A History of the Mt Adams Area in Cincinnati
Mount Adams is known for its vast history, beauty and historical sites. Many may not realize the history Mount Adams in Cincinnati holds, but there is far more to Mt. Adams than realized.
Commonly referred to as “the Hill”, Mount Adams sets high above downtown and the Ohio River Valley. In the 1800’s it was named Mount Ida, and as legend tells it, the name was deemed after Ida Martin, a woman who lived in the hollow of a sycamore tree.
Much land was owned by businessman Nicholas Longworth, who was famous for his cultivation of Catawba grapes which he used for creating his Golden Wedding Champagne. Given his status, he donated a portion of the hill to the Cincinnati Astronomical Society so he could increase his property value. At that time, the Observatory had the most powerful telescope of its kind. In 1843 President John Quincy Adams dedicated the Observatory, and in honor of the president, Mount Ida was changed to Mount Adams.
In the 1850’s deadly disease had taken Nicholas Longworth’s vineyard, and his son allowed the use of some of the land for Eden Park. Affectionately named the Garden of Eden, a 172 foot high water tower was built in 1892.
Mount Adams has many stories to tell and is certainly worth seeing those stories come to life in person. Playing a large role for the defense of the city against the Confederate Army in the Civil War, two artillery locations were put into place although no guns were ever fired. One of the locations was near the playground which is now in present day called “Playground in the Park.”
Immigrants desiring to settle on Mount Adams, faced building their homes on steep hills building from wood and stone near to them. It wasn’t until 1872 the incline was complete and could be connected with hilltop residents giving them access to the downtown area. At the time the incline gave way to streetcars and in combination with the incline, which gave residents opportunity to visit what was then known as “Highland House.”
The arts seemed to flock to Mount Adams as the Cincinnati Art Museum, founded in 1881 and located itself serenely in Eden Park. Maria Longworth, daughter of Nicholas Longworth established the Rookwood Pottery Factory and re-located it as well to Mount Adams. Famous for its unique creativity, the collection is now quite valuable. Along with Krohn Conservatory, and Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, from the 1800’s to the 1900’s, the hill became to increase in popularity as it became a thriving home to entertainment, with its surrounding beauty a definite factor.
Of course, it goes without saying that Eden Park is a beautiful experience in present day, however Mount Adams in Cincinnati provides many historical attractions that should be seen by all. Picturesque beyond comparison, it is one of the most historic neighborhoods visited by tourists.
Making home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, which features more than 67,000 works spanning over a period of 6,000 years, Mt. Adams today serves as a plethora of interesting, exciting and attractive tourist spots. The Cincinnati Art Club and Wessel Gallery formed in 1890 hosts exhibitions throughout the year and is located in the beauty of Eden Park. Eden Park itself spans 186 acres with landmarks that include Mirror Lake with the 60 foot Bettman Fountain, Spring House Gazebo from 1904, Presidential tree grove, just to name a few highlights.
Krohn Conservatory displays glass and aluminum Art Deco and more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. With exhibitions on a seasonal basis, the Butterfly Show and Holiday Show are highly recommended. Mt. Adams also makes home to Seasongood Pavillion which hosts multiple public events that include a jazz series, and Cinema in the City. To even further enhance a visit, Playhouse in the Park is a nationally known theater that performs both classic and contemporary works. The productions are well-known worldwide and acting classes are provided for children.
Holy Cross-Immaculata perches itself on a bluff that overlooks the Ohio River and downtown. This is one of the most beloved of all churches, built in 1859, and is known for its Good Friday pilgrimage. One of the most breath-taking experiences would be the Monastery Event Center, the restoration of the Holy Cross Monastery Chapel makes this an awe-inspiring experience with its beauty in detail holding such a meaningful place in the hearts of many.
This is just a small glimpse of Mount Adams today, but just as picturesque and breathtaking as its historical past.