In his preface to "Three Men in a Boat," written in 1889, Jerome K. Jerome said the principal charm of his book lay in "its simple truthfulness. The events described really happened. All that has been done is to color them, and for this no extra charge has been made."
Such a claim might be made for this book also, which otherwise owes its all to the more-than-a-year researches of Esther H. M. Power and John Diehl; the support of Lynn Nelson, Bob Halley and Alan McAllister and the technical expertise of Mark Eberhard and Harold (Skip) Merten.
The information herein is drawn from a hundred years of village records; the writings and recollections of residents past and present; the resources of the Cincinnati Historical Society, the Museum of Natural History, the Public Libraries of both Hamilton and Clermont counties, the Hamilton County Records Office, and the National Archives. Newspapers and magazines of years past have added much--particularly the color. Along with various county histories, valuable books have included:
Stockades in the Wilderness by Scamyhorn and Steinle; S. F. Starr's Archaeology of Hamilton County, First Farmers of the Middle Ohio Valley by C. Wesley Cowan; J. G. Olden's Historical Sketches and Reminiscences of Hamilton County; Virginia Marquett's history of Terrace Park High School and R. E. Conover's Give 'Em a John Robinson.
For errors of omission or commission, a plea for indulgence is accompanied by sincere thanks for the reason to explore more deeply a very special place--home.
Two thousand or more years ago, a primitive people built, in what is now Terrace Park, one of the largest of its kind of the 295 prehistoric earthworks ever found in Hamilton County. To this day, archaeologists aren't sure who built it, or why.
Homes and gardens and part of Terrace Park school cover the
Was it a fort? No clues as to whether anyone lived there have ever been found, although latter-day gardeners have turned up some flint spear points. Did it have a religious purpose? There's no evidence of that, either.
In fact, says S. F. Starr in his Archaeology of Hamilton County,
It must have taken a large number of people years to build with bare hands and a few crude tools. That, too, is puzzling, for research has turned up traces of only a very small primitive village in the fields beyond, although there were at one time sizeable communities in the Mariemont, Madisonville and Newtown areas.
Archaeologists are inclined to attribute the barricade to the so-called Hopewell Indians who lived here from about 200 B.C. to 450 A.D., although it could be older. There is no real proof, and all evidences of its existence are long gone. But in 1820, when it first attracted scientific interest, it was still six feet high and 12 feet wide at its base.
That was recorded by Dr. Charles E. Metz, a Madisonville physician and enthusiastic amateur archaeologist, who mapped most of the prehistoric sites found in eastern Hamilton County. His work attracted the attention of Harvard's Peabody Museum, which has many of the artifacts that he and others found.
Metz found much more than earthworks.
On the river flats just west of Terrace Park he located the site of a small village, only 70 feet in diameter. Between it and the foot of Indian Hill was the largest burial mound discovered in the area. In the 1870s it was still 10 feet high and 80 feet in diameter.
Trenching through it, as his papers record, Metz found the mound covered two smaller mounds. In one, "beneath a layer of field stones....was a three inch layer of clay. Eight skeletons were found, all of them in the extended position. Upon the left hand fingers of one skeleton had been placed five copper rings. With another were found a few copper beads.
"The second primary mound was the same size as the first, and had the same peculiar layer of clay. Near the center of the tumulus we found a 2 1/2 foot deep heap of pure green ashes. This mound contained a total of 12 extended burials.
"Two of the individuals interred there were children; the remainder were adults. The only burial preparation seems to have been layers of clay, one yellow and the other blue, which were placed beneath the skulls of two of the individuals. The artifacts were of flint and copper; only one unworked piece of mica was found. Nothing can be said of the pottery other than that it did occur, because it has not been preserved in description or in any of the known collections."
There were at least two other mounds in Terrace Park.
One stood on what is now Wooster Pike, just west of Western Avenue. It was destroyed in the building and rebuilding of Wooster Pike, and there seems to be no record of what was found there except for a few shards of pottery.
Traces of another mound existed as late as 1957 in the vicinity of Douglas Avenue. As Metz earlier had reported, it stood "on an elevated ridge known as Gravelotte, on the estate of T. R. Biggs. It is situated in the corner of a larger embankment. Height is three feet, circumference 150 feet."
But the Moundbuilders were not the first peoples here. About 12,000 years ago, a prehistoric race straggled up from the south after Ice Age glaciers had receded and forests and prairies covered the land. They were hunters and gatherers, following mastodons, wooly mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers, bison and other wildlife wherever it led. No traces of established settlements have ever been found.
Those so-called Paleo-Indians have been identified by the pattern of the flint spearheads they shaped, first discovered near Folsom, New Mexico, in 1926. Six such spearheads have been found in Hamilton County, one near the mouth of the Little Miami River, two others in the Little Miami valley, one of these near Loveland, near bones of a mastodon, an ancestor of the present-day elephant.
The nomads found this area geologically much as it is today--hills, valleys and streams all in place. But thousands of years before they came--1 1/2 million years ago--it was far different. This part of the Midwest was a vast, rolling plain that once had been the bed of an ancient shallow sea. Its rivers ran north to meet a great stream that angled northwestward. Three Ice Age glaciers over thousands of years--the last of them 70,000 years ago--changed it all. They blocked the north-tending streams to form a huge lake covering this region. The lake established the southwesterly course of the Ohio River when it ultimately spilled over in the vicinity of Madison, Indiana.
Widespread as the nomads appear to have been--so-called Folsom points have been found even in New England--it was not until about 1000 B.C. that settlements appeared in Hamilton County.
A civilization developed slowly over the centuries that followed. Woodland Indians were succeeded by the Adenas, the Hopewells, and finally the Fort Ancient cultures, as classified by archaeologists through their artifacts. As population grew, farming replaced food-gathering in the wild, still-crude tools and ceramics became more efficient and even ornamental; scattered homesteads merged into sizeable communities. At the height of the Fort Ancient culture, between 1000-1700 A.D., some towns were bigger than most of the early European settlements established along the eastern seaboard, and widespread trade brought copper and other things not found in the Ohio Valley.
What happened to it all? There are only assumptions.
A "Little Ice Age" in the 15th and 16th centuries perhaps made it impossible for the small tribal farms to feed the population that had come to depend on them, and famine followed. Smallpox, measles, scarlet fever and other scourges reached this continent with the first European adventurers, and far outran the newcomers along the trade routes of the time.
"Smallpox was especially devastating," says one authority. "Nearly everyone in a population who was exposed to the virus contracted the disease; 30 to 80 per cent died. In some parts of the Madisonville site, group and mass burials were frequently encountered."
There were attacks by native Indians from the east as well, members of the Iroquois Confederacy pushed westward by the encroaching Europeans. By the time the first white settlers reached here, the Shawnees who claimed the land could tell nothing of the mounds and other works which dotted the area or of the peoples who built them.
Pioneer settlers and Shawnee Indians fought and died for possession of what is now Terrace Park. The Indians almost won.
Five settlers were killed in little more than a year after Abraham Covalt, a Revolutionary War captain, established fortified Covalt Station here in January, 1789. The Indians lost only one. Two military expeditions suffered dismal defeat, and Covalt Station had to be abandoned over the winter of 1791-92. Of the Covalt Station men who joined the second military expedition, only Chenaniah Covalt returned.
The menace continued throughout the Miami area until an army under General "Mad Anthony" Wayne won a victory and then a peace treaty in 1795. But in the years between, four other men had been killed here. Four more were carried off as prisoners, and only one was ever heard of again. The usual lot of Indian prisoners was to be burned at the stake.
For a time, indeed, the land between the two Miamis was called "the Miami slaughterhouse." So harassing were the Indian raids that a committee of citizens of Columbia and newly-founded Cincinnati once offered rewards for Indian scalps "with the right ear attached."
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Early travelers enthusiastically described the Miami area as a forested Eden, but the settlers faced instead a struggle for existence. In summer, those clearing land or working in their tiny fields needed constant guard against attack. At sunset, all retreated to their forts, leaving nothing of value behind. In winter, they survived on what meat could be won by hunters in constant peril of ambush, and on what corn they had been able to save. Even in more populous and better-defended Columbia, the settlers at times faced starvation. There was the winter when, said pioneer Luke Foster:
"...being harassed, & pent up by the Indians, that we could take no wild meat, and our corn was so frosted that it would not sprout, neither would a hungry horse eat it....but what was still worse there was not enough of it for everyone to have a little there were, perhaps, in Columbia near 200 persons, of all ages & sexes; & I believe not one pound of pork; or any other kind of salted or other meat; & but little milk, and no flour. In fact, our subsistance was an insoficiency of such poor corn ground by hand, or boiled whole; & the roots of bargrass [beargrass], which was found on the rich bottoms, boiled, mashed up & baked, sometimes with, & somtimes without a mixture of our hand mill meal; but then it was good. I don't know how it would eat now."
Things were not much better years later. Francis Bailey, a young Englishman, visited in 1797. He reported:
"It must be observed that in all these new settlements fresh provisions, both in meat and vegetables, are at some seasons very scarce, particularly at the time we were there. The inhabitants live a great deal on deer and turkeys which they shoot wild in the woods, and upon bacon, which they keep by them in case of need; and as to vegetables, they are seldom to be procured except in summer. The bread which is made here is chiefly of Indian meal; it is a coarse kind of fare, but after a little while it becomes not all unpleasant."
There was little room for social niceties.
"Such is the force of example" said Bailey, "that very few of the emigrants who come into this kind of half-savage, half-civilized, state of life, however neat and clean they might have been before, can have resolution enough to prevent themselves from falling into that slovenly practice which everywhere surrounds them."
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Covalt left Pittsburgh on January 1, 1789, with 45 people and "some 200 head of cattle, swine and sheep, and seven horses, the best that ever came to the West." Jammed aboard two flatboats, one 55 feet long, the other 40, they reached the mouth of the Little Miami River on January 19, only five weeks after Benjamin Stites had established the first settlement, Columbia. They had spent almost three weeks on the Ohio River in bitter cold that made floating ice a constant hazard. Once, said Covalt's daughter Mary, one boat stuck fast in the ice, and it took the efforts of all the men to break it free.
Once at Columbia, they threw up tents to house the women and children while the men pushed up the Little Miami to what is now Terrace Park. Working furiously, within a week they had put up temporary housing for their families, spending the rest of the winter in clearing ground for crops and expanding the settlement into a fort known variously as Covalt's Station or Bethany Town, in the vicinity of present-day St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
It was a big fort--too big, some said later, to be adequately defended. There is no description, but a contemporary ground plan shows it to have been rectangular, with a blockhouse at each corner. It enclosed some 40,000 square feet--almost as big as Fort Washington, a military post established at the east end of what is now Fourth Street in Cincinnati. Triangular pens at each end sheltered livestock brought in for safety each night. In the pattern of frontier forts of the time, each of its 17 cabins most likely had a large room below and a loft above. The cabins formed most of the outer walls of the fort, with palisades filling any gaps between. Roofs sloped to the inside of the fort, to present outer walls and wide eaves that could not easily be scaled. Uncaulked chinks between logs provided air and light in the place of windows. Only one gate led to the hostile outside world. In the nearby creekbed was a small grist mill, using millstones Covalt had brought from Pennsylvania. The stream was "Mill Run" until recent times, when it became Red Bird Creek.
A family record says Covalt scouted the territory a year before. Whether he had or not, he had bought Section 30 and parts of Sections 22,23,and 28 from Stites, who had obtained 20,000 acres from land speculator John Cleves Symmes. Symmes had bought a million acres--at 66 cents an acre--of the land between the two Miamis from the Continental Congress of which he was a member. The east side of the Little Miami River remained in the Virginia Military District, reserved for distribution among that state's Revolutionary War veterans. Some of it, right across from Terrace Park, was among the 40,000 acres acquired by George Washington.
How Covalt amassed the means to make the purchase and finance his expedition is unknown. Born in New Jersey in 1743, he had moved to Bedford, Pennsylvania, soon after he married Lois Pendleton in 1763. There he fathered six sons and four daughters, and had become enough of a figure to be elected captain of the company that Bedford sent to fight in the Revolution. Twelve years after the war ended, he was able to persuade others to join him in his Ohio venture.
Mary Covalt listed them as the families of Robert McKinney, Jonathan Pittman, John Webb, John Hutchens, David Smith, Z. Hinkle and Timothy Covalt. With them, according to other sources, were Forgerson Clements and his wife and nine children, Levi Buckingham, Joseph Beagle, and others identified only as Fletcher, Murphy, Coleman and Gersten.
