Friday, March 30, 2012

Some of the Early 1900’s Still Remain at Fern Bank Park

Grand Old Oak Trees Along the Promenade
      Our early spring has resulted in an instant flowering of trees and vegetation.  Earlier this month, I was on the city’s west side and ventured through Fern Bank Park, 63 acres sprawling along the Ohio River for more than a mile in Saylor Park.  The park is maintained by the city offering a mixture of old and new structures.  Many of the veteran trees were lost in a 1974 tornado, but the main promenade is still canopied with some of those massive oaks.  After the leaves are out, it’s truly a special place to watch the river traffic and passers by from the many benches along the river walk.

A View Showing the Old Docking Station
and Dexter Watching Roller Skaters
Caretaker's House and Warehouse
     The property is the remains of the Fern Bank Dam site completed in 1911 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Once other dams were built to help commerce navigate on the Ohio River, this dam was dismantled in 1963 with much of the land transferred to the Cincinnati Park Board in 1974.  Today there are only two structures from the Beaux-Arts complex remaining, the Caretaker’s Residence and the Warehouse that have been restored and offer space for special events.  The rest of the park continues to evolve with hiking trails, fishing, a bike trail, playgrounds, picnic areas, and an open field for play.

Vista Showing the Open Area and Playground

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