Sunday, March 29, 2015

The 1937 Flood Revisited

A few years ago, I wrote about the impact of the 1937 flood on my Dad and his family who were living at 2424 Eastern Ave. (now Riverside Drive). It included family pictures that had been passed down to us. Three years later, I acquired additional pictures from the Cincinnati History and Archives Library at the Museum Center. They are in possession of a scrapbook of flood pictures that were collected from a variety of individual collections. One of the pictures was one I recognized from the collection of Mary Pharo Meldon, who loaned it to me for inclusion in the Blue Room Belch.

The search led to additional pictures that featured my Dad's house. John Thomas Jones was 16-years old at the time of the flood. I remember him telling stories about the house being accessible only through an attic window by boat.

This is my Dad's house on the left. We do not know the identities of the men in the boat.

From this view, you can see that the water level got up just below the attic. The house is still standing in 2015. 

This view is from the railroad tracks above the house. I have no idea why there is a car on the tracks.
Dad's house is the small one on the left. Note all of the furniture stacked next to the tracks.

Finally, Mary Pharo Meldon's collection included this great picture of people from the East End trying to acquire drinking water after the Cincinnati Water Works pumping equipment failed.

From the Collection of Mary Pharo Meldon

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 2015 Flooding

St. Rose Church from the air 3-16-2015
Photo Credit: Tim Jeffries

Over the years, I've taken numerous pictures of St. Rose Church -- but never from this view. Once again, photographer Tim Jeffries outdid himself when he captured this picture of the recent flood. If I recall correctly, this year's flood crested at 58.6 feet. Flood stage is 52' so it was just enough to flood the parking lot of St. Rose Church. Note that the "little red benches" featured in the previous post were completely submerged.

In talking with Tim, I asked him if he had any pictures of the flooding of Rivertowne Marina. He shared this one with me.

Rivertowne Marina
Photo Credit: Tim Jeffries

As you can see, the buildings and the boats stored in the surrounding lot are high and dry. Just to add a few pictures of my own, Bill and I went down and captured the Jennie Wade, normally undergoing restoration in the parking lot, surrounded by water and some of the local ducks.

Jennie Wade 3-8-15

Finally, here is a picture of my husband, Bill Reed, sitting on the "little red bench" the week before it would be completely submerged in the rising flood waters. I think we are all ready for spring.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Little Red Bench

The Little Red Bench
Used with the permission  of Tim Jeffries, Photographer
I'll admit it -- I spend way too much time on facebook. One recent discovery seems to have justified the time. Photographer, Tim Jeffries, posted a picture of a red bench behind St. Rose Church on the banks of the Ohio River. I responded to Tim that this was a special place in the hearts of all Jones descendants as Elizabeth Kinley Jones and family lived on the river bank in a small frame house in 1870. I wrote about this in detail in 2011. I jokingly told Tim that our family would probably love to have a four-season set of pictures from this spot. Since then, Tim has posted numerous pics from this spot.

For those of you who are not aware, a Sandborn Fire Map pictures the exact location of the little frame house sitting on the river bank on land that is now occupied by the city-owned water works.

The frame building is described as being 250' from the corner of St. Rose Church. My brother, Tim, his wife, Dusty, and I went with tape measure in hand and tried to determine the exact location. You can read about our efforts here.

So the bench, for me, has become a symbol. It is a symbol of the Jones family connection to the river and to St. Rose. And due to numerous facebook posts during the past few weeks, I know it is symbolic for many Joneses, Scardinas, Brevings and Kramers. So think of our family when you visit the bench. Hopefully, the next pictures will have a lot more green.

