A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: Southgate Street School educated generations of African-Americans in Newport

By Shirlene Jensen Special to NKyTribune Part 23 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” Historically, African Americans of Campbell County aspired to attain an education commensurate to their basic rights of freedom. After the Civil War, the Freedman’s Bureau mandated that states provide for educating blacks. On August 1, 1866, the African-American citizens...

Our Rich History: The Buena Vista Historic District of Newport, itself the oldest of NKY’s river towns

By Margo Warminski Special to NKyTribune Part 22 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” “Newport’s social structure would also change fundamentally. A prosperous, old-stock, Protestant, river town would evolve into an immigrant, heavily Catholic, working-class city” (Thomas L. Purvis, et al., eds., Newport, Kentucky: A Bicentennial History. Newport, KY:...

Our Rich History: Newport’s Cote Brilliante (shining hill) Historic District thrives with new generation

By Margo Warminski Special to NKyTribune Part 21 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” The Cote Brilliante Historic District in Newport, whose name means “shining hill” in French, honors a physically cohesive, largely middle-class residential community with a strong sense of place. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, it was the fifth...

Our Rich History: Epidemics in 19th Century Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky; we have persevered

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune Part 20 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” As we “hunker down” and practice self-distancing, it’s worth noting that we residents of the Tristate are much more resilient than we think. Since settlement began in the late 1700s, this area has faced epidemics on par with what we are currently experiencing, and without...

Our Rich History: George Wiedemann, Northern Kentucky’s Beer Baron and his brewery

Part 19 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” By Don Heinrich Tolzmann Special to NKyTribune George Wiedemann (1833-1890) came to America from Germany in 1854, and after several years in the New World founded a brewery in Newport, Kentucky that became the largest south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River, as well as a brewing family dynasty that...

Our Rich History: Newport, a gateway to the South during Civil War; loyalties were divided, Newport Barracks was union

Part 18 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune The state of Kentucky was in a conundrum during the American Civil War. On the one hand, it was the birthplace of the Great Emancipator, President Abraham Lincoln. On the other hand, although it officially remained in the Union as a neutral “border state,” Kentuckians’...

Our Rich History: New era begins as St. Augustine builds new church, school for people of Peaselburg

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the NKyTribune This is the third part of a five-part series on the 150th anniversary of St. Augustine Parish. It had only been a month since Father Paul Abeln’s death, and the parishioners of St. Augustine parish in Peaselburg couldn’t imagine anyone who could take his place. Fr. Abeln had been their shepherd, confidante, and friend for 28 remarkable years and he...

Our Rich History: Early St. Augustine Church struggled amid misfortune and hard times

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the Tribune This is the second part of a five-part series on the 150th anniversary of St. Augustine Parish in Covington. As the sun sets and night descends upon the residents of Peaselburg in central Covington, floodlights turn on and illuminate the façade and bell tower of St. Augustine Church. The joyous sound of its bells, silent for three months last year, is once...

Missing historical puzzle pieces and more information on abolitionist William Shreve Bailey

Part 17 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune This is the second part of an article on abolitionist William Shreve Bailey. For last week’s installment, click here. Historians are a bit like Sherlock Holmes, the main character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective novels. They chase relentlessly after small pieces...

Our Rich History: William Shreve Bailey was a heroic abolitionist editor, provoked ire of pro-slavery groups

Part 16 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” By Paul Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Nestled at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, today’s Harper’s Ferry is a sleepy little tourist town of less than 300 people in the state of West Virginia. In the 1850s, however, it was a vibrant and strategic crossroads of over 1,500 people in Virginia,...

Our Rich History: Abolitionism and the Ohio River Valley, intersection points between free, slave states

By Paul Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Part 15 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” It’s difficult for us today to comprehend how Americans could have ever reconciled their beliefs in democracy, capitalism, and individualism with the ownership of slaves. It seems hypocritical, undemocratic, uncivilized, and even barbaric. When you think about it, the fact...

Our Rich History: Shaler family and antislavery in Newport; they believed it would meet ‘inevitable end’

By Paul Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Part 14 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, who later became a noted American geologist at Harvard University, was born in Newport in 1841. He was the son of Harvard-educated Dr. Nathaniel Burger Shaler, a physician and surgeon of the Newport Barracks, and Anne Hinde Southgate. His maternal...

Our Rich History: Cincinnati German beer baron in Civil War; Christian Moerlein and Siege of Cincinnati

By Don Heinrich Tolzmann Special to NKyTribune In September 1862, the Siege of Cincinnati took place, and to help in its defense militia units were formed. Christian Moerlein (1818-97), who was then 44, joined one such unit, the 8th Regiment, Ohio Infantry Militia. What was the historical context, and what role did this Cincinnati German beer baron play in it? When the Civil War broke out, Kentucky...

Our Rich History: St. Augustine’s capital campaign renovations make progress toward spring completion

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the NKyTribune This is the first part of a five-part series on the 150th anniversary of St. Augustine Parish. The illuminated façade of St. Augustine Church with the new LED lighting. Courtesy of the Capital Campaign. Nestled in a low valley beneath the hills that overlook the Peaselburg neighborhood around Nineteenth Street and Euclid Avenue is St. Augustine Church,...

Our Rich History: Newport Barracks and Mexican-American War; housing soldiers ready to be deployed

Part 13 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune In 1845, President James K. Polk officially annexed Texas. An angry Mexico broke off diplomatic relations, and the United States turned towards war. Many were moved by patriotic duty to defend the new annexation. Manifest Destiny was in full swing and patriotic fervor stirred...