Cincinnati is a city that is rich in history and has an extra dose of special when it comes to historical relevance because of its location along the Ohio River. There are hundreds of historical markers that make their presence around the city known, but here is a small handful of some of our favorite historical spots that must be experienced.
Spring Grove Cemetery
With over 700 acres of land, this cemetery pre-dates the Civil War by nearly 2 decades and is the third largest cemetery in the nation. This is also the final resting spot for both founders of Proctor & Gamble, multiple poets and authors, several Supreme Court justices, the founder of Kroger, several baseball players, Civil War generals, and many notable politicians.
The neighborhood of Columbia-Tusculum is the oldest founded neighborhood in Cincinnati. It was founded in 1788 and opened the first school around Cincinnati in 1790. The neighborhood celebrates beautifully preserved Victorian homes painted in the same tradition of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco. It also boasts beautiful views of the Ohio River and Northern Kentucky, and easy access into the hills surrounding the City of Cincinnati.
John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
Also known as the “Humming Bridge” due to the sound that the grated metal deck makes when cars are driven across, this bridge was constructed during the American Civil War. It was finished in 1866 and was the longest suspension bridge in the world until the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 (designed by the same architect and modeled after Cincinnati’s suspension bridge). Built as a relief to the congestion created by ferry boats and steamboats in a popular commerce area, the Roebling bridge is the oldest operating bridge to host vehicular traffic in Cincinnati. The bridge is also a popular pedestrian bridge as it boasts a popular bar and restaurant district called Roebling Point on the Kentucky side, and has the Banks, a popular bar and restaurant district on the Cincinnati side, as well as home to multiple concert venues and sports stadiums.
Ulysses S Grant Birthplace and Boyhood Home
About 45 minutes east of Cincinnati, just off of Route 52, you can visit the birthplace of the ultimate general who won the Civil War and our 18th president in historic Point Pleasant, Ohio. Not far from there, about an additional 30-minute drive in Georgetown, Ohio, you can also find his boyhood home and schoolhouse. Both are marked by historical site markers and open to visitors.
John Rankin House
While driving around the Eastern rural areas of Cincinnati to visit US Grant’s homes, drive a stone’s throw further to Ripley, Ohio and see the John Rankin House. An adamant abolitionist, his home sits on top of a steep hill overlooking the Ohio River. Built in 1825, it’s estimated that over 2,000 slaves escaped to freedom by way of the Rankin House, and the very hill they had to climb can be climbed today (albeit, on more newly-built steps than what existed then). The preserved home offers a guided tour and breathtaking views of the Ohio River to enjoy a picnic lunch.