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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Confusing Streets of Forest Park and Fairfield

 After reading my post about the old farmhouse in Winton Woods, a follower asked about why Winton Road changes to South Gilmore above I-275, and why Mill Road changes to Winton Road. For anyone (including me as a lost teenager driver in the 1980s), this can be very confusing! The simple answer - the county line between Hamilton and Butler Counties. But there just had to be a bit more reasoning...

This image is part of Springfield Township, Hamilton County, in 1917. The blue line is the original path of Winton Road, pink is Mill Road, and orange is Hall Road.

This map is part of Fairfield Township, Butler County in 1958, which shows where Mill/Winton Road (also once called Mt. Pleasant-Hamilton Road) continues north (pink), and Hall Road did the same, although, it shows no road name (orange). Also on this map is Gilmore Road, which at that time ran from Butler-Warren Road to just south of Route 4.

1956 -
The blue line is the original path of Winton Road, pink is Mill Road, and orange is Hall Road.

All that changed when I-275 came through, and an exit was planned at Hall Road. In 1967, it was decided to extend Winton Road north to connect to Hall. The former part of Winton Road that extended to Mill Road was renamed to Lincolnshire, which no longer connects to Winton. The north end of Winton Road became part of Kemper, originally named Bank Lick.

1968 -
The blue line is the original path of Winton Road, pink is Mill Road, and orange is Hall Road. The purple line is the extension of Winton-Hall Road to connect with I-275.

In Butler County, they continued with calling Mill/Winton Road, just Winton, and in the mid 1980s, Gilmore Road was extended to meet Hall-Winton Road. Yep, that what the exit was called in many articles I came across. I guess people didn't know what name should be used! Eventually, it just became Winton Road, except once you cross that county line, when it becomes South Gilmore!
1996 - CAGIS Aerial
Moral of the story - streets are named lots of names over time, and pay attention when you cross county lines!
2024 Mapquest

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Farmhouse in Winton Woods?

I am a big fan of Great Parks of Hamilton County, and my family tries to camp at Winton Woods at least once a year, ever since I was little. We also enjoy their hiking trails, walking/biking trail, and their many picnic areas. Parky's Farm is a great experience for all ages, and I even remember a school field trip to the old Parkour Trail (does that still exist?)! 

2019; Google Street View

But I have often wondered about the old farmhouse, on the park road, just west of the Winton Road entrance, behind Winton Center. So of course, I just had to dig more into it! Who owned the house before the park was created?

Early deed records show transfers from John Cleves Symmes to Andrew Wilson to Abraham Roll (who also owned a very large parcel just to the north) to Roll's son-in-law, Robert Preston in 1825. In 1839, Preston sold to Ogden Ross, whose house appears on the 1847 map. Ross sold just 10 years later to Johann Heinrich Ferdinand Oberheu, who is listed in the 1850 Census as living in Cincinnati with no occupation, but worth over $5,000 in real estate. His sons, Ernst, Frederick, and Louis were successful grocers. 

1847 Map showing the house of Ogden Ross

1856 Map showing the 84.75 acres owned J. H. F. Oberhue

There are no records showing the Oberheus ever living at this location in Springfield Township. In 1867, they added an additional 25 acres to their property, making it over 109 acres. Johann died in 1859, leaving the estate to his children, and in 1899, a court case was brought forward to settle the estate for the grandchildren. John Hammel. husband of Sophia Oberheu Hammel, who was Johann's granddaughter, purchased the entire parcel for $5,300, keeping the land in the family.

It appears from a post on the Greenhills Historical Society Facebook page, that the Oberheu family rented their property to Heinrich Reinke. Known as Henry, he is listed as a farmer in this area in the 1870 and 1880 Census, but is not an owner of the land. Check out the full story of one of the Reinke descendants of the story of his grandmother living here on their page.

Courtesy of Greenhills Historical Society

1869 Map showing the initials of brothers Ernst, Louis, and Frederick Oberhue

1884 Map

1914 Map showing John Hammel as the owner

Sophia and John must have had an interesting relationship. John was a cigar maker living on York Street. His first wife had died in 1889, leaving him with three boys, one who also died the same year as his mother and another in 1899. John married Sophia the following year, and they had three more sons. They are living together in 1900 and 1910, however, in the 1920 and 1930 Censuses, Sophia and two of her sons, Maurice and Gilbert, are living at the family farm in Springfield Township, with the sons listed as farmers. Sophia died at the farm in 1935, but her obituary listed her as John's "beloved wife". The same is listed in John's obituary from 1941. They are buried together at Walnut Hills Cemetery. Very curious!

In 1936, John Hammel, sold over 103 acres for $26,250 to the United States, as part of the huge development that became the Village of Greenhills, a federal-developed "greenbelt" city. The US bought over 6,000 acres, with about 800 acres being used for the village. The rest was planned as green space to surround the village and for farms to be leased by the government.


Cincinnati Enquirer; Oct 25, 1948; p. 14

In 1939, the Hamilton County Park Board leased over 900 acres from the federal government, to be used as a park. However, plans were put on hold due to levy failures and World War II. Finally, a levy was passed in 1948, and a few developments occurred in the park, like an archery range and golf course, first opened in 1951.  However, the Army Engineers wanted to use the West Fork of the Mill Creek as a reservoir and for flood control to protect the Millcreek Valley. The reservoir became Winton Lake, finally finished in 1953.


Cincinnati Enquirer; May 22, 1949; p. 147

Cincinnati Enquirer; Jan 2, 1949; p. 56

The house became the central office for all of the Hamilton County Park District until a newer facility was constructed in the 1970s. The new offices have been expanded over the years, but the house also continues to contain offices for various departments of the district as well. I am sure the Ross, Oberheu, and Hammel families would be surprised that their little brick farmhouse still exists to serve all the residents of the area with our amazing park district!

1932 -
The house is just left of the center.

1960 -

1984 -

1996 - CAGIS

2010 - CAGIS

2023 - CAGIS