Monday, April 2, 2012

Livery and Undertaking

I came across this week's property last December, when I was doing some research for the North of Liberty Facebook page owner. I saw this picture on the page:
Source
The logo above the door caught my eye and I wanted to know more. I looked at the old maps and saw in 1891 it was George Meyer, Undertaker. But I wanted to know just how long Mr. Meyer had been at that location, what had been 664-666 Vine Street, today known as 1804 Vine, near the point made by Vine Street and East McMicken.
1891 Sanborn Map - Source

I got back as far as 1866, when Joseph Schreiber owned a livery and stable business here. In 1870, he was joined by William Gerstle and Henry Noewer, now listed as undertakers. The business transferred hands a few times until 1880, when George Meyer took over the business.
Vine Street Side
 The following is from the 1887 Williams City Directory:

MEYER GEORGE, Proprietor Vine Street Livery Stable; Undertaker; Horses kept by the day. week or meal, 664 and 666 Vine and 129 and 131 McMicken Av.; Residence 666 Vine
As you can imagine, the livery business eventually went out of style with the invention of the automobile, but the Meyer family hung onto the undertaking business. After George Meyer passed away, his son George and grandson Charles took over the business. It remained at this location until sometime after WWII when the business was moved to Montgomery Road in Pleasant Ridge and then later to Section Avenue.
Source
 By 1950, the Vine Street location was purchased by the Radel family, in the funeral and undertaking business since 1878. By 1956, it was sold and eventually became the House of God Chapel until 1990. Ownership has changed hands quite a few times since then and was last sold in 2011 for just $10,000.

As for the logo over the door on the rear entrance on McMicken Street?
It appears to have a M and a S - Meyer Stables. Still there after all these years.

4 comments:

  1. I spent many church services in 1804 Vine Street, My late grandfather was the pastor of the House of God Church which occupied the building from the early 60s to the mid 90s.

    I always wondered why I could see a large dark room (old horse stable) through a small window on the back wall of the chapel. Mystery solved.

    Incidently, the "horse stable" was used for years as a tire shop ran by one of my grandfather's friends.

    Aaron Campbell

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  2. Just saw this and thought it was pretty interesting. My current landlord is the current owner of the property. He has taken me through there. It is an absolutely beautiful building. Also, there is an addition of a Concrete ramp leading to the basement. Apparently, this was the first undertaker in Cincinnati to use a motorized hearse. The space is full of potential and we are looking to make something come of the building. It is absolutely stunning the history that can be found here in OTR.

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    1. I just saw this reply. I will be in Cincinnati (currently live in the Atlanta area) during the week of Thanksgiving. My brothers (in Cincinnati) and I are interested in meeting with the building owner. We are looking at a downtown business option. It would be nice to at least consider Granddad's old building as a possible space. Please email me at urbancort@gmail.com as soon as you get this message.

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