No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

Over-the-Rhine.

September 10, 2013
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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/22/2019

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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019

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
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
[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.

 

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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