Did they really grow grapes here in Mt. Adams? This is the legend, but after pouring over countless documents yesterday in the "Special Collections" room, I found precious little evidence in the form of photos, wine-labels, or even wine-signs. So I'm cautiously suspicious. I need a sign -- any sign! At one point the librarian turned up a picture frame of what might have been a genuine Longfellow Catawbwa wine label, but because the picture was framed, we simply could not verify whether it was infact genuine. And so the search continues. If you have any clues, let me know.
Today I spent about three hours at the Museum Center's Special Collections library to research just about everything about the history of Mt. Adams. I poured through file and after file of old photographs, postcards, and even menus and souvenirs from the turn of the century period. Just when I thought I had my fill, Barbara, the experienced and efficient librarian, kept bringing another file my way to round out my discovery. I started with Mt. Adams in general, then moved to the Mt. Adams Incline, then Eden Park, the Monastery/Churches and many others.
Fortunately, I was able to have them make photo copies of the some of my favorite photos. Some of them are absolute gems: night-time photos of the Mt. Adams incline; old photos of workers at the Rookwood Pottery; fancy turn-of-the-century gatherings in Eden Park; photos of the Eden Park Reservoir (you know, the one that cultivates so much mystique when you see the ruins), and old program from the world-famous Highland House (which sat on the hill to the left of the Mt. Adams incline entrance), and many many more.
So you see, there were two primary orders of monks: the Dominicans and the St. Francis. Unlike the Franciscans -- you know, St. Francis, the one who hung out with the birds -- the Dominicans were known be an pretty intense lot so they just didn't need as much of a java jolt to get things done. And so we name this special blend of X and X for this important order of monks.
Excerpts From Museum Center Guide “Gallery In Motion”: For much of the 19th century, land associated with Mt. Adams was generally regarded as being of little or no value. In the 1830s, Nicholas Longworth, Cincinnati’s first millionaire, acquired some of this land and used part of it for vineyards. He donated another parcel of land to the Cincinnati Astronomical Society for an observatory site. Despite this, much of the land on Mt. Adams remained undeveloped for years. With the construction of the incline in 1874, Mt. Adams experienced a construction boom that lasted through the turn of the century. Limited real estate and difficult accessibility prevented manufacturing development, with the exception of smaller enterprises such as the Rookwood Pottery and Sterling Cut Glass. Most residents of Mt. Adams were employed by businesses in the Deer Creek Valley below Mt. Adams or on the riverfront. Rookwood Pottery, founded in 1874 by Maria Longworth Nichols, granddaughter of Nicholas Longworth, moved from its original location in a schoolhouse on Eastern Avenue to a new home in Mt. Adams in 1891. At its height in the 1920s, Rookwood employed 200 men and women and received 4,000 visitors annually. The Great Depression destroyed the company’s sales; by 1941, it was in receivership. Despite several attempts to revive the business and the Rookwood name, the building went unused until 1966 when it was restored and converted into a restaurant.
This post hereby kicks off the official (or unofficial) Mt. Adams blog. For all I know, not a single soul will visit this site, but my goal is to turn it into a real community organizing principle. Time will tell.