No. 424
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 23, 2019

Over-the-Rhine.

September 10, 2013
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English Franciscan John Forest was burned at Smithfield on this date in 1538 … the undercard to the simultaneous “execution” of a downthrown idol of Saint Derfel Gadarn. The latter had been ripped from its shrine at Llandderfel in Gwynedd, Wales: the place gets its name from Derfel himself and its devotion to its Celtic […]
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Executed Today - 5/22/2019

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Coming in May! Warps and Wefts is excited to announce the publication of “Dressing Miss Lizzie”, a collection of paper …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 4/23/2019

via Newspapers.com Phantom cats and a mysterious death. Who can ask for more in an old newspaper story? The "Brooklyn Daily Eagle," March 13, 1886: Ghost stories from the credulous and nervous gentlemen who draw salaries as guardians of the peace in the precinct covered from the Graham avenue station are becoming frequent. Last week they saw the ghost of an Italian. On Thursday night a
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Strange Company - 5/22/2019
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
In July 1890, a man came into the 126th Street Police Station in Harlem, New York City, to report a conversation he had overheard in an elevated train. A young man and woman sitting near him were talking about the mysterious disappearance of Miss Goodwin from the Storm King flats on East 126th Street. They believed that she had been foully dealt with by “professional malpractioners.” The woman
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/18/2019

I’m not the first old sign enthusiast who came across this beauty of a beer sign on the tenement at 317 East Fifth Street. Grieve wrote it up back in January, and I’m sure other fans walking along this quiet East Village block noticed the ancient signage, too. “S. Cort Wines & Lager Beer” the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/19/2019
[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