Under Clement's leadership, some of them built a small fort of their own, Round Bottom Station, at the opposite end of present-day Miami Avenue from Covalt Station. Recruits from Columbia evidently joined both parties. The two groups worked in concert, however--so closely that past histories have treated them as one. Only recent research has established that Round Bottom Station did exist, and in Terrace Park.
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Stites had found the Indians friendly at first, but relations deteriorated rapidly. Mary Covalt records that "five days after we landed we had five horses stolen, valued at one hundred dollars apiece." Except for the later theft of a hog, Covalt Station was unmolested during the summer. But in the fall, an Indian stole another horse, was pursued, shot and killed. His hunters "scalped him and took his gun, tomahawk, cap and knife, and brought them back to the fort."
With first blood drawn, the hit-and-run battle was on.
Indians did besiege some of the other stations which sprang up throughout Hamilton County. Mostly, though, they struck from ambush. Only once was there a half-hearted attack on Covalt Station. A military guard was decoyed away by shots heard in the woods, and Indians swooped down on the undefended fort. Braving musket shots, Mary Covalt slammed and barred the gate and the Indians pressed no further.
Twenty-one-year-old Abraham Covalt Jr. was the first to die at Indian hands. In late January of 1791, he and three others--his friend Abel Cook and Buckingham and Fletcher from Round Bottom--went hunting upriver toward Miamiville. Young Covalt and Fletcher became separated from the others and were ambushed. Shot through the chest, Covalt fell, urging Fletcher to "run for your life, for I am a dead man."
Within a month, Cook was killed similarly while journeying from Columbia to Covalt, and an unidentified settler and a soldier were killed near Round Bottom. Alarmed, the settlers petitioned General Josiah Harmar at Ft. Washington for help. "We the inhabitance of Bethany Town and Else where," they said, "do once more ettampt to solicite the Most Honorable General Harmer Commander in Chief in the Western territory to whome we your humble petetioners are in Duty Bound Shall Ever Pray That your Excellencey would take our situation into your most Serious Consideration and Send us some few Troopes and suffer us not to Brak up for we dont do our Selves a kindness by keeping our garesn but the Collumbia people and your Town also by our mill in supplying them in bread and if we move from hear our mill is useless Either to our Selves or to the Entirer Part of the inhabitans."
Cook had been killed only the day before.
If any soldiers were sent, they were ineffective. "What can you expect for $3 a month," Stites asked on one occasion. Less than a month later, Indians struck again as Captain Covalt, Joseph Hinkle and others were cutting wood near the base of Indian Hill. Shot in the chest and one arm in the first volley, Covalt ordered the others to run, and ran himself until he fell dead across a log. Hinkle was run down and almost beheaded by the sweep of a tomahawk, and both were scalped.
The subsidiary outpost at Round Bottom suffered loss of its leader as well. Shot from ambush, Clements was hit in the thigh and bled to death as he struggled to safety. A soldier guarding a woodcutting party was killed when an Indian band seized three Round Bottom men--Beagle, Murphy and Coleman--and carried them off as prisoners. Beagle returned home three months later. His companions were never heard of again. Mary Covalt tells of a youth named Pelser being caught when he strayed from a party plowing a field, but says nothing of his fate.
A narrative by Joseph Martin, one of the founders of Garrard Station, tells of two deaths at Round Bottom, one by accident and one presumably by Indian attack, but neither identified. (It was to Garrard Station, near present-day Lunken Airport, that the Covalt people fled when they abandoned the fort in the winter of 1791-92.) James Newell of Columbia was killed, too, as he plodded upstream to have his corn ground at the Covalt mill.
The last victim was Major William Riggs, a newcomer from Delaware. He had gone into the woods with Timothy Covalt in search of strayed horses, and was gathering pawpaws when he was shot down and scalped. Covalt, trailing behind following a horse track, made his escape.
General Wayne's victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, and the peace treaty that followed, finally broke the Indian menace. "Now," said Mary Covalt, "the inhabitants began to disperse and the woodman's axe was heard in every direction."
Covalt Station itself was soon abandoned. Only a small cabin and a fenced-in field remained of the Covalt family property in 1796 when Chenaniah Covalt sold the last 40 acres--including a Little Miami island. Survivors of Forgerson Clements clung to 40 acres surrounding Round Bottom Station until 1804. Most of what was left of Covalt Station burned in 1810.
Samuel Heighway, an English Quaker who founded Waynesville in Warren County, bought the last piece of Covalt property for $200, selling it for $959 in 1806 to Christian Rue and others of that family. Some of the tract ultimately passed to early developers John Pattison and J. B. Iuen of Milford. They in turn sold a plot for $500 in 1903 for the site of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Young Joseph Hinkle was only 11 when Indians killed his father. His widowed mother--"In order to survive," says a Hinkle family history--married a soldier from Fort Washington and moved away, after distributing her six children among relatives and sympathetic Covalt Station neighbors. At 19, he married 15-year old Elizabeth DeBolt from Beasley Station at what is now Plainville. After the ceremony at the Baptist Church in Columbia, they danced with the wedding party on the frozen river, then headed home to Covalt.
The little they had they dragged on a little sled behind them, their major possession a 10-gallon pot, missing one leg, which someone had thrown away.
Without bedding they slept in their clothes. Table and stools were chunks of logs. They had no plates until Joseph whittled some out of wood, and only one knife until he made other implements, also of wood. He had to exchange labor to get a garden plot plowed, and give a day's work for the use of a hoe until he could contrive one of his own.
But they survived, moving later to Butler County.
John Smith, this area's first resident of more than local prominence, was both a Baptist minister and a successful businessman until, as an early historian put it, he "dropped into politics." Ultimately ruined, he died penniless in Louisiana in 1824.
One of his clerks was Charles McMicken, who left to seek fortune in the South, fought with Jackson in the battle for New Orleans in the war of 1812, and left $1,000,000 to found the University of Cincinnati.
Smith had been a member of the territorial legislature and of Ohio's constitutional convention, one of the state's first two United States senators when it achieved statehood in 1803, and had been a confidant of President Thomas Jefferson. Charges that he was involved in Aaron Burr's dream of empire brought him down. Although he was acquitted, the expenses of his defense forced him to sell all he had and seek life elsewhere.
He is memorialized in a plaque on a stone placed at Elm Avenue and Ford Road during the celebration of the nation's bicentennial in 1976. Under the rock is a time capsule containing mementos of Terrace Park's observance of the event.
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Smith settled in this area in 1791, although he had preached earlier at the Baptist church established in Columbia by Stephen Gano. Described in a newspaper account as "a man whose personal appearance was noble and commanding....possessed of very popular manners and a remarkably fascinating address," Smith was chosen pastor of the church when Gano returned East. It was still a time when "the law required that every able-bodied man attending a meeting of worship carry his firearms with him, prepared to defend the inhabitants, as well as those at the meeting."
With a church of only 15 members, Smith had to make a living elsewhere. By 1797 he was a "man of very good property, which he has acquired in several different ways in this place; he is a farmer, merchant and a parson. All these occupations, though seemingly so different, he carries on with the greatest regularity and without confusion."
Since one of his enterprises involved importing supplies to a fast growing population, his rapid rise is understandable, for a contemporary record says "the profits of this trade are generally 100 per cent." By 1799, he owned the 200 or more acres which qualified him for the territorial legislature.
Among his properties was 710-acre Round Bottom Mills farm with a log house, part of which was absorbed into what later became the home of a Terrace Park mayor, Carl Lindell, and his wife, Frances.
By the 1800s, the Round Bottom area was the center of Smith's enterprises which included two grist mills on the river, the Little Miami Exporting Co., and warehouses in Cincinnati. One mill was on an island near the bottom of what is still Ford Road, the ford linking with Round Bottom Road leading to Newtown, then called Mercersburg.
Indeed, so extensive were his enterprises and so flourishing the area that a post office was established there in 1804, variously known as Round Bottom Mills or Charleston. Had it not been for the Burr conspiracy, it could have been the beginning of Terrace Park.
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Smith's enemies said an Aaron Burr visit to Smith was to further a plot to seize and colonize Spanish-held Mexico. Smith said they talked only of a proposed canal around the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. Burr was arrested, tried for treason but acquitted by a federal court in Virginia. Smith was indicted, but the case was never pressed. He was, though, impeached before the Senate and stood trial there. Defended by Francis Scott Key, author of "The Star-Spangled Banner", he was acquitted by a nine-vote margin, but resigned his seat under pressure from the Ohio legislature.
From Burr's visit has arisen a romantic Terrace Park legend, the sources of which remain elusive.
At the time, the story goes, the Smiths were also entertaining widowed Salome Rosemary, who once had been engaged to Burr and whose ring she still wore. On parting, Burr took the diamond from her finger and cut their initials (some say their names) in a pane of a nearby window.
Members of the Terrace Park High School Class of 1949 did a program on Terrace Park history at their commencement. They recorded:
"The window pane remained unbroken for more than a
So the story persists, although there is no documentary evidence to support it.
Terrace Park got its name more or less by accident.
The undocumented story is that there was a contest to choose a name for the little community, and Jacob Traber offered a sewing machine as the prize. But there were no entries so Traber proposed the name himself and it stuck. But for that, the village might have been called Camden City or Gravelotte, two early but unsuccessful attempts at residential development.
However it happened, the name was firmly established by 1879, when a post office was established in the center of the still-unincorporated community. The office closed for lack of business in 1890, but was re-established in 1891 and has continued since.
Traber was one of those who established a demographic pattern which has marked Terrace Park ever since. A Cincinnati businessman, he owned a commission house on the Public Landing, relaxing in his house at New Street and Wooster Pike and the vineyard he established on the slopes of Indian Hill, where he later lived. Others included Carl Floto, the first mayor, associated with S. P. Bacon as a dealer in pig-iron downtown; Russell Errett, an officer of the Standard Publishing Co., the publishing arm of the Methodist Church; R. E. Jones, general agent of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad; Edwin C. Peebles, manager of the family grocery at the Gilbert Avenue and McMillan Street intersection known as Peebles Corner; T. R. Biggs, a grocery wholesaler; Louis Breiling, chief clerk of the Union Central Life Insurance Co., and, of course, John Robinson with his circus here and Robinson's Opera House on Ninth Street. Alphonso Taft, founder of the Cincinnati Taft dynasty, invested in property and had a summer home here.
But Terrace Park was far from today's tidy village. Only 11 or so houses remain of the scattered homes of 100 years ago. Even at the time of incorporation in 1893, the population was listed at only 208 as against the 2,133 of the 1990 census.
Wooster Pike was paved with crushed stone. Other streets were either dirt lanes or strips of gravel. Iuen's tavern stood at the southwest corner of Wooster and Elm (the old building was razed in 1971) and a school stood across the street. Herman Beck had a little grocery at the corner of Amherst and what had become Elm Avenue after being first Liberty Street and then Newtown Road. A little post office and a barber shop stood on the west end of what later became the village green. That area and an adjoining block of Terrace Place were designated as "business district" in 1893, along with the Wooster and Elm intersection and what is now Denison Lane.
Each homestead was a mini-farm with a horse or so almost a necessity, a cow a real asset, and chickens essential to sustain life if not the peace of the neighborhood, since council had to legislate against letting them run free. Chicken-keeping later was common until well into the 1900s, so there understandably was a community uproar when a dog-- widely believed to belong to John Robinson--ran wild and killed 176 chickens belonging to Frank McGhee, 18 among Russell Errett's flock, and others before McGhee and Hugh Galloway cornered and shot it in W. F. Herrmann's coop on Wooster Pike where it had killed 98. Robinson stoutly mantained it wasn't his dog.
There was no public water supply. Residents had to rely on wells or cisterns which stored rainwater from the rooftops. Homes were heated mostly by fireplaces burning wood or coal and residents used oil lamps for lighting. Electric service was still well in the future, and the only telephone in the area was in Milford. Terrace Park didn't get its first telephones until 1894--to the mayor's house and Beck's grocery. Messengers had to be sent to find those receiving incoming calls. It cost ten cents to call Milford and so link with the outside world.
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Once known as Hageman's Mills, Milford was incorporated in 1836, and until 1896 it cost a foot traveler three cents to cross a wooden, covered bridge to get there. Business was such that the bridge made a $14,000 profit in 1847. Not until 1905 were the bridge and Wooster Pike, which was established as a toll road along an old Indian trail in 1828, taken over for public use.
Between Milford and Terrace Park was the bustling little industrial section of Montauk, in the triangle between Wooster Pike, Sycamore Street and the Little Miami River. Named for the highly-regarded flour turned out by an early mill, the triangle became--and still is--part of Milford.
