While researching in the West End today, I got curious about where the original Procter & Gamble factory stood. Many Cincinnatians are familiar with Ivorydale, the huge 50+ acre complex near St. Bernard. However, the original factory was built in the mid 1840s and was located on eastside of Central Avenue (then called Western Row) between York and Dayton Streets. It backed to up the canal, which made receiving and delivering goods easy.
As business improved, the company purchased the Ohio Candle Company, also located on Central Avenue across from Poplar Street. This proved fortunate when a disastrous fire struck the main plant on January 7, 1884, causing nearly all the buildings to be destroyed or damaged. It was a bitter cold day, and the John Hauck Brewing Company, across the Central Avenue from the P&G, provided shelter for the firefighters to warm themselves. Mr. Gamble provided sandwiches and coffee to sustain them as well.
The company was well-insured for such an event, and operations continued at the Ohio Candle Company facility, along with the buildings unscathed from the fire. This event led the company to search for a new area for their factory, where they had room to expand and also adding housing for employees. Over 50 acres were purchased near St. Bernard, with easy access to rail lines to create Ivorydale.
After the move to Ivorydale, a few of the original buildings remained on Central Avenue, marked in "very poor conditions" and "ruins" on the 1891 Sanborn Map. In 1909 one of the final buildings came tumbling down. Today, the location is near the Family Dollar store at Charlotte Street and Central Avenue. The Sentinel Police Association building at 1889 Central Parkway sits in the middle of the old plant location.
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