Archive for December, 2014

Happy Birthday, Cincinnati!

On this day,  December 28, 1788, a group of men worked their way across the Ohio River from the mouth Of the Licking River.  They had to dodge yet more ice flows since they left Limestone, now Maysville, Kentucky on the 26th.  The little group managed to make it to what is now known as Yeatman’s Cove at the end of Sycamore Street.  The founding of Cincinnati was underway, except, it had already been named Losantiville by the surveyor John Filson.  The cold, wet little group set about securing their perimeter and making a fire.  The first night in Cincinnati passed inauspiciously as the small party slept close to the fire while sentinels kept watch for danger.  So began the city that would be known as “The Queen City” and “Porkopolis”.

The first cabin, built on Front Street, was constructed with planks from the very boat that carried the settlers from Limestone (Maysville).  The group of men wasted little time in getting the area that would become Cincinnati planned and laid out.  By early January, Israel Ludlow and an assistant had completed a large part of the surveying job.  Israel Ludlow joined the expedition after original surveyor, John Filson left camp on an earlier expedition to the area and was never heard from again.  With the surveying done, this area of the Symmes Purchase was ready for settlement and by the end of the year; at least twenty homes dotted the area around Yeatman’s Cove.  The families of Losantiville relied heavily on Columbia Settlement for foodstuffs these first years.  The fertile soil of what is now known as Turkey Bottoms provided much help to both Columbia and Losantiville.

Families began arriving as soon as February, 1789.  One of the first was Francis Kennedy and his family of seven.  The Indians in the area left the settlements alone for the most part that first year.  However, the threat was always imminent.  Sometime between June and July of 1789 the construction begun on a fort to house the garrison and protect the settlers.  Out of the old growth forest and behind the tiny cabin, Fort Washington was erected.

Fort Washington-Cincinnati

Slowly Losantiville, began to grow.  By the end of its first year, the little settlement had twenty-four men, eleven families, and a garrison of soldiers.  Losantiville would soon be renamed “Cincinnati” by Northwest Territorial Governor, Arthur St. Clair, and also rise to prominence as center for military activity in the taming of the Northwest Territory and quelling violent Native American activity.

As the frontier moved West, Cincinnati was still relevant as a supply stop on the way West and as a burgeoning industrial center.  From that one small cabin, we now have a sprawling metropolis of nearly 300,000 peoples.  From the “Edge of America” to the “Heartland”, Cincinnati has continued to grow and prosper.  Happy 226th birthday, Cincinnati!

 cincinnati 1800

.  Mathias Denman, Colonel Robert Patterson, and Israel Ludlow led a group of approximately 14 men down the Ohio from Limestone, now Maysville, Kentucky.

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