The river must have been a more considerable stream than it is now. Montauk's plat of 1840 shows a mill race, a canal and a turning basin to accommodate barges carrying grain from upstream farms to the flour mill which was the major industry. There were, too, a hotel, blacksmith's shop, a woodworking mill, carpenter shops, the inevitable saloons, a brick Baptist church built in 1847, and a school. Much of Montauk had dwindled away by the 1900s, and the devastating flood of 1913 swept away nearly all the rest, leaving the church and the name of Ferry street.
The school--or at least the wooden building that housed it--was owned by Thomas R. Biggs, whose father had bought Round Bottom Farm from John Smith after the senator's downfall. In 1881, the building was given to an Episcopal congregation which had started meeting in members' homes in Milford in 1864 and had spent a year before the gift sharing in the Baptist building. Indeed, present-day St. Thomas Church was officially St. Thomas Church of Montauk until 1961, over 50 years after it became established in Terrace Park.
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While the Little Miami Railroad had inched its way to Terrace Park and Milford by December 14, 1841, it seemingly did little to foster growth here until 1886. That was when two Milford men, John Pattison, later governor of Ohio, and J. B. Iuen, began to promote what had been a large part of Camden City, platted in 1857. They widely advertised a proposal to build a six-room house on a 50-foot lot for $2,000, with a bonus of a year's pass on the railroad. By then, the road had become one of the most prosperous in the country with, as Pattison and Iuen noted, 30 trains a day passing through the village.
There is no record of any station here, though, until Biggs built one-- and a bridge spanning the tracks--in the 1870s for his projected community of Gravelotte in the area south of Douglas Avenue between the railroad and Elm. The station may have benefited the few residents of the neighborhood, but it did nothing for Gravelotte. Most of it was sold to meet Biggs' debts and the area remained virtually undeveloped, a haunt of bluebirds and cedar waxwings and a village source of blackberries, for years after Harry and Miles Eveland bought most of the tract at auction in 1937 for $19,000. A fire assumed to have been caused by tramps seeking shelter burned the station in 1882. John Robinson built a station of his own a little farther eastward, which for a few years overlapped Terrace Park's last station. That stood just east of a high-humped Elm Avenue overpass, which, ingeniously built from an old locomotive turntable, was replaced in 1981. Stone steps led down to just a platform installed in 1887, and later to a little building on the north side of the tracks, put up in 1925 and abandoned in 1940. For years, trains stopped only to discharge out-of-state passengers from the east. The Pennsylvania Railroad, which had controlled the line since 1863, contended it wasn't economical to stop eastbound trains on the long grade from Plainville to Milford. Eastbound travelers had to go to Norwood to board.
But until the line went into bankruptcy in 1976, the village--the children especially--found a minor amusement watching railway mail cars snatch mail bags hung from a crane along the line, and now and then seeing a thrown-out bag disappear under the flying wheels.
It was 1935, though, before the traditionalists of Stumps Boat Club ceased to identify their location as at Robinson's Station rather than in Terrace Park.
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The 1800s were years of both growth and troubles. Financial panics early and late brought years of depression. Civil War tore at the nation, with its climax the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. During the war, a big Union Army camp at Camp Dennison (once called Little Germany) brought a local boom of sorts--Biggs is said to have made and then lost a fortune in supplying meat to the camp--and there was alarm as Morgan's Raiders swept across Indian Hill on their way to Williamsburg and eastern Ohio. Captured there, Morgan was thrown into the Ohio Penitentiary at Columbus but escaped, only to die in battle later. Subsequent years saw the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, the Chicago fire, the fall of Boss Tweed, and, as the century neared its end, the assassination of President Garfield, Coxey's Army march on Washington, the blowing up of the Maine, and the Spanish-American War.
There were, too, waves of cholera in the 1820s and 1840s. Cincinnati recorded 4,832 deaths in 1848-49, and there were 13 burials in a little cemetery at the foot of Indian Hill, near the junction of Old Indian Hill Road and Indian Hill Road--"the avenue" to many old timers. What ultimately remained of the headstones were incorporated in the columbarium which St. Thomas Church built in 1982. Nearby, on Indian Hill Road, had been Mill Run Baptist Church, founded in 1802. It still was on a county map of 1847 but was totally forgotten thereafter.
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By then the physical pattern of the village had begun to be established through the platting of several subdivisions in 25,30,40 and 50 foot lots that have plagued village government up to modern times. The street layout, though, didn't always work out as planned. Some early streets were abandoned and some proposed streets were never built. Terrace Avenue, planned by G. W. Corey, wasn't built until 1989 when it emerged as Denison Lane. The village at one time found itself with two Park Avenues. Since Corey got in first, the other became that part of Yale running south from Amherst.
Most of the subdividing and street planning came between 1886 and 1892. The partnership of Pattison and Iuen partitioned what had started out as Camden City with James W. Sibley, joining with him in giving the streets of the area their college names. While Sibley and C. R. Stuntz platted the area south of Amherst in the 1890s, many of the streets weren't opened until 1910.
Slowly as the community grew, the residents saw the need for some organization. The Terrace Park Improvement Association came into being in 1890. That led in time to the proposal to incorporate as a village.
One spur to action may have been Cincinnati's aggressive annexation policy. According to the 1881 Ford history of Cincinnati, there were visions of the city swallowing up the whole area between the two Miamis. Even so, incorporation wasn't a universally-popular notion. Of the 80 members of the civic committee, only 45 signed the necessary petition, and the handed-down story is that the proposed boundaries of the would-be village had to be gerrymandered somewhat to get the required number.
But get them they did, and so village government came into being with the first meeting of the first village council on April 12, 1893. The incorporation process cost $197, assessed against owners of property which in 1893 had a total valuation of $125,000. In 1990 it was $39,189,000.
These residents of Terrace Park petitioned for incorporation of the village in June of 1892:
S. R. Hendrick James W. Sibley Herbert Jacobus J. R. McGoron R. B. Jones Walter Boone C. R. Stuntz Johan Rauscher H. E. Dixon Daniel Hauck R. Frazer E. W. Hunt T. M. Stuntz S. P. Bacon W. H. Voige Russell Errett Julius Floto T. R. Lemon A. B. Blanchard Charles B. Howe Geo. W. Corey W. A. Hamilton A. W. Highlands J. L. Galloway S. V. Brammar J. C. Highlands Jas. E. Bellville A. M. Beck J. C. Highlands Sr. T. Buschmeier John Moarn R. Wood W. B. Lemon Frank H. Sibley John H. Hoffman C. B. Lemmon O. M. Hill Edwin C. Peebles John F. Robinson E. M. Rauscher Lyman Harding Jas. B. Bellvile C. Floto Lewis N. Gatch Benton Shumard Louis Breiling Charles Jacobus Jno. T. Herbert
Spelling is as it appears in the record.
There's this thing about elephants. Big as they are, they can move so softly that many a Terrace Parker of years ago has been startled to find an elephant ambling along behind him.
Elephants? In Terrace Park?
Indeed, elephants and other animals were a part of Terrace Park life for more than 30 years when the village was winter quarters for the long-gone Robinson's circus. That sunken area between Wooster Pike, Elm and Robinwood is still the "the elephant hole" to old-time residents, any one of whom has some elephant story in personal or family memories.
There was the time that Terrace Park's first Dan Startsman just missed a train from Cincinnati to Chicago for a meeting of a glass trade association of which he was president. When he arrived--late--the conventioneers agreed that only from non-drinking Dan Startsman would they accept the excuse that his way to town had been blocked by a herd of elephants at the Elm Road underpass, once known to the village as "the Robinson Tunnel."
There was the time that Dr. J. H. Hazard, who lived across Miami Avenue from St. Thomas Church, thought the village was being shaken by an early morning earthquake. It was only an elephant scratching its back against a corner of the house,
The elephants seemed to have been on loose rein, accounting for residents being startled at being followed, and Mrs. Ed Bellville having to take a broom to rout one foraging in the Bellville haymow. Once, indeed, a couple of elephants strayed across the Little Miami River and grazed happily in the fields there for days before their Hindu mahout bothered to go lead them home.
In 1910, in fact, village council asked Robinson to keep his elephants off the streets, and seriously considered putting it into law.
It was commonplace to see an elephant pulling a plow for a spring garden, and to come across a string of elephants being exercised for street parades, each holding with its trunk to the tail of the one ahead.
There was Basil, who grew too old to go on the road. He stayed behind, happily trailing his keeper-caretaker wherever he went. Basil was the pet of Terrace Park school from kindergarten on up, doing his tricks for the youngsters and allowing them to clamber all over him.
And then there was Tillie, only the second Indian elephant to be brought to this country, and leader of the "Military Elephants" which maneuvered, fired cannons and "saved" the "wounded" in circus shows. When she died at 120 years old, the funeral was a civic event. School was out, children staged a pageant, the remaining elephants fired a final salute, and the Enquirer gave her a full obituary. There was an annual celebration of the affair for years.
There's a story that, instead of digging a grave, the circus folk used an abandoned cistern, and while one little girl called it "the biggest hole I've ever seen," it still wasn't big enough. Tillie's legs stuck out and had to be cut off. At least two of them still exist, converted into umbrella stands in Victorian fashion. A more likely story is that Tillie died in the elephant barn and her legs had to be removed to get her body through the door. Another elephant pulled the body on a sled to its grave.
By all accounts, Tillie was a remarkable animal, wholly aside from being able to stand on her head. She was the disciplinarian of the herd and taught routines to younger elephants as well. According to the Enquirer obituary, "when Chief--a bad actor who later was shot--killed his trainer and ran wild on the streets of Charlotte, N. C., Tillie chased him, knocked him down and held him until trainers could chain him and prevent him from doing further damage." It was Tillie, too, says another newspaper account, who prevented a panic when a string of cars of the circus train derailed in 1902. Tillie worked free, then braced herself against a car filled with animals to prevent it from turning over.
Elephants evidently were Robinson's favorite. It's said that he would spend hours in the elephant barn talking to Tillie, who would respond with grunts that could be interpreted as "Papa."
Terrace Park had exciting moments, too.
The animals were always edgy when the circus train was being loaded for a summer tour, and "the most exciting time in the history of the village," Lewis Gatch recalled later, was the loading day the whole herd stampeded.
"There was an element of real danger about it, and to this day men who have since served in France (in World War I) will tell about the thrills they had when the elephants chased them down the railroad track and up the banks of the Terrace Park cut. One youngster fell in a hole and an elephant passed right over him. Another scrambled up the bank with two elephants chained together in close pursuit, but they passed on opposite sides of a telephone pole and their chain snapped it off like a broomstraw."
An Indian Hill Road couple, unfortunately not identified, could have reason to consider another day more exciting. They were on their porch, plucking a chicken for supper, when an escaped lion snatched it from them before pursuing keepers could catch up. There was a day, too, when children were kept in school until a black panther was recaptured after a brief escape.
Gatch recalled that "One spring an attempt was made to break the camels to harness to give an additional Arabian Nights effect to street parades. For some reason, the training was done at night, and local light-sleepers, seeing these ungainly, ghostly shapes through morning mists, were apt to have visions of the Wise Men of the East landing in their door yards."
Gatch told, too, of an Egyptian guide in Cairo asking an American tourist if he knew of Terrace Park. "I spent two winters there training lions."
Acrobats, animal trainers, aerialists, equestrians and other circus performers spent winters in Terrace Park as well. According to Gatch, they were as interesting as the animals.
"They were," he said, "very well-behaved but mighty quick in physical action. In case of trouble, the questions were generally asked after the event."
That volatility may have had something to do with the fifth ordinance passed by Terrace Park's first village council soon after it organized in 1893. It enjoined any one from "assaulting any other person in any manner, with hand or fist, or with stick, cane or bowlder (sic), weapon or other article, or to bite, maim or kick any other person in the village."
All this came about because of John F. Robinson.
Big, portly and profane, Robinson was as colorful as his circus. He was addicted to loud checked suits, big cigars in ornate holders (he had a collection of 3,000 of them), and never walked if he could ride. He once had a 12-horse team hitched to a circus chariot so he could ride up to Wooster and Elm to buy a Sunday paper at Iuen's tavern. His premature baldness he attributed to a bear-grease hair dressing he and some other circus lads made after a polar bear died while on tour in Tennessee.
Known for his irascibility, Robinson stormed out of an early council meeting, never came back, and was refused permission to secede from the village. What the fuss was about isn't clear, but there had been some criticism of the abattoir which provided meat for the circus carnivores. He had, though, given $15 to help the penniless new village government get started.
