|A view of Cincinnati's eastern hills in 1802. - Source
The question is one that is frequently asked at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The first mention was in the West American Review, in "Article III--Cincinnati: Its Relations to the West and South." The hills in this list are: Mount Adams, Walnut Hills, Mount Auburn, Vine Street Hill, College Hill, Fairmount, and Mount Harrison (known now as Price Hill).
In 1881, Henry A. Ford, A.M. and Mrs. Kate B. Ford wrote the "History of Cincinnati, Ohio". The following is an excerpt of that book:
The Fords list ten hills, although today we lump Mount Hope, Price's Hill and Mount Echo into one name - Price Hill.
This question has been debated in the newspapers over the years as well!
|Cincinnati Times-Star; Nov. 8, 1952; p5
|Cincinnati Enquirer; July 25, 1958
|Cincinnati Post & Times-Star; Sep. 25, 1964; p45
And the library at the University of Cincinnati has this list:It has been said that Cincinnati was built on seven hills, just like Rome. Of course, the city has way more than seven hills. But here’s a list adopted by the Enquirer in 1958.Mount AdamsNamed for former President John Quincy Adams, who spoke at the dedication of the city’s observatory in 1843.Mount AuburnCincinnati’s first hilltop suburb had this name by 1835. An Englishwoman in the area named it either for a line in a poem by Oliver Goldsmith or a garden cemetery in Boston.Walnut HillsThe original owner, the Rev. James Kemper, called his property Walnut Hill Farm. Heirs divided the property and the area became known as Walnut Hill. The “s” was in place by the 1850s.FairmountA businessman began developing the village in the early 1850s, and the name might have come from a park in Philadelphia, but it was probably a marketing ploy to suggest a pretty village on attractive high ground — not swamp land.Fairview HeightsThe neighborhood’s name came into use in the late 1860s from Fairview Avenue, probably because the hilltop provided a fine view of Mill Creek Valley.Clifton HeightsHere’s marketing at work, 1850s-style. The neighborhood was next to Clifton — a plus for status-conscious buyers — and it’s on top of a hill.Price HillOriginally called Bold Face Hill (reportedly for an Indian who lived in the area), the land was owned and developed by merchant Evans Price and his son, Rees. Rees laid out a subdivision in the vicinity of what is now Eighth Street and State Avenue and established a sawmill and brickyard there. By the 1830s, a small village was at the bottom of the hill.
Mount AdamsMount AiryMount EchoMount HealthyMount LookoutMount StormMount Washington
|Panoramic View from Carew Tower - Source
I guess the question will never be clearly answered, however we can all agree we love our City of Seven Hills (except in the winter snow)!