Friday, January 26, 2024

Schrimper's Linwood House and Cafe

This beautiful building on Eastern Avenue, near the Beechmont Viaduct, is now home to BrewRiver Creole Kitchen, but it has a long history of serving those travelling along Eastern Avenue.

It is actually two buildings, which you can see in the second photo. The rear portion of the building is the oldest part, likely built around 1867, when it was purchased by John William Schrimper, a German immigrant, who after serving in the Mexican War in 1846, settled in Reading, and then Oakley, where he ran a hotel. As the story is told, he traded his Oakley location for this one along the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Wooster Turnpike. He ran the hotel and saloon, the Linwood House, with his wife Anna Maria, and their children George, William, Andrew, John, Anna Barbara, and Ann Mary. After his death in 1872, his wife ran the Linwood House until her death in 1887.

1904 Sanborn Map showing the original building and livery stable
The sons then took over the business, with Andy becoming the primary owner. The Linwood House was known for never turning away a guest in search of food and lodging, with one notable event around 1900, when they hosted 150 farmers at one time! Check out the included article about the tragic death of their cook in 1903!

Cincinnati Commercial Tribune; January 3, 1903; Page 11

The Linwood House, before the addition was added in 1911.
Andy was also very active in the local baseball scene, managing the Linwood ball club, and owned a ballpark that was on the site of present-day Lunken Airport. Andrew and his wife, Ada, had four children - Mabel, George, Louis, and John. Louis played baseball for the North Carolina state team and for the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers. John was an attorney and also served as a state representative.
1917 Sanborn Map showing the four-story addition
In 1911, Andy added a brick four-story flat building to the front of the Linwood House, and while the restaurant remained, the hotel rooms were turned into apartments. Ada managed the restaurant until her later years, turning over the business to their son, George. Ada died in 1938, and Andy in 1940, and George continued the business, passing along to his daughter Ada Schrimper Cushman, who ran the business , Schrimper's Cafe, until her death 1964, keeping the buildings and business in the family for almost 100 years!
1930 and 1950 Sanborn Maps
Notice the livery stable was made smaller, and then demolished.
Now when you go to BrewRiver, you can think about how many other travelers stopped off at this same location over the years, and had a bite to eat and a place to rest after a long trip on the way to Cincinnati.