In fact, according to a Cincinnati Post story in 1902, "'Governor' Robinson and some of the villagers became estranged over efforts to regulate the circus farm and last spring the former put George B. Cox of Cincinnati to shame by taking full and absolute control of village politics. There is practically only one ward and 'Governor' Robinson carries that literally in his vest pocket. Some of the villagers sought to stop Sunday work on the farm and to put in force other restrictions, and when the 'Governor' got through voting his actors and farm help it was found that his ticket had been elected from end to end. All talk as to Robinson farm regulations then stopped."
Family life had its problems, too. There were storms when daughters Pearl and Caroline eloped with members of the circus troupe; smiles when son John, last of the circus's managers, eloped with the daughter of the mayor of Cincinnati, storms again when he himself eloped with his nurse, Maud Logan, in 1908. His first wife, Caroline, had died in 1889.
Planning a memorial to Caroline, and daughter Katherine, he offered to build St. Thomas parish a church in Terrace Park (it had been meeting in an old schoolhouse down in Montauk), but balked at the plans of an Indianapolis architect. When told what the church would cost, he said he'd just as soon buy another elephant.
It was said of him, as it was of his father, that "he generally had his own way," but not always. A new architect drew church plans he agreed to fund, but he was dissuaded from incorporating a frieze of carved elephants around the building.
Later, though, he installed at the east end of the church, over the altar, a stained glass window that pained many a churchgoer for more than 30 years before it was removed and quietly disposed of when the church was extended in 1954. In rather garish colors, the window pictured a host of angels carrying away the body of daughter Kate. It was the era of the Marcel wave, and Kate Robinson, after a trip to Paris, was reputedly the first woman in Cincinnati with her hair so treated. The Marcel wave became the rage, so the hair of the gaudily-winged angels was Marcelled, too.
The gift of the church, though, may not have been as generous as it appeared. A scrapbook in the Milford library includes an undated newspaper clipping of a story by Josie Cutler which has another tale to tell. Robinson, it says, offered $500 to Tom Storey, a lion tamer, and Anna Binkley of Silverton if they'd get married in the lion's cage. He charged an audience $5 a head to witness the ceremony on the stage of Robinson's Opera House downtown, and financed the church in that way.
At its peak, in its Terrace Park days, Robinson's circus was the biggest in the country. A train of 35 or more cars, including the sumptuous private car in which the family traveled, was needed to move Robinson's Circus, Menagerie, Museum and Aquarium, to cite one of the many names it used over the years. But before train-travel became commonplace, the Robinsons for years ran boat shows up and down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Suffering the fate of so many steamboats, their "Oceanus" blew up near Cairo, Illinois, in 1872, killing 32 people and four lions.
Lives were lost, too, in such incidents as a train wreck near Xenia and the collapse of the "big top" in a storm, with oil lamps igniting the fallen canvas.
Circus life was in the Robinson blood. His father ran away from his Albany, N. Y. home to join and ultimately found a circus. An uncle, Alexander, had road shows from 1861 to 1875, and John II was born while the circus was on tour in Alabama in 1843. Like everyone else in the family, he started at the age of two to take his place before and behind the scenes, admitting years later that he dreaded doing somersaults while riding a horse bareback around the ring.
His major involvement in the family venture came after he returned from service in the Civil War as an officer in the Union navy. So widely did he become known, and so firm was his grasp on circus affairs, that he was "Governor" Robinson when he began setting up winter quarters in Terrace Park. It wasn't until 1888 that a directory listed him as a resident of Terrace Park. The big old house on what is now Circus Place which he remodeled and enlarged--including a T-shaped window--has been "the Robinson house" to Terrace Park ever since, although it was built by village pioneer Thomas R. Biggs about 1854. Traces of barns, shops and practice rings existed in the Wrenwood area until fairly recent times.
Decline came as the First World War neared. Robinson was badly hurt in the failure of a Cincinnati bank in which he had invested, and the circus never recovered. What was left here--26 cages, band and other wagons, calliopes and baggage cars--was sold in 1916 for an estimated $30,000-$40,000, although the Robinson name remained linked with other circuses for years after. Four elephants were left in Terrace Park as Robinson pensioners.
"The Governor" died in 1921; his favorite elephant, Tillie, on January 17, 1932. The last of the elephants, finally sold to other circuses, was struck by lightning and killed in 1941.
Dan Rice of Robinson's Circus was the most celebrated circus clown of his time, earning $1,000 a week when $1,000 was a good year's pay for many a working man. Present-day circus fans wouldn't recognize him as a clown at all.
His only make-up was a whitened face. His costumes were capes and suits of brilliant satins. His only prop was a volume of Shakespeare, although there was a suspicion that if he could read at all, it certainly wasn't Shakespeare.
His act resembled that of a modern m.c. as much as anything, mostly jokes at the expense of the ringmaster and others in the company. But it made him a headliner from 1840 intermittently to 1893 when he married a rich Texas widow and became a temperance lecturer.
Any circus was, of course, full of "characters." According to John G. Robinson (John III), one of his father's favorites was a snake-charmer named Millwood (a "glomer" to the trade) who had such a passion for reptiles that he'd hop from the circus train at desert stops and explore holes with bare hands in search of rattlesnakes. But his refusal to have his poisonous pets defanged did him in. When bitten, he'd slap on a tourniquet and suck the poison from the wound in arm or leg. But one day, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, he was bitten on the nose.
Rowdiness prevailed in and out of the ring in the early days. Circus laborers--they were called "canvasmen"--were hired as much for their fighting ability as for other skills, and the cry "Hey, Rube" brought them a-running to fights tradition says they always won.
They suffered some casualties, of course. It's recorded that in Dalton, Georgia, a Scottish bagpiper playing in the show was shot and killed by a patron who said he didn't like the music.
Concern for the environment is nothing new to Terrace Park.
In its first few years, the new village council took action against coal smoke pouring from the Little Miami Railroad locomotives, planted more than 800 trees, restricted the slaughter of the livestock some villagers raised, set its face firmly against allowing industry in the village, banned barbed wire fencing and banned the robbing of bird nests. Its priorities are suggested, too, in Ordinance No. 5, which, concerning a host of misdemeanors, made it punishable by up to 30 days hard labor "to steal, or pilfer, any fruit, flowers, shrub, plant or any other thing of value."
One early council also authorized the mayor, Louis Breiling, to join with Milford interests in an organization "to improve the Little Miami River" downstream from Loveland, but the effort apparently petered out for nothing more was heard of it.
But there seems to have been little concern about trash and garbage. A later council did order a garbage can placed in front of the town hall, then on Terrace Place--but there's no mention as to who was to do what when the can was full. As in rural and other such lightly-populated areas, residents presumably buried or burned what they could, scattered fireplace ashes on the gravel streets and dumped the rest over the bank into the river at the foot of Marietta Avenue. There seems to have been no organized garbage collection until 1928. It was 1934 before the village bought the 18-acre triangle between Elm Avenue and the railroad for $1,000, spent $600 for an incinerator, and used the area for landfill until the county Board of Health called a halt in 1964. The plot had been the Little Miami Railroad's source of road ballast in earlier days. It became "the bird sanctuary" only in recent times. To long-time Terrace Parkers it was just "the dump." Outside contracting for garbage collection didn't begin until 1964. It was up to a village crew until then.
Otherwise, the councilmen had been busy riding off in all directions. Besides putting a ban on Sunday baseball, there were trees to plant; sidewalks to install; a windmill-driven well to sink for $175 "near the center of the village"--wherever that was; the sale, barter or giving away of intoxicating liquors to be curbed; settling on a place to meet; and setting up the still-existing system of posting public notices in five places in the community, only in those days the places were such as "the large sycamore in front of Mr. Floto's house" (Floto was the first mayor) and "on the big tree on Marietta Avenue."
The tree, a hackberry, must have been a whopper. There's a note in council records indicating it so blocked the right-of-way that drivers had to encroach onto private property to get around it. It was some time before anyone had the nerve and the means to take it down.
By 1900, though, there was a developing feeling that the councilmen had been too enthusiastic, to the point that perhaps the village ought to consider merging with Cincinnati after all.
In a "state of the village" report to council that year, Mayor Breiling voiced a thought that has been much-echoed since. "It is," he said, "unfortunate that no means has as yet been devised of increasing the revenues but decreasing the burdens of taxation.
"That suggests the rate of taxation, while not the highest of any village in Hamilton County, is not the lowest or even average. For the year 1900 it is reported to be 27.20 (mills), while the rate of taxation of Cincinnati is reported to be 23.98, and the village has no efficient police protection, or fire protection, or street cleaning or garbage gathering arrangement, and none of the other features which are the visible evidences of a modern, progressive municipal organization.
"What should be done in the interests of the citizens of Terrace Park: taxes reduced or efforts made to be absorbed into the City of Cincinnati?"
He made no recommendation of his own. The village population at the time was 290. A 9-mill levy passed in 1898 yielded only $945.20 a year, and there were frequent trips to the Milford National Bank to borrow $50 or so to tide things over.
The village government in 1899 had receipts of $3,162.29, expenditures of $2,667.04, some unpaid bills, and a bonded debt of $5,438. What was presented as an austere village budget for 1993 amounted to $834,332, but with no outstanding debt. The 1993 tax levy for village purposes was 21.96 mills.
But Breiling was firm in his stand for trees.
"It is," he said, "of the utmost importance that trees be planted that are peculiarly adapted to this soil and location." He was equally firm about doing something about smoke from passing railroad engines, smoke so thick that, he said, "at times the entire platform is hidden in clouds of smoke both suffocating and toxic."
Council did pass an ordinance railing against excessive smoke and providing for fines of up to $50, but there's no clue as to whether it brought any relief. It was some time later that the council, ever ready to find something else for the marshal/street commissioner to do, called on him to be on hand whenever a train stopped here, unless he happened to be doing something else. That, though, seemed aimed instead at the occasional hobo, although even up into the 1940s it seemed to cause no particular comment or alarm if now and then a "knight of the road" stopped at a Terrace Park home for a handout, usually offering to do an odd job in return.
Whatever success it had concerning smoke, the village appeared to get nowhere in gaining recompense from the railroad for trees destroyed by grass fires caused by flying embers. One such fire destroyed 25 white ashes planted along the railroad side of Terrace Place.
The first sidewalk, authorized in August of 1893, was laid along Terrace Place, with the village paying half the cost and the rest being assessed against the property owners. Other walks followed quickly within the college triangle, but with a difference in the mode of financing. Streets with houses on both sides had walks installed on only one side, a pattern followed throughout most of the village. While council still paid half the cost, raising its share through the sale of bonds, property owners were assessed 5/16s of the cost on the sidewalk side, 3/16s on the other. The village in recent times has assumed the whole cost of sidewalk repair. New walks recently have been at the cost of subdivision developers, and a source of controversy, since some subdivisions have walks and some do not.
Laying sidewalks only brought another problem. It didn't take the residents long to find that travel on sidewalks was much easier than on gravelled or unpaved streets. So Ordinance No. 49 (in 1896) prohibited riding horses, driving cattle, riding buggies, carriages, carts, wagons, drays, or bicycles, or pushing wheelbarrows on the walks.
Since the fine for violation was $5, of which the town marshal got $2, enforcement was likely more than diligent. The marshal's regular salary was only $35 a year, but he got a share of each fine collected as well.
It was a bit embarrassing, though, when a councilman, H. K. Pendleton, was caught riding his bicycle on a sidewalk. Village council, on the ground that he was a first offender, remitted $3 of the fine. The marshal got to keep his $2.
Serious as the money shortage evidently was--at one time the village solicitor took a note at 6% instead of his $100 yearly salary--the village avoided offering inducements for industry to come into the village, and thereby established a pattern for the community.
C. D. Crawford, onetime village clerk, had proposed to build
"Referring to the matter of offering inducements to manufacturers and other enterprises to locate in this village," said an 1897 committee report, "we beg to report that it is not within the power of the council to offer any inducements of that nature. Furthermore, we believe it is in the interest of the village to discourage the location of anything excepting residences and features that would make the village attractive as a strictly residential suburb."
To add to the difficulties, Village Solicitor Sam West squelched any thoughts of raising some money by licensing dogs, vehicles and fishing camps.
Unsettling as some of its actions may have been to many residents, council had some problems of its own in settling on some sort of a center of government. Its first sessions were held in the office of Dr. R. G. Langsdale, and seemingly there was an impression that the accommodation was free. There was consternation when the doctor submitted a bill for $27 for 36 meetings. Council promptly moved to a room over Mrs. Harriet Gegner's postoffice on Terrace Place--where the Graduate Service, Inc. building is now. Since she also charged 75 cents a month, the move would seem to have been based more on affront than economics, except that the council worked out a deal with the newly-organized Terrace Park Building & Loan Co. to meet in the same space for 75 cents a month.
