A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: Roebling Suspension Bridge Exhibit celebrates 150 year history at Cinci library

By James Mainger Special to NKyTribune A new exhibit at the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County’s Main Library, “A Dream Come True, a Song Well Sung: the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge at 150” casts its gaze on the story behind one of our region’s most iconic and unique structures on the sesquecentennial year of its opening. Built while Civil War battles raged, the bridge...

Our Rich History: Monte Cassino Chapel has storied legacy in Benedictine monks, wine-making

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune On Turkeyfoot Road in Crestview Hills, there is a structure that seems out of place. It is made of dressed fieldstone with an interior that measures just eight feet high and four feet wide. It stands alone in an open field like a sentinel, oddly beautiful in its solitude, a survivor of another time and place, a relic of our Northern Kentucky past. It is unique,...

Our Rich History: Augusta College’s Echo Hall dormitory gets new life; want to be part of saving it?

By Carol L. Williams Special to NKyTribune During its General Conference in 1820, the Methodist Episcopal Church called for establishment of educational institutions throughout America, particularly frontier areas. The Kentucky and Ohio Conferences answered the call by pooling their resources and co-sponsoring the establishment of an institution in Augusta. On 7 December 1822, Augusta College received...

Our Rich History: WW I, six months after declaration of war, anti-German hysteria rears its ugly head

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune It was October 1917, six months after the United States declared war on Germany on April 6th. Already, the Cincinnati area was heavily invested in the war effort. Over 12,000 men from Hamilton County, Ohio — and some from beyond who came here to recruiting stations — had entered the ranks of the U.S. army, navy, or marines by October. Nationally, the...

Our Rich History: Duveneck pupil Aileen McCarthy’s grave gets headstone thanks to local artists

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune When Cincinnati artist Marlene Steele pulled into Fort Mitchell’s Highland Cemetery on Memorial Day 2011 to attend a veterans’ commemoration service, she hoped to take time afterward to visit the grave of her childhood art teacher, Aileen F. McCarthy. Steele, today one of the Cincinnati area’s most prominent artists and painters, credits McCarthy with...

Our Rich History: As World War I is declared, first local man is selected for the army

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune The Cincinnati Post of Wednesday, August 1, 1917 was crystal clear that Cincinnati history had just been made by Asa Williams, of 755 State Avenue. Williams, a welder at the Globe-Wernicke Co. in Norwood, Ohio, became — as the Post noted in all-capital letters—the “VERY FIRST CINCINNATI MAN SELECTED FOR THE ARMY.” It was the Great War — World War...

Our Rich History: Discovery of WWI letters reveal unknown story of two Covington brothers

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune Historian David McCullough once commented to an interviewer that history is not only about the big events that happen; it is also about the ordinary people who lived the big events. In interviews, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author frequently makes reference to the value of letters from which his many books are written. It was primarily through letters that...

Our Rich History: Tolzmann’s book on Beer Baron John Hauck reminds us of our beer heritage

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Dr. Don Tolzmann always delivers — whether in book or lecture format. Well-known nationally for his dedication to German Americana, Tolzmann’s new book, entitled John Hauck, Cincinnati’s West End Beer Baron: The Man and His Brewery (Little Miami Publishing, 2017), is a pleasure to read. Further, it adds to our understanding of both Cincinnati’s German-American...

Our Rich History: Re-dedication concert for the Historic Schwab pipe organ inspired concert series

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune (Part 2 of a 2-part series on the musical legacy of the historic Matthias Schwab organ) In the autumn of 1970, the wrecking crews descended in force upon 12th and Greenup Streets, took up their positions, then went to work. As the wrecking ball swung into the structure of old St. Joseph’s Church, former parishioners and neighborhood residents looked on...

Our Rich History: Historic Matthias Schwab organ rescued from wrecking ball one really hot summer

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune (Part one of a two-part series on the musical legacy of the Historic Matthias Schwab organ) On a hot, sweltering August afternoon in 1970, pedestrians and vehicles moving down 12th Street in Covington became witness to a peculiar sight. Along the sidewalks they beheld schoolboys and young men hurrying through the dense summer heat carrying an assortment of...

Our Rich History: MainStrasse began as the Westside Market, thriving with butchers and farmers

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune Today we take for granted dropping by the local supermarket to select food and other goods needed to keep our households running. Before the era of refrigeration, shopping for food on a daily basis was common practice. The main market house in Covington was on Madison Avenue at Washington Street. It was a noisy place filled with live animals, butchered...

Our Rich History: Cincinnati’s old ‘fireproof’ Chamber of Commerce building at 4th and Vine

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to the NKyTribune On the southwest corner of Fourth and Vine Streets in Cincinnati stands a stately skyscraper, the PNC Tower. The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce Building, circa 1907. At the time of its completion in 1913, it was the tallest skyscraper outside of New York City, and the fifth-tallest building in the world. Formerly known as the Union Central Life Insurance...

Our Rich History: Air pioneer Hugh Watson was ‘Grand Patriarch of Cincinnati Aviation’

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune On a crisp autumn morning in November 1954, 60-year old Hugh Watson, one of Cincinnati’s early air pioneers, walked into a meeting room helped by his wife Roberta and slowly took a seat at the table. He looked tired and moved with some effort, but was otherwise alert and ready to do business. Seated across the table was Cincinnati City Manager C.A. Harrell,...

Our Rich History: Bessie Allison Doerr, a woman of determination, believed in the power of education

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune Sarah Elizabeth Allison Doerr is a name few Northern Kentuckians remember. However, during her life, “Bessie” personally experienced World War I, the Influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, worked in the fields of health care and education, lived abroad, and was one of the pioneers of women holding political office in Northern Kentucky. Bessie Allison Doerr’s...

Our Rich History: Historic stained-glass windows in Cathedral Basilica draw new generation of admirers

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune Anyone who has ever made a visit to Covington’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption can attest to the feeling of being transported to another place and time. As one enters its stone edifice, the rush of the city quickly fades, and in its place, one is surrounded by a cocoon of stillness and drawn into the other-worldly realm of the Gothic. Eyes involuntarily...