Remember the Historic House Tour I told you I went on a couple of weeks ago in Columbia Tusculum, Ohio? I already showed you some photos of it in my Porches on Parade for Fall post but thought I’d show you some more, including a few I took inside.
The neighborhood has rows of Victorian Painted Ladies like this one perched on the hills overlooking the river. This pink and purple-painted one was my daughter Lily’s favorite. She wants us to paint our house these colors now!
Columbia Tusculum is the oldest neighborhood in Cincinnati, settled on the banks of the Ohio River when Native Americans were still living there.
For many years they lived in “block houses” inside what was known as Fort Miami. Early maps marked the area as “Slaughterhouse” because so many white settlers were killed or kidnapped by the Native Americans.
An old history book, quoted on the community website, described a cabin built in 1789:
“Its narrow doors of thick oak plank, turning on stout wooden hinges, and secured with strong bars braced with timber from the floor, formed a safe barrier to the entrance below; while above, on every side, were port-holes, or small embrasures, from which we might see and fire upon the enemy. Of windows we had but two, containing only four panes of glass each, in openings so small, that any attempt to enter them, by force, must have proved fatal to an assailant.”
Early settlers reported taking their guns everywhere–even to church. General Anthony Wayne’s army defeated the Indian tribes in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, clearing the way for the white settlers to live more normal lives and build “regular homes.” The oldest existing home in the area dates back to 1804.
They initially built close to the river but soon learned that they were too easily flooded there. That’s why they began building higher up in the hills.
The streets are extremely steep, as are the narrow steps leading from them up to the houses. It’s difficult to photograph the exteriors because they are so high above you when you’re standing on the sidewalk.
I’d love to know how women managed to walk up and down those steps in their long dresses! And I can only imagine what it was like during long winters when everything turned to ice. Even today with salt trucks and snow plows, it would be dicey.
Original Rookwood fireplace in the living room:
Stained-glass window on the landing between floors:
On the third floor is a balcony where you can sit and look out at the Ohio River:
You can see the Ohio River in the distance from this hill:
This house was at the tippy-top of one of the hills.
Built in 1888, it backs up to more than 93 acres of park land. One of my favorite things about these houses are the front doors:
This home was still being renovated. Some of the ceilings had been removed from the first floor and you could look up through the rafters. Skylights were installed. Walls removed. It was sort of disorienting. I liked this old fireplace that they left in place, though:
This brick wall was also part of the original structure. You can see off to the right the remodeled kitchen with skylights. Things were still under construction and it was hard to figure out if they were making it more contemporary or trying to restore it back to the way it had been before an earlier renovation:
This home is next door was built in 1890 and is on the market for $384,900:
Like the house before, the rafters were exposed in some of the rooms, including the dining room, which created an interesting effect:
The family room addition was added to the back of the house in 1998:
I loved the front door and this view looking out onto the front porch as we came down the stairs (you can see photos of the bedrooms here):
From the large backyard, you can see how the addition was added to the back of the original house:
Hope you enjoyed this peek into some of the grand old ladies on the hill! To see more photos I took in Columbia Tusculum earlier this year, click here. To take a tour of a charming yellow Victorian in the neighborhood, click here.