Brimfield sticks to its rural roots as it grows

Brimfield Fire Chief Craig Mullay poses for a photo of Brimfield Elementary School pupils after a safety school event on Tuesday.

Brimfield Township has long sought ways to balance its rural roots with the growth that was inevitable from being located off the busy slopes of Interstate 76.

Residential zoning laws slowed the march into the city, but commercial growth boomed. In 2003, the town resolved years of annexation battles with neighboring Talmadj by forming a joint economic development zone.

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Tallmadge returned the land it had taken from Brimfield in exchange for a revenue sharing agreement, and the town now hosts one of the area’s most popular retail destinations, the Cascades of Brimfield.


Along the western border of Portage County, surrounded by Kent, Talmadge, Stowe, and the towns of Franklin, Ravenna, Rootstown, Randolph, Sufffield and Springfield.

A 1916 statue honoring Brimfield pioneers stands next to a fire station under construction on Route 43 in Brimfield.


The settlers had difficulty choosing a name for their city. It was initially known as Swamptown, then Beartown, Greenbrier, and Wylestown. When it organized its first government in 1818, town leaders chose the name Thorndike because an early property owner with that name offered to donate the land for the town square. When Thorndike retracted the offer, the residents petitioned to change the name to Brimfield after the Massachusetts hometown of another early landowner.

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