Monday, August 7, 2023

Brews and History in Mt. Healthy

Our continuing tour of local breweries took us this week to Fibonacci Brewing Company, on Compton Road in Mt. Healthy. When a brewery features amazing beers AND an old house, it’s a perfect match for me! So of course, I had to do a bit of digging on the history… 

Turns out this home could date from the 1850s, as I found a mention of the house being completed as part of a lease agreement from 1851. An 8.75-acre parcel of land was purchased from the Hoffner family in 1848 by Jacob Packer, who divided it in two. Packer sold 4.25 acres to Frederic Rapp in 1849, and Rapp had a lease with Owen Garretson, which required him to lath and plaster the house with two coats and skim, to finish the carpenter’s work, paint the woodwork inside, build a kitchen on the south side of the house 12 feet wide, 1.5 stories, and the same length of the house. Other details were that Rapp provided the flooring for one of the floors, Garretson provided windows and doors for the addition, and that he also would build a cistern on the lot to hold 30 barrels of water.

Rapp sold the entire property to John Roth in 1854, but I could not locate him or his family in this area in the 1860 Census. In 1861, it was sold again to Leonard Fisher, who was a broom maker. His family included his wife Catherine, daughters Catherine, Angeline, and Mary, and son Daniel. Leonard was born about 1815 in Alsace, France, and Catherine was born in 1823 in Germany. They married in Cincinnati in 1855. Leonard died in 1896, and Catherine in 1895, and the property was left to their children. Their daughter Mary, born in 1860, had married August Dittman in 1897, and they purchased the property from the remaining siblings in 1901.

The Dittman family was close to the Fishers, with August’s parents Christian and Christiana being the witnesses for Leonard’s will. August worked in various positions according to the census records, including a landscape gardener, and a laborer in a veneer works. In 1912, the property was divided into two parcels, and the south 2.8-acres was sold off, while the Dittmans kept the north 1.46 acres. Mary and August did not have children, so after August’s death in 1937, Mary sold the property to George Felss, who unfortunately died at 38 years old in 1941, leaving his wife Caroline with three children.

Caroline became a successful real estate agent to provide for the family, and their son Charles began a florist business at their home in the 1980s. Caroline died in 1991, and the following year, Charles added a small reception hall to the property, which was also used for the floral business, Felss the Florist. Charles died in 2013, and the property went into foreclosure. In 2015, Fibonnaci Brewing founders and Mt. Healthy residents, Bob and Betty Bollas, purchased the property for their business. 

Known as a nanobrewery and urban farm, Fibonnaci focuses on brewing beers using local ingredients, and they also offer a selection of wines. They value equity and inclusion within our business and community, and intentionally welcome all. They offer a farmers’ market on the 1st Sunday of each month from Noon-3:00 May through November. The house has two Airbnb units available, so you can spend the night in this historic location. Stop on over to Mt. Healthy and enjoy a drink with a side of history!


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