Bird's eye view
This small (.84 acres) park is
the city's oldest. On April 9, 1817 the Piatt brothers, John (1781-1822) and
Benjamin (1799-1863), gave this land to the city for a market place. Because
there were other markets nearby, the land was developed into a park. Situated in
the middle of Eighth Street between Vine and Elm it was called Eighth Street
Park and was dedicated on June 18, 1868. In 1882 a year after the death of
President James A. Garfield, (from Ohio), by an assassin the park was renamed
Garfield Park. It was not until October 20, 1940 was it again rededicated in
honor of the Piatts.
On December 1, 1887 a statue of President Garfield was unveiled in the middle of the intersection of Eighth and Race Street facing Cincinnati (south). Of course by the early twentieth century it had become a nuisance for downtown traffic. On January 14, 1915 it was moved to the western end of the park at Elm Street. It was again moved to its present position on the Vine Streets end in 1988.
Real photo postcard
Real Photo PC
Garfield and Harrison statues
William Henry Harrison married the daughter of John Cleves Symmes and moved to North Bend. During the war of 1812 Harrison commanded the Army of the Northwest and emerged a national hero. In 1840 Harrison became the ninth President of the United States and the first elected from Ohio. One month after taking office he died of pneumonia. He is buried in North Bend beneath an imposing monument. This statue of Harrison was sculpted by an instructor at the Art Academy, Louis T. Rebisso. Strangely Harrison, in full battle regalia, is shown without a saddle! No One knows what holds the stirrups up. Dedicated on June 25, 1895 at the eastern end of the park at Vine Street. It, like Garfield's statue, was moved in 1988 to its present position on western end of the park at Elm Street. (confusing isn't it?)
From top of Library
Five views of the park
A little piece of trivia I learned on my tour of some of the Civil War battle sites. Whenever you see a monument of a soldier sitting on a horse, if the horse has one leg raised the man was wounded in battle, if the horse has both front feet reared up the soldier was killed in battle. Harrison had been wounded in the Indian wars. The last card above was just recently discovered as mistakenly being placed on the Kentucky website. It is one of several cards that were misprinted in Germany for the Metropolitan News Company with Covington, Ky. instead of Cincinnati, Oh.
Washington Park is located across
the street from the Music Hall, bounded by Elm, Race, 12th and 14th streets, it comprises 4.9 acres. Up until 1855 this area was a
cemetery. Public health officials feared "miasmas"-vapors that were
thought to rise from corpses-might be responsible for many of the urban health
problems. So the city bought the land and reinterred the bodies in Spring Grove
The park opened in 1861. There are two granite busts in the park. Friedrich Hecker (1811-1881) was a refugee from the German revolution of 1848. He founded the first Turner society in the United States, (see Turners page). Hecker was a brigadier general in the Union army. The other memorial is of Robert McCook (1827-1862). He was a colonel in the Union army who led the all German 9th Ohio Volunteer Infantry from Cincinnati. He was killed during the war. These memorials were erected in 1883 and 1878 respectively. The cannon you see is from the Civil War fleet of admiral David G. Farragut.
Friedrich Hecker Robert McCook
Day scene and Night scene
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