It is very easy to get lost with popular tourist spots, the craft beer, and a microcosm of events that you miss out on a few hidden gems and fun facts. Full disclosure – this piece was written mainly for myself so that I don’t forget a few quirks of this city. Here are five things you probably don’t know about Cincinnati.
The Haunted Hall
Music Hall is, reportedly, haunted. Several fans and curious individuals have reported some level of paranormal activities, while others claim to have seen ghosts of previous performers. Of course, there are those that don’t believe the stories of ghosts at all, including Marie Gallagher, who worked at Music Hall for over two decades. It is very likely that the stories of hauntings were fueled by the fact that the Hall was built atop a pauper’s cemetery. Music Hall and its hauntings were the subjects of two TV shows: Ghost Hunters and Most Terrifying Places in America.
The original name of the settlement was Losantiville. The city was named by John Filson in 1788, who combined several languages to come up with a name that, basically, means something like the city opposite the mouth of the (Licking) River. Two years later, the name was changed by the governor of the Northwest Territory, Arthur St. Clair to Cincinnati, after the society of the Cincinnati. The origin of this name can be traced to Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a farmer turned Roman Consul and emergency war leader, only to give up the power and turn back to farming after the danger passed.
It may be weird and I am also guilty of this, but in Cincinnati, if we don’t hear what you said, we don’t say: ‘Beg your pardon?’ ‘Pardon me’ or even ‘Excuse me?’ For some reason lost to time, we say: ‘Please’ to replace all of these.
That’s not the only linguistic oddity here. Some time ago, we got our mangos and peppers mixed up, so if you ask someone for a mango here, you could very well end up with a few green bell peppers.
Dolly Parton Towers
Here is a quick rundown for those that are not familiar with the country singer – Dolly Parton is a national treasure known for her perky attitude and… a few enhancements, starting from the 60s. Now, there is a company called Procter & Gamble, known for soaps and detergents, which is based in Cincinnati. Their headquarters are two towers that the locals refuse to call their original name, dubbing them the Dolly Parton Towers for…obvious reasons.
The first recorded crime in Cincinnati’s history was petty theft. What was stolen was not money, jewelry, or any item of clothing. Patrick Grimes was sentenced to twenty-nine lashes because he stole cucumbers. While this may seem like a joke, the first few years of the city left the residents often feeling hungry and thirsty. I’m happy to say that crime has been on the decline since 2001.