A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: Sweet memories of Woolworth’s downtown Cincinnati store, a five-and-ten cent store

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune F. W. Woolworth Co. was once the largest discount store chain in the entire world. Its five-and-ten-cent stores, recognizable everywhere by their gold-lettering-on-red-background signs, proved to be early mass-marketing success stories. And to many of us, they held special memories. In the 1960s, as I was growing up in Northern Kentucky, my mother would drive...

Our Rich History: ‘Squirrel Hunters’ answer the call to save Cincinnati and NKY from the Confederacy

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune In 1862, Cincinnati seemed well-insulated from the destruction and violence of the American Civil War. The Queen City was a bustling port city that supplied the Union forces in the Western Theater. Despite rationing and the loss of many able-bodied men to the war effort, spirits were high, and the war seemed a million miles away. All that would change in August...

Our Rich History: World War I in Cincinnati — the case of Lotta Burke and Free Speech

by Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune One hundred years ago, on April 6, 1917, the United States officially entered World War I. George Creel Shortly thereafter, in mid-April, President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information to generate support for the war and to release official war information to the news media. George Creel (1876-1953), a journalist who had assisted Wilson...

Our Rich History: RoeblingFest to celebrate 150 years of our famous Roebling Bridge on June 17

By Ralph G. Wolff Special to NKyTribune It’s finished! The bridge work is finally completed! It’s June 1867, and although the bridge from Covington to Cincinnati had been open since New Year’s Day, work has continued under the direction of Washington Roebling. The Grand Opening on Tuesday, January 1st was a hasty arrangement precipitated by the freezing of the river. With ferryboats unable...

Our Rich History: World War I comes to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to the NKyTribune One hundred years ago, on Wednesday, May 30, 1917, Covington, Kentucky’s Memorial Day Parade wound its way from 5th and Madison Avenue in downtown to historic Linden Grove Cemetery. At the cemetery, dignitaries gave addresses, followed by a 21-gun salute to the fallen dead of America’s armed forces. Headline of Cincinnati Post, April 6, 1917. Declaration...

Our Rich History: The Wyandots — well assimilated — were sadly victims of Indian Removal Act

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune In 1843, Cincinnati’s public landing was a bustling place of business and human interaction. These ten acres of land were at the heart of the business district in the 1840s. Shopkeepers and their customers shared the landing with those loading or unloading cargo from docked boats. Other citizens embarked and disembarked from the boats as passengers. Over 5,000...

Our Rich History: 40-years ago, the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire became Kentucky’s greatest tragedy

By Robert ‘Bob’ Webster Special to the NKyTribune Forty years ago this month, on Saturday, May 28, 1977, the Commonwealth of Kentucky experienced its worst tragedy since the Civil War. The Beverly Hills Supper Club, located in Southgate, Kentucky, was packed with people over the holiday weekend when a fire broke out. Fire erupts from the roof of the structure. Courtesy of Robert Webster Before...

Our Rich History: Made-in-Covington Aqua-Cycle had a big start but faded to collectors’ item

By Kaira Tucker Special to NKyTribune Twenty-five-year-old Phyllis Brawley was installed as a living window display at Cincinnati’s Hotel Sinton on the day of the Aquacycle’s debut. Clad in a “beach costume,” the blonde model peddled the newly-patented marine invention that allowed users to propel boats and canoes by foot power. Spectators congregated around the window in such numbers that...

Our Rich History: Fickenscher family celebrates 90 years of baking memories; today, Cookie Jar Bakery

By Dan Knecht Special to NKyTribune The Fickenscher family has been baking delicious memories for 90 years, since 1927. The iconic Cookie Jar Bakery, located at 919 Monmouth Street in Newport is the direct and proud descendant of this family’s long baking tradition. Today, the Cookie Jar is owned Chris Fickenscher, a 4th-generation baker, and the grandson of its baking founder, Michael Fickenscher. Michael...

Our Rich History: Harriet Beecher Stowe lived in Cincinnati, was member of the Semi-Colon Club

By Andrew Young Special to NKyTribune In 1832 Harriet Beecher, 21 years old, moved with her family into a “spacious” house in the Walnut Hills area of Cincinnati. By the 1830’s, Cincinnati had become the 9th largest city in the country and the largest in the Midwest. Considered the first city built by Americans born in the US, some called Cincinnati the “truly” American City. It strived for...

Our Rich History: The rebirth of Rabbit Hash General Store — fire, fame, intrigue, history, survival

By Robert D. Webster Special to NKyTribune Just after 9:00 p.m. on a frigid February 13, 2016, a massive fire struck the historic Rabbit Hash General Store in rural Boone County, causing near-total destruction. Five fire departments fought the blaze well past midnight, struggling not only against the raging inferno but also against the thick ice caused by the 9-degree temperature acting on the hundreds...

Our Rich History: Turning 150 in style — the Roebling Bridge and Don Heinrich Tolzman’s new book

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Residents of our region call one of our favorite icons by various names: The John A. Roebling Bridge; the Suspension Bridge; the Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge; and the “Singing Bridge.” Officially opened 150 years ago, in 1867, the bridge is still being used today, by both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. But the John A. Roebling Bridge,...

Our Rich History: Charles C. Svendsen: Artist leaves legacy as Cincinnati’s pre-eminent religious painter

Charles C. Svendsen’s studio, circa 1903 (Photo courtesy of Stephen Enzweiler) This is the second of a two-part series on Cincinnati artist and religious painter, Charles C. Svendsen. By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune For the last four months of 1896, Cincinnati artist Charles C. Svendsen had been living in Holland and Belgium, working as the Commissioner of Fine Arts for the Tennessee Centennial...

Our Rich History: Rediscovering artist Charles Svendsen from when Cincinnati was ‘America’s Paris’

This is the first of a two-part series on Cincinnati artist and religious painter, Charles C. Svendsen. By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune It has been more than a century since the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area was known as “America’s Paris.” At one time, this area was home to one of the most prolific concentrations of artists in its history, during a century-long period that...

Our Rich History: The Charles Svendsen Company is classic ‘pursuing American dream’ immigrant story

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune Throughout the history of the Cincinnati area, there can be found colorful and engaging accounts of immigrants who left their foreign birthright and crossed the Atlantic to begin a new life in pursuit of the American dream. The Charles Svendsen Company, located at 84 W. Court Street, as it appeared ca. 1880. (Left to Right): Rosa Svendsen, Anna Moller, Teresa...