Talk of building a town hall bobbed up in 1903, when council floated $1,550 in bonds to buy two lots at Terrace Place and Harvard for such a building. Missing records obscure just what went on, even what the new building cost. But what the village wound up with was almost a copy of what it had before--a two story frame building with a grocery store below and a council chamber above, a chamber that served also for school dances and other jollification.
There council stayed until 1922. By that time, the Baptist church on Elm Avenue, built in 1890 through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Corey, had been abandoned by a dwindling congregation and the village bought it for $2,000, spending $2,000 more on refurbishing.
It was a piece of luck for Terrace Park, for a couple of years later fire burned off the roof and much of the second floor of the store building, and provided another village legend.
Louie Bosch had been running the store for some time (renting it for $15 a month and ultimately buying the building in 1925 for $1,800) and not long before the fire had bought a new meat grinder, painted bright red. When the fire broke out, he rushed to save his new, expensive machine, putting it at the curb in front of the store. A green young Milford volunteer fireman tried to hitch a hose to it.
One shouldn't be too hard on the Milfordian, though. Odd things can happen to keyed-up newcomers to emergency services. One of Terrace Park's first group of volunteer firemen, responding to a night alarm, rushed through his kitchen to his garage and backed out, remembering too late that he'd forgotten to open the garage door.
The grocery finally closed in 1980, unable to meet the competition of newer, bigger stores that lured customers elsewhere.
Residents of the early days of the century would be horrified at the goings-on in modern Terrace Park. In fact they were getting a bit edgy in 1908. Village council in that year passed Ordinance No. 144, "To prevent exposure going to and returning from the river while bathing."
And when they said fully-clothed, they meant fully-clothed. Women's bathing suits of the time were so voluminous that a woman going bathing was almost as fully-clad as if she were going to church.
The ordinance was repealed in 1938.
Changes over the years have made the river much more dangerous than it used to be. There were several drownings in the late 1940s and 1950s, although only two of them involved Terrace Park people. Those victims were twin small boys who slipped to death from a home-made raft.
Rachel Corey's last ambition was to live to be 100 years old--or more. She made it with a day to spare, and so became a Terrace Park legend.
Of course there was more to it than living 100 years. The Coreys were one of the first families of Terrace Park. In her later years, starting when she was 88, her every birthday was a civic event. A family monument is the Community House, which she and her husband built as a Baptist church in 1890.
George and Rachel Corey came to Terrace Park right after their marriage in 1877. Earlier he had sailed around the Horn to the California gold fields in 1850, finding, as one family member put it, that there was more money in merchandising than in mining. There was enough gold, at least, to make a necklace which his wife thereafter wore with pride. He returned to become a farmer and real estate developer. She had become a fashionable dressmaker and designer on Fourth Street downtown, had done work for the wife of U. S. Grant before he took the presidency, and won a medal at the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition of 1872 for paper dress patterns judged superior to those of Butterick, then the leader in that field. She had seen a brother, Brigadier-General Thomas J. Williams, come home in 1866 to die of war wounds and privation suffered in Southern prison camps.
Involvement with the church began with a Sunday school class which Mrs. Corey taught in her home. There were only two pupils at first, but soon they filled the house, even the kitchen.
The Coreys, said the Rev. J. Ferris Parton, the pastor of the church at its dedication, "were mostly responsible for the building of the church. They started the movement, gave all of their time freely, paid half of the expenses and donated the lot." The Cincinnati Baptist Union provided the rest of the $6,000 cost of what was described as "a comfortable and pretty little house of worship."
But over the years the congregation dwindled and the building fell into disuse. It needed substantial repairs when the village bought it for $2,000 in 1922. The church bell, which Mrs. Corey had bought with the proceeds of sales of baked goods, jams and jellies, was given to St. Thomas Church, where the Sunday School children raised the money to have it hung.
Terrace Park's long-held legend has it that Mrs. Corey died the night of the big community celebration at which some 500 people hailed her 100th birthday. Newspapers of the time said the party was on February 4, 1934, her birthday was on February 5, and she died on February 6 while sitting in her favorite chair in her home at 722 Wooster Pike.
The mail came early to what is now Terrace Park. Even the National Archives and the Postal Service can't establish exactly when, but the first post office was functioning on May 14, 1804. That's when the postmaster, Edward Whistler, complained to headquarters. Postmaster General Gideon Granger replied that the chap hired to make deliveries and pickups had promised to make regular calls "when not impeded by high water."
It all must have been a bit confusing, for the post office was variously known as Round Bottom, Round Bottom Mills, or Charleston. Granger's letter was addressed to "Round Bottom, Ohio."
The post office presumably was in or near what now is the Wilderness Preserve, for that whole area was once the center of the farms and many business enterprises of John Smith, who was one of the first two United States senators from Ohio. Smith in fact was its last postmaster, appointed in 1810 to succeed Jacob Broadwell, who was appointed in 1805, and Thomas Reagans in 1806. That was the time when his business empire was collapsing after his narrow escape from impeachment for alleged involvement in the Burr conspiracy. The office was last listed in the post office directory of 1813, and was gone by the time the next list was published in 1817.
While centennial first-day covers gave 1891 as the date the Terrace Park post office was established, official records put the actual date as June 26, 1879, with Emily C. Hendrick as postmaster. (The Postal Service frowns on "postmistress.") Robert Lem(m)on was appointed the following February 16, 1880, but the office was closed on March 3, 1890, and service then came through Milford until the Terrace Park office was re-established on June 23, 1891. Home delivery began in 1960.
Since re-establishment, the office has been in the charge of: Title Appointed Harriet M. Gegner Postmaster 6/23/1891 Lucius W. Conkling Postmaster 8/16/1903 Lillian L. Conkling Postmaster 10/20/1920 Lulu E. Tarvin Postmaster 10/12/1921 Lillian M. Droescher Acting Postmaster 2/13/1925 Lillian M. Droescher Postmaster 8/21/1925 Effie R. Miller Acting Postmaster 3/31/1950 Effie R. Miller Postmaster 3/13/1952 James W. Simonton Officer-in-charge 6/30/1972 James W. Simonton Postmaster 9/30/1972 Robert W. Kaiser Officer-in-charge 8/29/1990 John P. Bowling Postmaster 12/15/1990 Hollis H. Drummond Officer-in-charge 1/12/1991 Herbert Gibson Officer-in-charge 6/24/1991 Ronda Kuhn Officer-in-charge 8/12/1991 Judith L. Trame Postmaster 10/19/1991
One could say--but probably should not--that Mayor Breiling and other residents had some ground for taking a dim view of the future of Terrace Park--especially at night.
When the village got its first electric street lights, there were a few sputtering arcs, but most of the illumination came from somewhat low-powered incandescent bulbs. The contract for their use provided not only that many of them would be turned off at 1 a.m., but most would not be used at all on moonlight nights.
The system was the idea of Roy L. Underwood, who lived at 815 Miami Avenue. He built, alongside his house, a small brick steam-powered plant. The building still exists as part of an office-studio.
Village council in 1909 gave him a 10-year contract for street lighting, but Underwood evidently had miscalculated somewhere. In 1911 he asked for release from his contract, admitting that the plant needed a larger boiler, a deal that he couldn't handle. Within two months, council had arranged to get power from the Cincinnati, Milford and Loveland traction line powerhouse in Montauk. In the deal, it acquired the poles and wires of Underwood's distribution system for $869, and traded them for credit with the traction company.
Street lighting didn't improve much, if at all, except that none but the young and impressionable had to be concerned about the moonlight. The erratic arc lights were removed, but the bulbs put in around the village were only 60 and 75 candle-power, and they went off when the traction cars stopped for the night and the power house shut down. Still, they served until 1935 when the traction line ceased operations. The Union Gas and Electric Company, later to become the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Co., then took over.
Electric street lights were not Terrace Park's first, though. Soon after the first village council organized, it contracted with the Solar Vapor Street Lighting Co., of Canton, Ohio, for lamps around the community. The company already was providing service to Milford.
All the evidence suggests that the lamps were carbide lights, burning acetylene gas produced by the action of water on calcium carbide. Carbide headlights were widely used on early automobiles. The lamps had to be serviced periodically and, of course, turned on and off each night. The village marshal-street commissioner became the lamplighter as well.
Whatever needed to be done, it seemed to be up to the marshal to do it, including patrolling the streets all night on Hallowe'en for an extra dollar in pay, sometimes alone and sometimes with one or two others similarly paid. Mayor Breiling was once criticized for having three men on duty. He defended the expense as being justified because the only report of damage was that G. W. Corey's outhouse had been tipped over.
Hallowe'en was much more of an occasion in those days, and up into the 1950s. The only recorded duty performed by the Home Guard formed here during the First World War was to patrol on Hallowe'en, and even the volunteer fire department was pressed into service in the late 1940s. It was in those later years that Mr. and Mrs. Stowe LaHusen set up a grill outside their Miami Avenue home and fed hot dogs and hamburgers to the trick-or-treaters--until the word spread and kids poured in from other communities and spoiled it for everyone.
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Despite the gloomy forecasts, progress was being made on other fronts.
Once almost isolated, Terrace Park found itself with more transportation that it could use. With the railroad already in place, four would-be traction lines came clamoring for franchises to operate to and through the village to Milford and beyond. Mergers ultimately reduced the competitors to two, but there was interminable wrangling about such details as rights-of-way and whether either or both could cross the Milford bridge. Even as service began, farmers in the surrounding areas went to court, contending that the power lines could ignite the loads of hay crossing the bridge, and hay was a major commodity in those horsey days. Such an incident had destroyed a bridge over the Great Miami River near Elizabethtown in western Hamilton County. While the issue was being settled--in favor of the traction companies--cars of the Cincinnati, Milford and Loveland line had to be pulled across the bridge by horses, while idle power lines dangled above.
The product of merger maneuvers, and headed by B. H. Kroger of grocery fame, the CM&L traction line officially ran its first car through Terrace Park on March 28, 1904. The line paralleled the Little Miami Railroad out from town until it turned onto Elm Avenue and then along Terrace Place to Milford. Locally-known as the Kroger Line or the Blue Line, it drew praise from newspapers of the time for the scenic beauty of the route and the comfort of its royal blue cars, which boasted electric heating, "gentlemanly conductors" and separate smoking compartments.
Its rival, the Cincinnati & Columbus line, barely touched Terrace Park on its way over Indian Hill from Madeira and Madisonville to Milford and beyond. Still-remaining bridge abutments show where it crossed over Red Bird Creek--then known as Mill Run--where Given Road makes its first right-angled bend around Camp Stepping Stones, once the Fresh Air Farm. The two lines crossed near the present intersection of Miami Avenue and Wooster Pike, the C&C then traversing Montauk to reach Milford by a bridge of its own, of which some piers remain. Called the Swing Line for its president, Philip C. Swing, it headed off toward Batavia, but never got to Columbus.
In their haste to get things going, the builders of the lines were a bit high-handed. Kroger, for example, had vainly sought a right-of-way through William T. Irwin's extensive summer estate on the outskirts of the village. Pressing some vague claim to eminent domain, Kroger sent in surveyors who, according to the Enquirer of May 24, 1903, cut down 160 trees in laying out the line. Irwin, the paper said, was "in a very belligerent state of mind" about it all, but the line apparently stayed put.
The Swing Line barely survived the First World War, while what had become the Cincinnati, Milford & Blanchester Line continued until its last car ran on August 23, 1936, with the village then backing the application of the Cincinnati Transit Co. to run buses.
But for years Terrace Park enjoyed travel to and from Cincinnati for 50 cents a round trip, and there seems to have been a surprising amount of traffic.
In its earlier days, Terrace Park had quite a standing as a summer resort for weary Cincinnatians. Four of the present homes on Miami Avenue had their start as summer cottages, and there were others. The Cincinnati Post in 1902 noted that "summer fishing excursionists visit the vicinity in large numbers." Edgewater at the southern end of Miami Avenue, and Miami Grove, now the Wilderness Preserve, started as summer colonies, and Tower Hill, further down river boasted "a first class boarding house."
"The Grove" became the year-round home of Appalachian migrants and others during the depression years of the 30s. To exert some control over a somewhat disreputable bar, the village annexed the area in 1940, and finally purchased it in 1966 for $17,000 when the last few cottages were abandoned, condemned and burned in fire department drills.
