No. 432
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 22, 2019

Over-the-Rhine.

September 10, 2013
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"San Francisco Examiner," August 29, 1903, via Newspapers.com It seems inevitable that rich, powerful families attract any number of strange incidents. Dysfunction abounds, perhaps as the Universe's way of balancing out all those material advantages. It's unusual, however, for one relatively small family of wealth to become famed for internal feuds, mental illness, odd disappearances,
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Strange Company - 7/22/2019

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In honor of Lizzie’s birthday, one, in what will become a series of free downloads to augment your Dressing Miss …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/19/2019

This is the story of an 1889 painting, a mysterious stone wall, and a religious institution that occupied part of today’s Central Park in the mid-19th century—before the park was even in the planning stages. It starts with Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase. He was dubbed the “artistic interpreter” of Central Park and Prospect Park […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/21/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Adolph Stein was a 35year-old Polish immigrant living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when he met Lizzie Loering, a widow with two little children and $30,000 in assets. After a whirlwind courtship, the two were married in June 1880. Stein had been prominent in political circles in Cedar Rapids, but earlier that spring he was indicted for illegally selling liquor. He decided to move his new bride to
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Murder By Gaslight - 7/20/2019

20th [July 1775]. Mr. Carpenter was taken by the night Patrole — upon examination he had swum over to Dorchester and back again, was tried here that day and sentence passed on him to be executed the next day, — his coffin bro’t into the Goal-yard, his halter [noose] brought and he dressed as criminals […]
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Executed Today - 7/21/2019
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
The “Prisoners’ March.” | The Last Dip of the Season.

Over-the-Rhine.

Vine Street Looking South

Here's to Cincinnati, the Queen of the West
A dirty old city, but still nobly blest.
For it's here that fine arts, with the frivolous twine,
A veritable Deutschland just Over the Rhine…
The kindliest greeting from all whom we meet,
A good draught of beer every ten or twelve feet.

 

Atlantic Garden

Cincinnati, Ohio, in the nineteenth century, was a “wide-open city” regarding alcohol, gambling and prostitution. The section of Vine Street north of the Little Miami Canal--known as "Over-the-Rhine" -- had a reputation among sporting men equal to that of Broadway, Beale Street, and Bourbon Street. It was said that outlaw Frank James would walk into a Vine Street card room, his sidearm in public view, and be cheated at faro like any other Missouri farm boy.

Carrie NationCarrie Nation

When prohibitionist Carrie Nation went Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati saloon keepers girded for the worst, but rather than wielding her hatchet, the temperance leader just wished to talk. She stopped at the Atlantic Garden on Vine Street and offered comfort to a big blonde bar girl who cried on Mrs. Nation’s motherly shoulder. The girl straightened up and left, vowing to never touch another drop. Soon after, Mrs. Nation realized her earrings were missing.

When asked why she hadn’t followed her usual path of destruction, Carrie Nation responded, “I would have dropped from exhaustion before I went one block.” Vine Street, between 12th and 13th streets alone, hosted 23 saloons.


  • Cincinnati Illustrated Business Directory, 1894. Cincinnati: Spencer & Craig Printing Works, 1894.
  • Grace, Kevin. Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2003.
  • Grason, Frank Y. Pioneers of Night Life on Vine Street. Cincinnati: Cincinnati Times-Star, 1924.
  • Police and municipal guide: Cincinnati, 1901. Cincinnati: Ohio Book Store, 1995.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Carrie Nation, 1910