History
Westwood Homes.net
a site on living in Westwood Cincinnati
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History

A little history about Cincinnati and Westwood.

Cincinnati was founded in 1780 by Col. Byrd a British Revolutionary officer.  Benjamin Stites the Columbia pioneer saw the site and induced Judge John Cleves Symmes of New Jersey to purchase the property as a part of the famous "Symmes purchase" which incorporated the land between the two Miami's from the Government for $1 an acre.  The first settlement was established at Columbia, now Columbia Tusculum in 1788.  The land was named Losantisville where the city center was surveyed to be.  General Arthur St.Clair, Governor of the Northwestern Territory declared in 1790 to change the name to Cincinnati in honor of the Order of Revolutionary officers which bore the later Roman title.  St.Clair organized Hamilton County and fought the Native Americans to insure stealing the land went through.  The fort was erected on Third and Broadway downtown.  Harrison Pike, now Harrison Avenue was established pre 1848 when the Brighton House was built, which was torn down in 1876.  Queen City was added a few years later.  Harrison Avenue of course was named after President William Henry Harrison. 

Westwood becomes a Village

One of the pioneer farm owners was Richard Gaines of London England.  He purchased 160 acres in 1820 in unincorporated Westwood.  Over time with Harrison Pike becoming a major gateway to Western hills and its farms, toll gates and Mile marked inns specializing as Wine Gardens were erected and were very popular. 

Westwood becomes a village on September 14, 1868.

 Around 1876 a major land owner Alexander Ferguson, "father" of Cincinnati's Southern Railroad established relationships with John Gamble, Casimir L. Werk I and other wealthy industrialists whom had factories and town homes downtown.  Mr. Werk was the first adventurer to build a country estate on over 100 acres, growing grapes and hops for production of wine and beer, with his wife Elsa LaFeuille, which is the Werk estate now located on Fleetwood Ave. off LaFeuille.  Please click on Our Neighbors  for a great history of the Werk's and their Westwood Estates.  In May of 1874 a new company was formed the Cincinnati & Westwood Railroad which really opened up development of Westwood and in 1887 James Gamble, Casimir Werk, William Oskamp, of the famous silver smith and jewelers, and 4 others purchased the railroad, rebuilt the tressels and tracks and for years took their private cars to work everyday.  As a child I remember looking at Mr. Gambles private car which was stored in the barn behind his house on Werk Rd. 

The Cincinnati & Westwood Railroad
Geo.Mygapp, Geo.Johnston, Erasmus Tate,  Phil Heubach,  Val Heubach
Old No. 2 and its Crew in 1892


Mr. James N. Gamble

James N. Gamble the real patriarch of Western Hills was very much responsible for the vision and realization of Westwood as a thriving suburb.  After the revitalization and improvement to the railway that connected to downtown and out to Green Township, he was instrumental in getting the Street Railway Company to extend the street car line to Harrison and Glenmore Avenues.   In 1932 he dedicated the Western Hills Viaduct connecting car traffic to downtown. Mr. Gamble was the mayor of Westwood in 1896 when he incorporated Westwood into Cincinnati.  As part of the deal the Village of Westwood had to build extensive street and side walks before the city would accept us.  He was also responsible for adding the other 2 viaducts, the YMCA, now our Town Hall, the Library, the Westwood Methodist Church,  and planted thousands of trees along our roads.
The fate of the Gamble estate will be the next issues blog subject.  As many know the current owner and heir to the estate Mrs. Louise Nippert wants the house torn down and is rumored to be donating the barn, guest house, etc with the land to a foundation similar to the one she has in Indian Hill for underprivileged children to learn about farms and will have horses on the estate again.  We all have mixed feelings about this wonderful gift because of the house.  However thankfully,  the Werk Estate is flourishing with a total refurbishment back to its original splendor.  You can see the love and its wonderful!  We'll be reporting on its progress in our blog and web site.

I recommend "Achievement"  Cincinnati's Western Hills 1932 for an incredible history of the area and our beautiful housing stock.  Frankly a lot of these homes look better today as landscaping and street scaping has improved!

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