There was, as well, the Fresh Air Farm just across Mill Run. Once the estate of Terrace Park pioneer William L. Spooner, it was bought by Thomas J. Emery in 1897 and given to the Fresh Air and Convalescent Aid Society to provide summer recreation for inner city youngsters and their parents, who came out, 250 at a time, for a week of countrified life. As Camp Stepping Stones Center, the facility is now a leader in the Cincinnati area's programs for the handicapped of all ages.
With a growing population, water from wells and cisterns became insufficient to meet demand. In 1909 the village contracted to get water from Milford and began a rush of laying water lines with an initial bond issue of $25,000, retired through assessments and metered water rates. Unfortunately, the system wasn't well thought-out as to layout and what the future might hold. Many lines in the village are only four-inch diameter, where the Indian Hill Water Works now insists on eight-inch lines. Then, too, dead-ends in the 800 blocks of Miami, Lexington, Yale, Floral and Myrtle have silted-up over the years, so that any attempt to drain them, or heavy water-draw during a fire, results in roiling of the water through much of Terrace Park.
When Milford became unable to meet Terrace Park demand, the system was hooked up to the Cincinnati service from 1920 until 1950 when Indian Hill built its own system and sought Terrace Park help in developing it. Still, the pipe over the bridge to Milford remained in place until the bridge was replaced in 1976, and became useful again during the great flood of 1937. Terrace Park was able to draw water from Milford while the Cincinnati system was flooded-out. An old steam fire pumper borrowed from Loveland supplied some water to Indian Hill as well, through a hydrant at the foot of Park Road.
Full telephone service from Cincinnati Bell came in 1905. Approval of gas mains through the village came in 1960. Cable TV service began here in 1979.
Will Irwin came back from Scotland in 1898 with a gleam in his eye and a set of golf clubs. The outcome was the Terrace Park Country Club.
It took a little time. Irwin and Sam and Huber Lloyd puttered around the wide open spaces of the Terrace Park of the times, staking out a cow here and there to crop what passed for greens. But never on Sunday. Both state and local law banned such sports "on the seventh day of the week, commonly known as Sunday."
Gradually the new game caught on. By 1908 there were enough enthusiasts to organize a club (incorporated in 1910) and over the years, by selling shares, to buy property at Miami and Oxford Avenues, and build a small clubhouse. Enlarged and altered over the years, it is now the home at 1 Oxford Avenue.
The original six-hole course was expanded to nine in 1927, but that wasn't enough. In 1929 the club bought the 128-acre Woodward horse farm on South Milford Road, complete with quarter-mile training track and a smithy, paying $37,500 and getting $20,000 for the Terrace Park tract. The farmhouse was the clubhouse until it burned in 1946, insurance enabling the basic construction of the present quarters.
While golf was the primary aim, the club in its Terrace Park days was more widely-known for its tennis courts on the shelf bordering the Little Miami River. Such stars as "Big Bill" Tilden, Jean Borotra, Rene LaCoste, Bill Johnson and Vincent Richards played in tournaments there in the 1920s.
Despite the growing sporting interest, Terrace Park had its more serious side.
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County set up Branch No. 29 in Charles Gegner's store on Terrace Place in 1900. It was a "delivery station" at which readers could order books from the main library, picking them up a day or so later. Inconvenient as it was, in its first year the branch had 98 avid borrowers who took out 2,198 books. That led in time to a "deposit station" with a couple of shelves of books in a corner for readers who couldn't wait.
But for almost 45 years, Terrace Park got its books through a "bookmobile" that parked in the Community House driveway on the third Thursday of every month. That service started here in 1928, and continued until 1973, with an interruption when the bookmobile was hit by a train at the Branch Hill crossing on December 9, 1947, and the librarian, Elizabeth West, assistant Irene Elson and driver Albert Morrison were killed. The Terrace Park PTA and the Woman's Club contributed heavily to the replacement memorial vehicle.
The Woman's Club had succeeded the Literary and Social Club, organized by men and women in 1903 "for mutual benefit and the promotion of a kindly and courteous social intercourse." Dues were five cents a month. The club bravely started out studying "As You Like It" and "Julius Caesar."
Perhaps a heavy diet of Shakespeare was too much for the men, for the club faded away. In its place, the women formed the "Home Reading Circle" in 1906. There were earnest literary discussions, but the group digressed now and then to debate such topics as "Whether it was better to marry a gay, tough man or a plodding, good one." The organization became the Woman's Club in 1928 and has continued as such since.
Women were active elsewhere, too, starting in 1921 the Terrace Park Garden Club which for a time included members from Milford, Plainville and even Hyde Park. Within a year the club had embarked on civic beautification projects which have been a major aim in all its years. There were plantings at the school, the church, the village green and along Terrace Place, and as well financing some improvements to the Community House. The club held its first flower show in 1930, and its first Christmas house tour in 1957.
Setting up the village green was a particular Garden Club project, after the village bought eight pieces of property for $11,000 in 1930--the same year the school board acquired the Stanton Avenue athletic field. Two old buildings had to be removed before a lawn and ornamental plantings could be established. One was a one-story structure on the Harvard Avenue side which had housed the village railroad agent and an early post office. The other, at the opposite corner, had had a barber shop on the first of its two floors.
The stone seat on the green is a memorial to Mrs. William Lloyd, the Garden Club's first president.
Boy Scout Troop 286 came in 1933, and with it a Terrace Park landmark--the log cabin at Elm and Douglas, built in 1936. But the "Scout cabin" wasn't built by the Scouts. Those were Great Depression years, Walter Splain was a village councilman and the Works Progress Administration engineer for the eastern half of Hamilton County. A village project had WPA workers cleaning up the dump, building storm sewers and cutting trees. That gave an idea to Councilman Albert W. Allison, a former Scout with an interest in log cabins.
Although intended for Scout use, the cabin project had to be listed as "a village recreation facility" to meet regulations.
Walls of the cabin were built of power poles salvaged from an abandoned Clermont County section of a traction line that once ran through Terrace Park, obtained from the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., by an employee, John (Hans) Gehrig, later village solicitor. Boards for floor, ceiling and trim were cut from trees felled by WPA workers. A WPA mason built the fireplace and chimney of stones from the creek.
Allison recalled later that an axman among the WPA crew "was very good, but had never built a log cabin and so did not know how to notch the corners. You can see where the first course or so are poorly notched. But after I showed him what it should look like, the upper courses are much neater."
Over the years, 46 troop members have achieved Scouting's highest rank, that of Eagle Scout. Three men--Elmer Tollefsen, George Porter and Dr. Bruce MacMillan--were awarded the Silver Beaver, Scouting's highest leadership honor.
The cabin was enlarged in 1983 through an $11,000 gift from R. H. Haines Sr., a former Scout.
Marcy Clark established the first Girl Scout troop in 1938. The Cub Scout Pack was formed in 1960.
Life during World War II days was recalled years later by Stanley Miller, long-time village clerk and Terrace Park's amateur historian. This is what he wrote for Village Views.
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Now that there's talk of gas rationing again, do you remember what treasure was more precious than money in 1943? That's right, the Ration Stamp Book.
During the critical years of World War II, the government set up a rationing program, to enable every family to obtain its share of the items made scarce by war production. To itemize all these products would be impossible, as just about everything from food, to clothing, to gasoline was scarce.
Centers were set up in schools etc. to dispense the booklets. Each member of the family received his own book. The slogan, "If you don't need it, don't buy it," was on the back cover. The people who complained about the long lines they waited in to get their stamps would stand in even longer lines trying to use the stamps.
I think food items were missed in every family. There was oleo, that lard-like substance they mixed with a yellow food coloring, that could pass for butter, and seasonings in soybean patties that could pass for beef. The scarcity of chocolate and coffee changed many menus. Even horsemeat took ration stamps. Meat tenderizers were not yet available.
Rayons -- an announcement would bring throngs of women and it was a fight to the finish. They were sad imitations of pre-war silk hose, and many women resorted to painting their legs with an orange-brown liquid. One advantage was there were no sags.
Cigarettes -- There were tiny roller machines, and a line of glue on the cigarette paper you licked and held for filling. If a shipment was advertised or whispered you hurried to stand in line to purchase the limited amount. Never your choice, you took anything on sale.
As for gasoline, you were issued stamps according to need. You received a sticker for your windshield and a number of stamps to match it for a certain period.
But no amount of money or stamps could buy a decent tire.
There was much trading of stamps. If a neighbor needed a sugar stamp, maybe he could exchange it for a coffee coupon. You were allowed only a certain amount of fuel oil and you guarded your allotment religiously. (I had to ask for 28 gallons extra to take me through May.) I don't remember that chicken was rationed.
As for other things in 1943:
Children were kept busy being patriotic in many ways. We saved
our tin cans and stamped them flat. On certain days they were
picked up by trucks. All our cooking grease was saved and returned
to the local butcher for 2 cents a pound. Newspapers were tied
in bundles and sold in big paper drives. I never could understand
why papers, grease or cans helped us win the war but it was our
It's a long way from teaching the classics to baseball's Hall of Fame, but Terrace Park's Eppa Rixey made it.
Of course he took his time, as he did on about almost everything, including getting down to first base when he did get a hit. The genial, unhurried and rangy left-hander was a star for the Reds from 1921 through 1933, but wasn't elected into the Hall of Fame until 1963.
The recognition of his achievements, according to the Baseball Encyclopedia, came a month before his death at 72 in February of 1963. His widow, Dorothy, represented him at the induction ceremonies at Cooperstown, N. Y. in August of that year.
His catcher for years was Eugene "Bubbles" Hargrave, a friend and Miami Avenue neighbor. Hargrave played for the Reds from 1921 to 1928 and led the National League in hitting in 1926.
Their most joyous moment was the time they worked a double steal.
"Bubbles and I," Eppa recalled, "were two of the slowest men in baseball, and we stole on Gabby Hartnett, the best thrower in the business. He couldn't believe it. He just stood there open-mouthed and forgot to throw."
A native of Culpepper, Va., Rixey took a master's degree in chemistry at the University of Virginia but then, says the legend, taught high-school Latin in off-seasons after breaking into baseball with the Phillies in 1912. He played there through 1920, with time out for service in World War I. Family reminiscences are that he went into major league baseball to help put a brother through college, being so good as a pitcher as to go to the Phillies right after leaving school, without the customary seasoning in the minors.
In his 21 years in the majors, Rixey won 266 games, and lost 251, and posted an earned run average of 3.15. His record with the Reds was 179 won, 148 lost, his best year being 1922 when he scored 25 wins. Hargrave made it to the Reds' own Hall of Fame for his work in his eight years with Cincinnati. Like Eppa, he joined the Reds in 1921, leaving in 1929 to manage St. Paul in the American Association and playing with the Yankees in 1930.
Eppa's wife was born in Terrace Park, a daughter of Charles Meyers, an insurance man and a mainstay of St. Thomas Church in its early days. Like him, she was active in the church, and served on village council as well.
World War II and the "cold war" that followed brought great changes to Terrace Park.
More than half the homes in the village have been built since then--24 in 1956 alone and 33 in 1957. From only 868 in 1940, the population shot to 1,265 in 1950, to 2,203 in 1960, apparently peaked at 2,226 in 1970, but was put at to 2,133 in what many consider to be the flawed census of 1990.
Growth brought now-and-then complaints that the village was being overbuilt. Twice there were proposals that Terrace Park annex and expand across the Little Miami River. Both proposals foundered against the need for a costly bridge. But both council and volunteer groups exerted influence beyond the village boundaries, fighting off the sound, sight and smell of gravel mining, cattle-feeding and rock concert operations, and derailing a plan to relocate U.S. 50 across the river--in a way that would have changed the course of the stream and wiped out the Edgewater section of the community.
Growth brought as well a volunteer fire department and life squad, an expanded police force, Village Views, the Terrace Park Players, the Wilderness Preserve and a swim club to complement the work of a volunteer Recreation Committee. With growth came mail delivery, finally making house numbers important. In its early days the fire department needed only to know whose house was involved. In time it needed much more specific information.
Over all this hung the shadow of the cold war--the seemingly inevitable nuclear conflict between the United States and the USSR. Thirty years later it all seems somewhat unreal, if not a little absurd. Thirty years ago it was a real and numbing prospect.
Batteries of anti-ballistic missiles were placed to ring the Cincinnati area. A short-lived proposal contemplated emergency evacuation of Terrace Park and other eastern Hamilton County communities to as far away as Portsmouth, to make way for Cincinnatians fleeing "ground zero" in the city. Civil Defense volunteers drilled earnestly. The school basement was set aside as a fall-out shelter. After bitter wrangling, residents voted $250,000 in bonds to build a municipal fallout shelter in the old gravel pit. The project died when the Ohio Supreme Court upheld a contention that describing the shelter merely as "a public building" was far too vague.