Note: I encourage you to check out some of Tim Jeffries photos of Cincinnati. I recently purchased a beautiful picture of the Over-the-Rhine area printed on canvas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Back to the River

It's been more than a year since I posted about our Jones/Wainright family connection to the Ohio River. During much of 2014, I tried to compile information documenting our relationship to Vincent Wainwright, our 4X great-grandfather and Revolutionary War patriot. He had served as a "Minute Man." You can read more about him here. Qualifying for the Daughters of the American Revolution requires "rock solid" research that tested every one of my skills. I am proud to say that I was successful. The process led me to uncover Cincinnati deeds for property owned by our Wainrights along the river, in the area that is now the Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park.

Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park
In fact, as we will discover, William Wainright (and his wife, Ruth), were forced to sell their property along the river due to eminent domain. The land was taken in order to build the Little Miami Railroad, pictured along the left side of the picture.

So let's explore together our early Cincinnati roots along the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. A river truly does run through us.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Don Adds a Chapter to Our Family History on the Ohio

Captain Don helps lock the Jennie Wade through the Meldahl Dam lock on her way to Cincinnati.

I know it's been a good six months since I've added anything to this blog. I always seem to want to add things in chronological order, but my brother, Don Jones, gave me a good reason to go "out of order."

On April 1, 2013, Don ended his term as "President" of Champion Window, a company he had worked for and developed for twenty years. The company was purchased from the original owners by a group of out-of-state investors. The writing was pretty much on the wall. But not for Don ...

Don was able to become the owner of the Rivertowne Marina on Kellogg Avenue. This is the "right" move on so many levels. Don has always had a love of the river, working on the Delta Queen just out of high school, and purchasing increasingly larger boats over time. His current boat, the Fleur de Lis, was docked at Four Seasons Marina and provided the larger Jones family with countless memories, especially of trips to view the fireworks on Labor Day.

This second career has enabled Don to combine a love of the river with his business skills. He immediately made changes to the marina, cutting down overgrown weeds, identifying abandoned boats for removal, etc. But that's not enough for Don.

Rivertowne Marina actually includes 42 acres (including water) and has a lot of empty space that could be developed. Long-time customers were thrilled to discover that the new owner actually has a Captain's license and a love of boating at all levels -- well, maybe sailboats are an exception.

He has so much vision. He recently made the decision to purchase the Jennie Wade, a 54' sternwheeler with an interesting history. Lacking an engine, the boat was pushed down the river by a towboat yesterday to make its new home at Rivertowne Marina. Don has an incredible vision for the future of this boat. It may serve as a concession enabling Rivertowne boaters to purchase ice, soft drinks and snacks without having to leave the facility. It will also add quite a bit of ambiance to a somewhat sterile environment. He has many other ideas, but I would be remiss to reveal them at this time.

I think all of the Joneses couldn't help but believe that Dad looked down on us with approval as we moved the Jennie Wade from Chilo to Cincinnati in beautiful weather. The marina is not very far from the East End location where four generations of Joneses lived and worked as far back as 1840 in Cincinnati. I feel like we have come full circle and that all of us are rejoicing in Don's newest project. If you want to know more, "like" the Rivertowne Marina facebook page and follow a new blog on the Jennie Wade located at Jennie Wade Sternwheeler.

Welcome aboard!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Proud Man - Charles Fred Jones aka "Butch"

I've written about my grandfather and his pride in his work before. I'm grateful that the Cincinnati Transit Company published a bimonthly news magazine called The News. I thought I had pretty much gleaned what I could from their publication until I found out that the Cincinnati History Library and Archives had some copies I may not have reviewed. A trip to the library uncovered some gems I had not previously discovered. What joy! And so I share them with you -- my fellow Joneses.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's Done with Ropes

From The News, May-June 1946, p. 17.
The News was a bi-monthly publication of the Cincinnati Transit Company, aka "the bus company." My Dad, John Thomas Jones, worked in the "car barn" where his father was the foreman. This picture was taken one year after Dad served in England during World War II. Eventually he would become a mechanic, and later, an electrician. The picture in the magazine had more detail that the one I was able to reproduce, but you get the idea. I love it when someone comes up with a simple solution to a problem they face -- as this one was. Dad would have been 25 at the time of this picture.