06 May 2008

A Bit of Very Early Cincinnati History

From Luke Feck's Yesterday's Cincinnati:

During prehistoric times what is now called the Ohio River flowed up the Little Miami River out Duck Creek Road, before most of that became highway I-71, and up toward Hamilton. It came back down part of the Great Miami River bed. The Licking River flowed on up the Millcreek Valley. There was a large lake over the Cincinnati basin (or at least high backwater), and a natural barrier across the Ohio around Anderson Ferry.

The Ice Age pulverized the Cincinnati area topography, making hills and fossil troves, and sticking the river back about where it should be-- to a point where you would recognize it.

Once the geography settled down, a band of so-called Indians settled the area around the time of Christ's birth. They were known as the Moundbuilders, but where they came from nobody knows.

The last of the Moundbuilders disappeared from this area about the same time Jamestown, Virginia, was colonized.

By 1669 Robert de La Salle was rowing past the future site of Cincinnati. He called the river "La Belle Riviere" or Beautiful River. Indians who hunted there called it "Oh-he-yo" or Great River.

Factoid: Mound Street in the West End is Cincinnati's oldest street and got its name because it was one of the Moundbuilder's mounds.

No comments: