2021 UPDATE - Since the original date of this blog post, the Bay Horse Cafe and Roadhouse is alive and well, sign and all!
I was made aware about today's blog post from a few statuses on Facebook. A permit has been filed for demolition of this building at 625 Main Street, is well known for its old sign:
|2005 Hamilton County Auditor|
|2718 Hackberry Street|
Henry Korf, Watches, Clocks, and Jewelry, No. 277 Main Street.—Among the many professed watchmakers of the country there are few who have the experience and skill to make a perfect watch throughout, and when one is found who has made this important work the study of his life, it generally follows that his establishment is the place par excellence for those who desire first-class work. Mr. Henry Korf has for thirty-five years been engaged in business in the Queen City as a watchmaker and jeweler, and there is not in Cincinnati a more reliable expert or a more thorough master of his art than this veteran in his line of industry. Mr. Korfs experience in the practical work of a watchmaker covers a period of nearly half a century. He alters watches from slow to quick rate and adjusts them to the changes of heat and cold, guaranteeing his work to secure the nearest possible approach to absolute accuracy and warranting satisfaction as to workmanship and prices. He manufactures a marine chronometer which is more reliable than most instruments in use, and carries in stock a fine selection of the best watches, clocks, and jewelry of American and foreign manufacture. He is a German by birth, and is a genial gentleman and representative business man. - Source
|1887 Sanborn Insurance - Source|
|1891 Sanborn Insurance - Source|
Henry Korf, Sr died in 1912 at the age of 87. George also died in 1912, shortly before his father. Henry Jr was left to run the business and while he did marry Josephine Uphof, they never had any children. So he enlisted the help of his wife's family in the business.
In 1919, the Jewelers Circular Weekly wrote about the longevity of Henry Korf's business:
While the Korf family continued to own the building, in 1925 the business was moved to the Schmidt Building, believed to have stood on 5th Street. Henry Korf, Jr died in 1932 but I found a mention in "Chilton's Jewlers' Circular" in 1949 that John Tibbe, one time employee of the business was then its owner and quietly celebrate in 100th anniversary.HENRY KORF founded the present retail jewelry business which bears his name in 1849 when stores of that character were scarce in Cincinnati. The business was built mainly at that time on the watch repair work of the city, which rapidly caused the business to expand. The original location was at 9th and Main St., but just 50 years ago he moved it to the location it now occupies, and has occupied since that day, at 625 Main St.Mr. Korf did not live to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the business in the present store, but died several years ago. Two of his sons, Henry Korf, Jr., and George Korf, took hold of the business before his death. George Korf died in 1912. The present proprietor of the business went in with his father when he was 15 years old, and has been identified with that line for 49 years."Changes in the line carried during that time have been great," Mr. Korf declared. "Formerly every jewelry store carried a large line of optical goods, but today that line is handled almost exclusively by specialists. We handled a great deal of plated goods 50 years ago, but owing to the entrance of the department stores in that line, the retail jeweler has almost eliminated what was once one of his big stocks."
So what happened to 625 Main Street after 1925? The upper floors had been used as rental space since the building was built and by 1925, the space was being advertised as "Furnished Rooms for Rent". If you take a close look at the building, a very faded sign still hangs in advertisement.
|1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance - Source|
Gus Schmieg attempted to continue the business during Prohibition by selling soft drinks, and in 1933 when alcohol once once again legal, Mr. Schmieg reopened the Bay Horse. He died in 1938 and Bill Marck took over the business. In 1962, construction of the Federal Building forced the Bay Horse Cafe to move to 625 Main Street.
More information on the Bay Horse on the next blog post!