Until then, the federal government had been promoting backyard shelters and distributing construction plans. None was built in Terrace Park, although at least one resident built a basement shelter. But some were built elsewhere, most notably one by Hulbert Taft Jr., at his home on the brow of the Given Road hill. He was killed years later in a gas explosion in the shelter.
Perhaps the greatest change came with consolidation of its school district with that of Mariemont, effective in 1957. It turned history upside down, for 70 years ago students from what is now the Mariemont area began to come to high school in Terrace Park.
With the change, no longer could Terrace Park youngsters go from kindergarten through high school only a walking distance from home. No longer were high school home basketball and football games almost civic events, especially when the games involved the exuberant cheerleaders from Lockland Wayne. That school is gone, too, swallowed by the Princeton district.
Consolidation came about through a state board of education push in the early 1950s to merge what it considered to be small and insufficient schools. One target was Terrace Park, which had its largest graduating class of 55 seniors in 1949. The state urged merger with Mariemont, but Indian Hill came a-wooing and there was furious village debate before Mariemont won.
There's a "gentlemen's agreement" that Terrace Park will always have a representative on the Mariemont school board, but that almost fell apart in 1979. Ray Bucy tied with a Mariemont man for a seat on the board, and won only by the toss of a coin.
Consolidation interrupted the nearly 150 year history of schooling here. Terrace Park's "little red schoolhouse", according to an old reminiscence, was built about 1840, adjacent to the present school, and was indeed a small frame structure painted red. Its presence is confirmed by a map of 1847. Parents who contributed cash and sometimes produce got it started and kept it going until more formal organization brought School District No. 9 with Joseph Highlands, John McClelland and Amos Hill as trustees. They moved the school in 1853 to Wooster Pike and Indian Hill Road, where for years it occupied the old brick building in the Yankee Dollar complex, once a motel. There it stayed until 1873, when T. R. Biggs deeded the present Elm Avenue site and villagers voted $12,000 for a school there.
It was known as Gravelotte School until 1886, when a high school was established with courses in English, Latin, Greek, history, science and music. Mary Highlands was the first and only graduate in the Class of 1890.
Terrace Park had the only high school in the area, and so attracted outside students. In 1920, it became a union high school serving Newtown, Camp Dennison and Plainville (later Mariemont). The union continued until 1939 when Mariemont dropped out, although Newtown students continued on a tuition basis until the end.
Outside students, of course, needed to be fed. That led to a school Mothers' Club to manage and staff a lunch room, a club that later became an active PTA.
The present building, costing $30,000, was completed in 1913. Even so, three so-called colony buildings--one-story frame structures--had to be put up behind the school to house all the students in the 1920s and 1930s, and for a time the kindergarten met in the Community House. The one-story wing was built in 1956 and added to in 1962.
Small as it was, Terrace Park High School was nevertheless somewhat of an athletic power, even when it could field no more than six-man football teams. A large case in the elementary school hallway isn't big enough to hold all the trophies won by the Bulldogs of past years, and many a player won a place on a league or all-county team.
School consolidation was not the only post-war controversy to arouse the villagers and cause some sharp divisions.
Years of discussion of possible development plans resulted in an ordinance allowing condominium apartments in the area between Wooster Pike, Elm Avenue and the railroad embankment. That was overthrown in the village's first referendum, resulting in a flurry of suits against the village and its officials. Settlement came only when the village bought the property for $145,000 in 1982 in a deal village officials figured saved thousands of dollars in protracted litigation. A small portion of the 7.8 acre tract was later sold for $40,000, and in 1992 the developer who had proposed the condominiums bought the rest for $80,000 as a site for 9 single family dwellings.
Another storm arose in 1985 over state plans to convert the abandoned railroad right-of-way into a bike/hike trail as part of a state park 68 feet wide and 72 miles long. Talk of a scenic railway before the tracks were removed had gone nowhere, and the state bought the strip with federal aid. There is a little string attached that says the right-of-way can be restored to railroad use if national interest so demands.
Plans were to build staging facilities in the state-owned Kroger Hills area abutting the village on the west, now under a 50-year lease to the Hamilton County park system as a wildlife preserve. There once had been a Salvation Army summer camp on the hillside north of Wooster Pike.
A majority of Terrace Park residents would have no part of the plan, however. Fearful of what such a trail through the heart of the village would do to community life, they rejected three state feelers in heated meetings, and the state backed off to pursue development elsewhere. Opponents gloomily concede that the state can and will build the trail sometime, although lack of funds has delayed any move until 1995 at least. Meantime the trail ends at Milford's old railroad station at Wooster and S.R. 126.
Post-war growth put such pressure on St. Thomas Church that there was talk of expansion even before the "baby boom" of the post-war years pushed Sunday School attendance above 500.
Plans for an entirely new church were seriously considered until they were blocked by material shortages and government regulations. Meantime, children were jammed in the undercroft, the rectory across the street, in the Community House and in the former Myers home at Miami and Cambridge that later became the rectory. Although the church building was expanded in 1946 and 1954, matters weren't much eased until the present education building was erected in 1959 at a cost of $164,000--all paid off by 1963.
Earlier the church had established a mission for Appalachian and other migrants who had swarmed into Miami Grove during the depression years of the 1930s and continued it, undeterred by the theft of the mission bell. Sixty-one men, women and children were rescued, some by boats manned by village volunteers, and were given refuge in the church when one of many floods swept through in 1959. The mission building and a few cottages survived, but most were destroyed and contamination of their wells forced the area to be abandoned.
Concern for the less-fortunate led the church in 1987-88 to form a housing corporation which arranged the financing and building of Thomaston Woods, a 100-unit cluster of low-rent town houses near Amelia in Clermont County.
Today's volunteer fire department is both a war casualty and a cold war baby. Village council had contracted to buy a fire pumper in 1940, but the demands of war nullified that. Instead, the cold war brought allotment of a federal civil defense unit--a skid-mount pump, some hose and crude accessories (including elemental gas masks)--which 20 volunteers mounted on a used pick-up truck.
The firemen had a rough initiation. A required state training course hadn't been completed when, in June of 1946, a gasoline tanker-truck hit a standing bus at the western intersection of Wooster and Elm. Fortunately, the bus was discharging passengers and the door was open, so all aboard escaped. But the truck driver burned to death while the Terrace Park volunteers stood helpless, with barely enough hose to reach the nearest hydrant 1,600 feet away, until an Indian Hill unit arrived. The first commercially-built fire truck wasn't obtained until late in 1946 (for $4.239.87), although it had been ordered in 1945.
Some tragic deaths--the drowning of two small boys and a baby's asphyxiation--inspired formation of a life squad as a fire department unit in 1964. Daytime coverage problems brought recruitment of women members in 1966 and the first "firewoman" in 1973--both firsts for the county--and women have provided most of the life squad staffing ever since. The squad and fire department became separate units in 1986, with both struggling to maintain full staffing, the fire department to the point that the village had to contract with Milford in 1992 for daytime backup.
The first two ambulances were bought by the volunteers with money raised by such things as the annual Pancake Suppers started in 1959, and the village telephone book, first issued in 1962.
As with almost any community, Terrace Park has had many organizations which, having fulfilled a need, just faded away.
One such was the Layman's League of St. Thomas Church, which did not long survive severance of its church connection. It did, though, start the Labor Day festival tradition in 1943. The first festival on the Stanton Avenue athletic field gave villagers a chance to celebrate at home in a period of war-restricted travel. Memorial Day observance had started in 1939 under PTA sponsorship.
The Layman's League, too, pushed for organized recreation, resulting in village council naming a five-member recreation commission in 1946. Tennis and badminton courts were set up around the Scout cabin, but there was resistance. It was openly said that the wide open spaces of Terrace Park at that time made needless any other provision for play. Others argued that the time to prepare for future needs was while ample land was available. Even as late as 1962, a poll on spending for recreation found 107 residents voting no, 99 in favor, and five on the fence. A 1940 proposal to buy the old country club property had come to nothing.
Some residents, though, pushed ahead with Knot Hole baseball and Pee Wee football teams. One result was that the village had two recreation groups, one official and the other independent. By 1956, however, the Labor Day festival, by then held on the village green, had become, as it continues to be, the principal support of the present-day volunteer Recreation Committee.
With the Stanton Avenue field owned by the Mariemont school board, pressure continued for facilities under Terrace Park control. Development of the old gravel pit on Elm Avenue, long used as a dump, was considered in 1974, but was abandoned as far too costly. Finally the Recreation Committee--the official board had ceased to function--succeeded in 1978 in buying ten acres adjoining the Swim Club, naming it Drackett Field to honor Bolton Drackett, who gave $40,000 to the cause. The private Swim Club had been formed in 1956.
A survivor among the organizations is the Terrace Park Players, arising from PTA-sponsored revues in 1956-57. The amateur players stuck to revues for a year or so but have relied since mostly on original works of their own. Profits have gone to civic projects, such as the present bulletin boards, Community House improvements and support of Village Views, the community monthly paper.
The Sometimes Marching Band, made up of amateur instrumentalists, started just in fun. Jack VanWye recalls that he and a half-dozen others formed a pep band for his son's Little League ball team in 1962 and marched in that year's Labor Day parade. The band has been a Terrace Park parade highlight ever since.
Village Views is a survivor of the Village Forum, organized to grapple with youth and other problems of the turbulent 1960s. Communication was high on the agenda, so Tom and Louise Bush got the paper going in 1969. Each month since it has been distributed free to every home in the village.
There were other changes, of course.
Once an Indian path, a toll road, and a two-lane macadam strip, Wooster Pike became a four-lane highway in 1941, and in the 1970s had such a record of traffic fatalities in the stretch just west of the village that it became known as "Bloody Wooster." In 1949 the iron bridge that connected Miami Avenue with Wooster Pike became so weakened that the bus line refused to use it. Eight years passed before it was replaced by a culvert at a cost of $60,000. Some of the delay can be laid to negotiations with Milford. The Wooster Pike end of the avenue is in Milford territory.
The village got its only traffic light in 1951; had a rabies scare in 1952 that called for mandatory inoculation of 180 dogs as compared to only 48 treated in 1948; established the Wilderness Preserve in 1971 as the first step in a green belt; and established 24-hour police protection in 1964, building on the foundation laid by Matt Cook, the village's first officer with any professional background, since he had served with the Indian Hill Rangers. He retired in 1969 after 19 years of duty.
And the last of the once-common outhouses disappeared, after village council discovered to its horror in 1952 that there were still four of them in use.
* 1893-98 Carl Floto (Resigned) 1956-57 Kenneth D. Troy (Resigned) * 1898 Russell Errett 1957 Ray D. Allison (Remainder of term) * 1898-01 Louis Breiling 1958-59 Ray D. Allison 1902-05 Charles A. Howe ** 1960-63 John F. Jordan 1906-09 Huber Lloyd *** 1964-71 Carl Lindell 1910-11 William M. Fry 1972-75 Frank N. Corbin 1912-15 O. T. Robertson 1976-79 W. Rayburn Cadwallader 1916-19 Charles W. Bruhl 1980-81 Richard D. Bowman (Resigned) 1920-23 D. J. Durrell 1981-83 Charles Rockel 1924-25 Miles Eveland (Remainder of term) 1926-29 A. C. Christopher 1984-87 Lester B. Overway 1930-37 Irvin J. Rauscher 1988-91 Jack H. Schmidt (Resigned) 1938-43 H. B. Fenton 1991 Russell D. Wilson 1944-51 Carl Lindell(Remainder of term) 1952-55 Walter H. Daw 1992- Randy G. Casteel * In the early years, terms began in April. ** Terms changed from two to four years. *** Carl Lindell served six terms in all, four of two years each and two of four years.
Terrace Park has had a long but in-and-out love affair with its trees.
There are a lot of them. A detailed survey in 1982 listed 2,478 street trees of 29 varieties. In 1992, another study found the village had 240 trees per street-mile, Mariemont 140 and Cincinnati only 50.
Trees saved Terrace Park in its major disaster, the tornado of August 9, 1969. Not a person was injured, no houses were destroyed and few damaged, although some debris was blown here from as far away as Forest Park. But the trees took a beating. Fifty were uprooted, 170 broken off, 520 had tops carried away and 680 had major limbs snapped or broken off. Many streets were so choked with debris that emergency vehicles were blocked until lanes could be cut through.
