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Since the 1930s, the large building at 36 E. Streetsboro St. has been known as Turner's Mill, and the lettering remains on the front.
The building was constructed in 1852 by James Ellsworth's father, Edgar Birge Ellsworth, in anticipation of the expected economic boom from the Clinton Line, the second of three railroad lines planned for Hudson. Ellsworth and Henry Noble Day were members of a consortium that founded the Hudson Planing and Lumber Company, which originally occupied the building. Day invested all his money and that of many relatives and other Hudson residents, all based on hopes that Hudson would thrive as the hub of at least three trans-continental railroad lines. Sadly, in 1856 the economy shifted and plans for the Clinton line, more houses and businesses all disappeared, leaving many people bankrupt and Hudson in dire straits.
The Mill survived by changing with changing needs, becoming a grain mill in 1873, putting out 50 barrels a day. It became a chair factory and then in the 1930s again became a lumber company when acquired by Turner. Older Hudson residents can remember when wood and coal were still available for purchase. Turner's Mill also had another purpose. Before one got license plates through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, there were local outlets, and Hudson's was at Turner's Mill. The process at that time allowed residents to get their "regular" numbers.
Over the years there were quite a few independent businesses at Turner's Mill. In the 1960s the property, which includes three buildings, was touted as the next retail hub in Hudson. Dr. Paul Martin, DDS, who retired after moving his practice to Main Street, started off on the second floor of Turner's Mill. Dossie Tasker moved her needlepoint shop there from Main Street, and the owners of the Grey Colt were initially tempted by the hype. When they decided to remain on Main Street, Havre's from Chagrin Falls moved in instead. Mrs. Tasker eventually regretted her move, because the Ball & Skein, located on the ground floor, flooded twice resulting in significant damage. Chic Tesmer who repaired watches for most Hudson residents for years, operated out of the smaller building to the east. Some folks remember Joan Fox from Aurora starting her lovely gift shop, The Corner Shoppe, in Turner's Mill; others say it started in Brewster Mansion before moving to Main Street.
Happily for all of Hudson, in 1989 the Buchanan family, (Ralph, Joan and their sons Brad and Todd) opened The Inn at Turners Mill, which drew people from all over northeast Ohio with its fine dining, fabulous service and welcoming atmosphere. Sadly, the Inn's lower level with bar and piano occupied the space formerly occupied by the Ball & Skein, and was forced to close temporarily after flooding during Hudson's tragic flood in 2003. Although the inn reopened after major reconstruction, it closed for good in 2007. Turner's Mill is again thriving, home to Rosewood Grill, one of Hospitality Restaurants' seven Cleveland area locations, Dollar Bank and Morgan Stanley.
While talking with Katie Coulton, current owner of the Grey Colt, about Turner's Mill and Dossie Tasker, she mentioned in passing "the Blair House rug." Further questioning brought the reply "Jane Fitch, Anne Burnham and Dossie made it happen that's a Hudson story all on its own." So there's another column in the making. Stay tuned, and thanks for enjoying Hudson's history and heritage.