Rick Pender to signal copies of recent ebook, Oldest Cincinnati, on Aug. 28 at Roebling Level Books


Local author Rick Pender will be presenting and signing copies of his book Oldest Cincinnati on Saturday, August 28th, 11am to 12pm at Roebling Point Books & Coffee.

The event is free and public.

In the late 18th century, the people of America began to move west in search of new frontiers and a new life. Many of them, including immigrants, found their way down the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio, the Queen City of the West. One of the first settlements in the Northwest Territory, called “Losantiville” before it was called Cincinnati, was founded 15 years before Ohio became the 17th state in the Union (1803). There is a lot of history and novelty on site.

A ferry to help early settlers cross the Ohio River to Augusta, Kentucky began in 1798; it’s still in business. A stagecoach inn that began accommodating early travelers opened in 1803 in Lebanon, Ohio, and continues to this day. The first museum – focusing on natural history and science – opened in 1818. It is now located in Cincinnati’s oldest train station. In 1866, the oldest bridge over the Ohio River connected downtown Cincinnati with Covington, Kentucky. The oldest art museum west of the Allegheny Mountains opened in 1881.

The character of Cincinnati changed dramatically in the mid-19th century when German immigrants came in waves. (Between 1840 and 1890, the population born in Germany grew from 3,500 to 174,000.) They brewed beer, of course, but they also loved music and founded the oldest choral music festival in the western hemisphere. Cincinnati was the birthplace of professional firefighters and professional baseball. Read about all of this and more in this informative book that brings history and people to life.

Here are a few highlights:

Lots of Cincinnatians know that the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge was an early suspension bridge, the longest in the world when it opened in 1866. And they can brag that the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team. You may know that the oldest public market in Ohio is Findlay Market, dating from 1855 in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

Before that, people lived in what is now Northern Kentucky – around 10,000 BC BC – Buffalo migrated annually across the Ohio River to a natural sandstone ford at the mouth of the Licking River to the south. That’s where Cincinnati is today, and these “buffalo streets” became today’s “Dixie Highway” (also known as US 27, US 42, US 25 and KY 17). Buffalo were the first traffic engineers in the region.

Rick pender

Indigenous peoples probably lived in the region 12,000 years ago, but the earliest historical record of an indigenous culture is the Adena people, who lived around 800 BC. It is called the Great Serpent Mound because it appears to be a writhing serpent. The site in Adams County, east of Cincinnati, was discovered in 1848 and excavated in 1883 by Frederic Ward Putnam, “the father of American archeology.”

The Cincinnati Observatory in Mt. Lookout is the “Birthplace of American Astronomy”. It was the first public observatory in the western hemisphere and houses a working telescope dating from 1843, one of the oldest in the world. Cleveland Abbe, the facility’s astronomer in the late 1860s, developed a system for collecting weather information: when Congress founded the US Weather Bureau in 1870, he became its first meteorologist.

Cincinnati’s German immigrants in the 19th century loved to sing in choirs. In 1878 the Cincinnati May Festival was founded. It is the city’s oldest arts organization, as well as the oldest choir festival in the western hemisphere. Cincinnati’s glorious Music Hall, which opened as one of the largest in America in 1878, was built for annual choral concerts performed by huge volunteer choirs. Today, a 130-voice volunteer group of singers trains year-round for spring concerts, accompanied by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, America’s fifth oldest orchestra.

Oldest Cincinnati is available wherever books are sold. It’s $ 20.95.

A Cincinnati historian, journalist, author, tour guide, and city dweller, Rick pender has studied and promoted aspects of the Greater Cincinnati area for more than four decades. Hailing from northeast Ohio, he moved to southwest Ohio in 1980 where he happily lived in several historic neighborhoods. His 2016 book 100 Things to Do in Cincinnati Before You Die was so well received that a second edition appeared three years later. He continues to write about theater and other arts, and conduct tours that introduce visitors to Cincinnati’s fascinating history.