Newport in Campbell County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Cincinnati Skyline Pre-1865
Twelve years after its founding, Cincinnati was still a rough village of mostly two-story log and frame houses with a population of 750. No real skyline yet existed unless you count the steeple of First Presbyterian Church at Fourth and Walnut (shown in the center of the sketch). The only other public buildings were Fort Washington (not shown) and Yeatman's Tavern which provided space for public meetings. Sketch courtesy of the Cincinnati Historical Society
By 1834 the Cincinnati riverfront had assumed the general outline it would maintain throughout the 19th century. Three- and four-story brick warehouses lined the Public Landing. Hotels and taverns crowded near the water to welcome visitors and serve the needs of rivermen. The nine-story mill rising directly out of the river (to the right) burned in 1835.
Church steeples rose above the mass of low buildings to punctuate the skyline. The steeple on the far left is First Presbyterian (Fourth and Walnut). The two steeples on the right belong to Christ Episcopal Church (Fourth and Sycamore).
Cincinnati 1848. On a quiet Sunday afternoon, September 24, 1848, Charles Fontayne and W. S. Porter captured this amazing panorama from the roof of a building four blocks east of Taylor Park at the corner of what used to be Riverside and Monmouth Streets. The image, made up of eight daguerreotypes, documents over two miles of Cincinnati riverfront at the very time when Cincinnati was the fastest-growing city in the United States.
Daguerreotype, the first widely used photographic process, was developed in France in 1839 by Louis Monde Daguerre. Cumbersome and expensive, this process quickly disappeared after 1853 as other photographic processes were developed. Daguerreotypes and identifications courtesy of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Cincinnati 1848: Frame I 1. Foot of Walnut Street 2. Sausage Row warehouses, offices and shops 3. Fifth District School 4. Public Landing 5. Commercial Row 6. Front Street
Cincinnati 1848: Frame II 7. Foot of Sycamore Street 8. Pittsburgh and Louisville Packet Line Office 9. Sixth District School 10. Second Presbyterian Church 11. Irwin and
Cincinnati 1848: Frame III 14. College Hall 15. Eight crewmen of the packet Brooklyn are visible on deck 16. Trollope's Bazaar by 1848 the Literary and Botanic-Medical College of Ohio 17. Christ Episcopal Church
Cincinnati 1848: Frame IV 18. Newport Ferry wharfboat 19. Lawrence Street part of today's Yeatman's Cove 20. Steamboat Captain Jacob Strader's house 21. Independent Fire Co. No. 2 22. Chimney of William Lytle's house (on the western edge of today's Lytle Park) 23. Cincinnati Union Bethel (cared for rivermen, their widows and orphans) 24. Fourth District School 25. Steamboat John Hancock (for sale at the time)
Cincinnati 1848: Frame V [inadvertently clipped by submitter]
Cincinnati 1848: Frame(s) VI- [This section of the marker is missing]
Dating this photograph has involved a process of deduction worthy of Sherlock Holmes.
First, it had to be 1848: The steamboat Doctor Franklin No. 2 (Frame I) was built in early 1848, but sold to a firm that took it to the Upper Mississippi later that same year. It never returned to Ohio. Other records indicate that
Second, it had to be late September. The presence of nearly 60 steamboats without any goods on the Public Landing waiting to be loaded indicates that the river was too low to permit navigation. According to newspaper accounts, the river was exceptionally low in late September 1848.
Third, it had to be a Sunday: The shadows indicate afternoon and the almost total lack of human activity indicates a Sunday afternoon. Weather reports from the period record the 24th as the only sunny Sunday in September. Daguerreotype and identifications courtesy of The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Churches & Religion • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 39° 5.543′ N, 84° 30.15′ W. Marker is in Newport, Kentucky, in Campbell County. Marker can be reached from Riverboat Row, on the right when traveling south. Marker is on the retaining wall surrounding the Taylor Park overlook. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Riverboat Row, Newport KY 41071, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Civil War in Northern Kentucky (here, next to this marker); Flood WallsDefending the Valley (here, next to this marker); A New Perspective: 1865-1900 (here, next to this marker); Fort Thomas (here, next to this marker); Skyscrapers and a Stadium: 1900-1972 (here, next to this marker); Floods and Flood Walls (a few steps from this marker); Licking River (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport.
More about this marker. Marker is a series of six stamped metal panels. The first panel is unreadable, and the fifth panel is missing.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 91 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 7, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.