Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NCH, the city formerly known as Clovernook (Part 2/2)

Part Two of my two-part series on North College Hill OH history. In Part One we learned about the earliest history of NCH. Today we continue through the 19th century...

1832 Cary Cottage
Cary Cottage was built in 1832 by the Robert Cary family mentioned earlier. The Cary's were Universalists and held many liberal and reformist religious and political views. I imagine that hundreds of people drive or walk by every day with no real notion of its significance.
Two of the daughters who lived in Cary Cottage, Alice and Phoebe Cary, were well-known poets of their day.
Edgar Allan Poe was a fan of the Cary sisters poetry and called Alice Cary's 1855 'Pictures of Memory', "one of the most musically perfect lyrics in the English language".
In 1903, Florence and Georgia Trader opened the first home in OH for blind women here which became The Clovernook Center For The Blind which still operates on this same property behind the cottage that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. I also placed my own geocache here. The Laboiteaux-Cary Cemetery mentioned earlier sits across the street which has many graves from the Cary family. 
Cary Cottage Historical Marker
In 1861 the Isaac Mayer Wise Home and 40-acre farm was built and remained until 1968. Dr. Wise was one of the founders of Reform Judaism in America and the Hebrew Union College. He emigrated here from Austria where Jewish people were not allowed to own land. There is a now a bank and a tiny park with a plaque about the site and Dr. Wise. This also seemed like a good place for a geocache so I placed one here as well.

Issac M. Wise plaque
the former site of the Wise home
It should be noted that the stretch of Galbraith Road that runs through NCH was known for many years as Van Zandt Road, named for the prominent local family of which the Rev. John Van Zandt was the most notable. The good reverend was a local 19th-century abolitionist who served as the inspiration for John Van Trompe in Uncle Tom's Cabin. In 1847 he helped a slave escape and was arrested and tried for the owner's property loss. This case was used to test the constitutionality of slavery in the US. Van Zandt's case, which he unfortunately lost, was defended by Salmon P. Chase, who would later be the Secretary of Treasury for Abe Lincoln and then later served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
The road changed names as it went across Cincinnati and was eventually renamed to Galbraith Road in the mid 20th century to honor Frederic W. Galbraith, a WWI veteran who was a Colonel in the Ohio National Guard and one of the founders of the American Legion. I’m not sure why this was done other than to perhaps unify the name to make it less confusing for people. I think they should have just called the whole thing Van Zandt myself!

These two blog posts were not meant to be an all-encompassing history of NCH, just some highlights of the early events. For more information about the city of North College Hill OH and its history, please visit the city website which includes links to the NCH Historical Society newsletters.