Baseball venues in Walnut Hills

The Deer Creek Commons, built over a large culvert down the valley between Gilbert Avenue and Reading Road, included the greatest amateur baseball venue in Cincinnati during the first half of the twentieth century. Deer Creek Commons was the home field for the Cincinnati Eclipse Black baseball team in the late 1920s and ‘30s, a[…]

Baseball venues: Walnut Hills Ashland Park

The parks plans of the progressive era not only resulted in the construction of large facilities like the Deer Creek Commons considered in the last post; Cincinnati also set about building a number of small neighborhood parks. In 1911 the new Park Board spent more than $10,000 for an acre of land in Walnut Hills[…]

Jennie Jackson DeHart and the Fisk Jubilee Singers

Jennie Jackson sang in the original Fish Jubilee Singers beginning in 1871. In 1885 she married the Nashville preacher Andrew J. DeHart, and the couple promptly returned to DeHart’s hometown of Cincinnati. Jennie Jackson Dehart continued her concert career with variations on the Jubilee Singers as her husband took over as principal at the Colored[…]

DeHart Hubbard and Baseball in Cincinnati

William DeHart Hubbard was born in Walnut Hills in 1903, named after the well-respected principal A. J. DeHart at the segregated Frederick Douglass School in the neighborhood. Hubbard went on to the original Walnut Hills High School at Ashland and Burdette, just three a three block walk from Douglass. At both schools he was a[…]

Andrew J. DeHart: Education and Sports at Frederick Douglass School

Andrew J. DeHart was born in Mississippi in 1855. His early biography is obscure, but by in 1870 he was in Cincinnati, enrolled in the new segregated Gaines High School in the West end. DeHart earned a place on the list of meritorious students for all four of his high school years and graduated in[…]

Granville T. Woods, Electrical Engineer

 Black engineer Granville T Woods spent a crucial decade in Cincinnati beginning in the early 1880’s, devising and patenting inventions mostly at the intersection of electricity and railroads. To dispense quickly with the Walnut Hills connection, Woods never lived in our neighborhood; for a while, he made his home on Fulton Avenue near the foot[…]

A brief history of the Frederick Douglass School buildings

1855: Dangerfield Earley’s School Before the Civil War many African Americans settled in Cincinnati. The city had a separate system of Colored Public Schools for their children. The suburb of Walnut Hills also had a private African American school run by Dangerfield Earley, minister of the First Church founded in 1856. The Rev. Earley held[…]

Robert Gordon's Coal Yard

Robert Gordon: How History lost his Community

The previous half-dozen posts examined the way businessman Robert Gordon thrived in the growing, prosperous and culturally rich African American community in Cincinnati before, during and after the Civil War. By the time of his death Gordon was a minor celebrity; he turned up in national accounts of wealthy Blacks during reconstruction and was covered[…]

Melrose YMCA Development and Programming

In 1944, the Cincinnati and Hamilton County YMCA established the Walnut Hills branch, a Black alternative to the segregated Williams YMCA on McMillan. Initially the branch operated the existing Nash Recreation Center at Mt. Zion AME Church. Within a few years the programs had more than 1700 participants and required more space. The citywide YMCA[…]

Walnut Hills (Melrose) YMCA

With the closing of the Melrose YMCA for a remodeling that will leave most of the space in the hands of other non-profit organizations, we look back at the history of the buildings on that lot – and their occupants – as a reflection of the history of the block and the neighborhood. Known originally[…]