wheat. It’s sold in the mill store & nationally by mail-order. Visiting is an amazing experience & a great reminder that the state’s best quality products aren’t always obtainable from the giant chain grocery stores, which most residents presently rely on.
The town’s cemetery is on the east side of Fowlers Mill Rd north of the mill. It’s a beautiful resting place and seems relatively small for the size and history of the community. Many residents were buried on family farm cemeteries. The gravestones of Hiram & Milo are in Bainbridge Township at Fowler Cemetery on the east side of Haskins Rd between Taylor May Rd and Crackel Rd. It was officially established in 1825 but had some interments prior to that, like many other cemeteries in Ohio that were originally on farms. The earliest known burials there are from 1811.