No. 507
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 19, 2021

Over-the-Rhine.

September 10, 2013
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While I wouldn’t say it’s an everyday occurrence for someone to discover a corpse in a chimney, it has happened more often than you’d like to think.  The following story is one that puts a particularly gruesome twist on such tragedies.September 20, 1987, started out as a perfectly ordinary day of work at the Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Bellingham, Washington.  At around 5:21 a.m., employee Roy
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Strange Company - 1/18/2021

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Surprising news broke tonight of the listing for sale of the popular bed & breakfast, open as a business for …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 1/10/2021

Benjamin Eistenstat was born in Philadelphia in 1915, and the few biographies I found about him suggest that he spent much of his artistic career in Pennsylvania. But in 1950 he was in New York City—where he created this lithograph of a street scene in a very masculine Manhattan. Perhaps this view is of a […]
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Ephemeral New York - 1/18/2021
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
 The Hangman, a newspaper dedicated to the abolition of capital punishment, celebrated the commutation of Orrin DeWolf’s death sentence on September 9, 1845.Did this young, drunken, diseased, conniving, duplicitous, murderous, libertine deserve mercy? You decide: Orrin DeWolf. 
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/16/2021

Ripley's Believe It Or NotUnknown newspaper1937Jeff Smith collection (Click image to enlarge)     OAPY SMITH'S SKULL STRANGE MONUMENT TO "SOAPY" SMITH Famous Bad Man of the Klondike, Fashioned from natural rock 25 feet high. On Moore's old wharf, alongside the bay and the railroad dock in Skagway, Alaska is an impressive wall of solid granite that is home to one of the most unique art
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/14/2021
[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