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Walnut Hills, Ohio History

James Kemper was a pioneer minister who built a log cabin in 1804 and called his farm Walnut Hills.  There were probably a lot of walnut trees on his property, but I am hard pressed to find one nowadays.  Gaslights are growing up all over the place, grand mansions are pretty obvious but Walnut Trees, not many!

Lane Seminary's establishment in 1929 was popular and people were attracted to the neighborhood of like thinkers including Lymon Beecher, father of Harriet Beecher Stowe.  So Walnut Hills became the catalyst for the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railway that helped escaping slaves from Kentucky make their way to Canada and safety.

Walnut Hills had many acres of vineyards owned by Nicholas Longworth that were donated to the city for Eden Park in 1870. The design of the park and the hillside overlooking the city became a neighborhood in itself and it is this proximity to desirable housing that has both Walnut Hills and Mt. Adams so attractive and desirable.

During the mid 1900s , many of the houses became multi-family residences especially on the West side of Walnut Hills, closer to UC. Many impressive and large apartments were built, the nationally famous Cincinnati Public School Walnut Hills High School was started and has become one the top public high schools in the nation. 95% of students go on to Universities, clearly the Ivy League of our city.

Nowadays, East Walnut Hills which ends at O'Bryonville has become extremely desirable since residents can easily walk to the O'Bryonville business district for cafes, restaurants, dry cleaners, antique stores, upscale custom dress shops and Interior Decorators.

And as you work your way towards O'Bryonville, the houses become bigger, their facades more brick and stone, and architecturally much more impressive. Clearly the movers and shakers of Walnut Hills wanted to be closer to Hyde Park. So the gaslights moved in, but regretfully, no Walnut trees, lots of charm though!