Mayor Carl Lindell initially estimated the damage at $100,000 and appealed for federal aid. The state Civil Defense director brushed him off with the comment that it took more than $250,000 in damage to constitute a disaster. The state, though, did rush in 20 highway department trucks and 50 men, along with National Guardsmen who were joined by Boy Scouts and volunteers from throughout the area. The Red Cross set up a canteen to feed them. In all, the cleanup cost an estimated $30-40,000.
Most of the time, Terrace Park has seemed to take the trees for granted, as if they've always been here and always will be, with a disaster of sorts needed to arouse concern.
Such an instance arose in 1900 after a violent storm felled 60 trees. A special survey committee consisting of Russell Errett and Lewis Gatch had some sharp comments.
It blamed lack of interest, lack of system and lack of intelligence for a tree situation that "is in every respect anything but satisfactory. There is no uniformity whatever in the character of the trees, in the distances at which they are planted, or even in the arrangement of the different varieties."
All of the 60 trees blown down were red maples, which the committee called unsuited for Terrace Park's ideal of a leafy canopy. Nobody was listening. Eighty-two years later a forestry consultant found that 69% of the village's 2,478 trees were maples, and said: "Even if your maples were totally healthy, your forest has far too many of them," threatening real disaster if a blight comparable to Dutch elm disease developed.
The consultant, Steve Sandfort, Cincinnati's forester, found in 1982 that Terrace Park's street forest was "in a state of crisis," with 697 trees dead, dying, and dangerous, 833 in fair condition and only 948 (38%) considered sound. Valuing the trees at $1,500,000 at that time, he recommended a $305,000 program of complete renovation at $60,000 a year over five years. But he called his "most important" recommendation the formation of an official tree board of five or seven concerned residents to see that things got done.
Sandfort's program was a big gulp for the village to swallow, but work went ahead, financed by a 1.6 mill levy voted by the villagers, 662 to 402, in 1983. An estate tax windfall enabled completion of the basic plan in four years instead of five. The program has been carried on since on an assessment basis.
In all, 655 trees were removed, 816 planted, and 1,890 given corrective pruning between 1984 and 1992. The work brought the village six consecutive "Tree City USA" awards from the National Arbor Day Foundation and the state Forestry Division.
Pioneer settlers described the Terrace Park area as covered by a stand of oaks, nearly all of which were felled to make way for homes and farmlands. Some early trees remained, though, for village council provided for trees to be cut, pruned or otherwise put in shape before embarking on its own tree program.
But replanting began even before the village was incorporated. One report says Columbia Township trustees planted some silver poplars at Indian Hill and Given Roads in 1841. (Terrace Park was part of Columbia township until the village council declared the community to be a township in its own right in 1983, to control what road money was spent where.)
Much early planting, though, was done by the first successful subdivision developers--J. W. Sibley, Pattison & Iuen, George Corey and Chauncey Stuntz, identified as chemistry professor at Woodward High School, which was downtown until the mid-1900s.
Recollections coming to us from residents of those times say that Sibley planted red maples on streets from Rugby Avenue southward, while Stuntz planted maples, elms, cherries, sycamores, poplars and tulip trees along Elm from the railroad bridge south to the bend in the road. Corey set out oaks and elms along the streets he platted on the west side of the railroad, and pines and silver poplars around his still-standing home on Wooster Pike. Sixty maples planted by Pattison & Iuen north of Rugby were destroyed by a tornado in 1915.
Some of those trees, according to contemporary reports, were dug from nearby woods, although the effort seems hardly worthwhile in view of the prices the village paid when it began its own ambitious tree-planting program. Six hundred trees were bought in 1895 for 40 cents each; 100 more in 1897 for 45 cents apiece, and another 100 in 1898 at 40 cents, the last being bought with a two-year guarantee, a quarter of the cost being withheld until that time.
What kinds of trees the village bought were, and where they were planted isn't known, but the job was done with some care. Sidewalk plans on at least two streets--Elm and Terrace Place--were altered to allow for tree planting or keeping trees already there.
Some mystery still surrounds Terrace Park's so-called "railroad houses", about a dozen homes built to the same pattern about the same time, probably in the 1890s. Most of them have been extensively remodeled. A possible explanation is that they were built for sale or rent by James W. Sibley, an early developer.
It seems most unlikely that they were built by the Little Miami Railroad for some of its employees. The railroad came through in 1841, and by 1885 was controlled by the Pennsysvania system. Aside from the line itself, all the company owned was the gravel pit it had mined for roadbed material.
Terrace Park's ambience has been appreciated by birds as much as by people.
Over recent years, 168 species have been recorded as Park visitors by avid birders Polly Bassett, Louise Halley, Jan Watkins, and Margaret Whitehouse. Among the 28 species reported as rare in this area was a bald eagle. The pileated woodpecker, once rare, now has returned in sufficient numbers to be rated as "uncommon."
Besides the bald eagle, others listed as rare visitors are:
Prothonotary warbler Philadelphia vireo Golden-winged warbler Loggerhead shrike Orange-crowned warbler Winter wren Blackpoll warbler Olive-sided flycatcher Connecticut warbler Yellow-bellied flycatcher Hooded warbler Red-breasted nuthatch Wilson's warbler Red-headed woodpecker Canada warbler Little blue heron Mourning warbler Snow goose (blue stage) Northern waterthrush Hooded merganser Bobolink Sharp-shinned hawk Vesper sparrow Osprey Fox sparrow Merlin Lincoln's sparrow Sora
Northern perula warbler Common merganser Cape May warbler Cooper's hawk Black-throated warbler Red-shouldered hawk Yellow-rumped warbler Broad-winged hawk Blackburnian warbler Woodcock Yellow-throated warbler Solitary sandpiper Pine warbler Lesser yellowlegs Palm warbler Bonaparte's gull Ovenbird Black-billed cuckoo American redstart Pileated woodpecker Rusty blackbird Yellow-bellied sapsucker Orchard oriole Hairy woodpecker Scarlet tanager Eastern kingbird Summer tanager Alder flycatcher Rose-breasted grosbeak Least flycatcher Purple finch Tree swallow Savannah sparrow Bank swallow Grasshopper sparrow Brown creeper Tree sparrow Hermit thrush White-crowned sparrow Gray-cheeked thrush Swamp sparrow Veery Great blue heron Eastern kinglet Pintail Ruby-crowned kinglet Green-winged teal Cedar waxwing King-necked duck Yellow-throated vireo Common goldeneye Solitary vireo Bufflehead Warbling vireo
Listed as "abundant" were:
Rock dove House sparrow Mourning dove Eastern meadowlark Chimney swift Red-winged blackbird Downy woodpecker Common grackle Blue jay Cardinal Common crow Indigo bunting Carolina chickadee American goldfinch Tufted titmouse Dark-eyed vireo American robin Field sparrow Starling White-throated sparrow
Among "common" birds were:
Blue-winged warbler Killdeer Tennessee warbler Spotted sandpiper Nashville warbler Ring-billed gull Yellow warbler Yellow-billed cuckoo Magnolia warbler Screech owl Cerulean warbler Great horned owl Black-throated green warbler Barred owl Chestnut-sided warbler Common nighthawk Bay-breasted warbler Belted kingfisher Louisiana waterthrush Ruby-throated hummingbird Kentucky warbler Common flicker Common yellowthroat Red-bellied woodpecker Yellow-breasted chat Gray-crested flycatcher Brown-headed cowbird Eastern phoebe Northern oriole Acadian flycatcher Rufous-sided towhee Eastern peewee Chipping sparrow Barn swallow Song sparrow Purple martin Pied-billed grebe White-breasted nuthatch Green heron House wren Canada goose Carolina wren Mallard Mockingbird Blue-winged teal Catbird Wood duck Brown thrasher Lesser scaup Wood thrush Turkey vulture Swanson's thrush Red-tailed hawk Blue-gray gnatcatcher American kestrel Golden-crowned kinglet Bobwhite White-eyed vireo American coot Black and white warbler
"Incidentals," birds which vary in numbers from year to year and in some years may not appear at all, were eastern grosbeak and pine siskin.
Birds far out of their normal ranges, called "accidentals" were a mute swan and a white-winged crossbill.
In its more open days, Terrace Park was a habitat for a host of wildflowers, many of which may still be found by earnest seekers. Here's a list compiled for the Garden Club by Diana Durdin in 1973.
Yucca (Yucca filamentosa) Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) Solomon's seal (Polygonatum biflorum) Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium) Zig Zag spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) Virginia dayflower (Commelina virginica) Pink knotweed (Polygonum pennsylvanicum) Wild four-o-clock (Mirabilis nycataginea) Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) Slender three-seeded mercury (Acalypha gracilens) Abortive buttercup (Ranunculus abortivus) Rue anemone (Anemonella thalictroides) Tall meadow rue (Thalictrum polyganum) Garden larkspur (Delphinium ajacis) Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana) Cinquefoil (Potentilla recta) Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) Mock Strawberry (Duchesnea indica) St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) Spotted St. Johnswort (Hypericum punctatum) Prickly pear cactus (Optunia humifusa) Garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis) Black mustard (Brassica nigra) Whitlow grass (Draba verna) Sicklepod (Arabis canadensis) Peppergrass (Lepidium campestre) Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) Smooth rock cress (Arabis leavigata) Marsh water cress (Radicula paulustris) Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata) Purple cress (Cardamine douglassii) Pennsysvania bittercress (Cardamine pennsylvatica) Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) Golden corydalis (Corydalis aurea) Deptford pink (Dianthus armeria) White campion (evening lychnis) (Lychnis alba) Corn cockle (Argostemma githago) Bladder campion (Silene cucubalis) Sleeping catchfly (Silene antirrhina) Bouncing bet (Saponaria officinalis) Mouse-eared chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum) Thyme-leaved sandwort (Arenaria serphyllifolia) Chickweed (Stellaria media) Wall pepper (mossy stonecrop) (Sedum acre) Sour grass (wood sorrel) (Oxalis) Golden alexander's jump-up (Viola kitaibelliana) Common blue violet (Viola papilionacea) Moneywort (Creeping Penny) (Lysimachia nummuaria) Scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) Fringed goosestrife (Steironema cilotum) Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) Bluevine (sand vine) (Ampelamus albidis) Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata) Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum) Miami mist (Phacelia Purschii) Mertensia (Mertensia virginica) Corn gromwell (Lithospermum arvense) Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) Virginia ground cherry (Physalis virginiana) Horse nettle (Solanum carolinense) Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) Wild potato vine (Ipomoea pandurata) Dodder (Cuscuta gronovii) Star bellflower (Campanula americana) Venus' looking glass (Specularia perfoliata) White Venus' looking glass (var. of above) Ruellia (northern wild petunia) (Ruella caroliniensis) Corn salad (Valerianella radiata) Blue corn salad (Valerianella olitoria) Vervain (Verbena bractea) Fog fruit (Lippia lanceolata) White vervain (Verbena urticifolia) American germander (wood sage) (Teucrium canadense) Figwort (giant hyssop) (Agastache scrophulariaefolia) Ground ivy (creeping charlie) (Glechoma hederacea) Downy blephilia (wood mint) (Blephilia ciliata) Catnip (Nepeta cataria) Purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) White purple deadnettle (var. of above) Henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule) Penstemon (beardtongue) (Penstemon hirsutus) Toadflax (butter-and-eggs) (Linaria vulgaris) Great mullein (Verbascum thapsis) Moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria) Speedwell (Veronica peregrina) Dwarf Snapdragon (Chaenorrihnum munis) Monkeyflower (Mimulus ringens) Lobelia (Lobelia) Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris) Green amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) Bedstraw (Galium) English plantain (ribwort plantain) (Plantago lanceolata) Common plantain (Plantago major) Oyster plant (salsify) (Tragopogon porrifolius) Goatsbeard (Tragopogon praetensis) Field thistle (Cirsium discolor) White snakeroot (Eupatorium rusosum) Boneset (Eupatorium perfolatum) False boneset (Kuhnia eupatorioides) Field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta) Ragwort (Senecio) Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus) Common fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) Horseweed (Canadian fleabane) (Erigeron canadensis) Ox-eye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) Goldenrod (Solidago) Small flowered leafcup (Polymnia canadensis) Green-headed coneflower (Rudebeckia laciniata) Spanish needles (Bidens bipinnata) Spiny-leaved sow thistle (Sonchus asper) Prickly lettuce (Lactuca scariola) Chicory (Chichorium intybus) Blue lettuce (Lactua floridana) Great ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) Galinsoga (Galinsoga parviflora) Yarrow (milfoil) (Achillea millefolium)