Hyde Park :: History
Hyde Park was a rural area, owned almost entirely by 3 settlers, until railways linked it with Cincinnati in the late 1800s. The village of Hyde Park was established in 1892. Several prominent businessmen in Cincinnati, known originally as the Mornington Syndicate, wanted to create an exclusive community for prosperous residents, so they bought all of the land in the area and sold parcels only to residents who they felt met their criteria. They named it after the elegant Hyde Park of New York. It was incorporated as a village in 1896 and was annexed by the City of Cincinnati in 1903.
Electric streetcar lines ran along Madison Pike, Erie Avenue and Edwards Road in the late 1800s, replacing horsecars, along the narrow muddy streets. A railroad stop existed at the corner of Madison and Edwards, along with a one-room schoolhouse.
From 1899 to 1911, library services were offered in Hyde Park through a delivery station in a drugstore.
Hyde Park was among a 6-block radius in the East End that was struck by a tornado in 1917. Three people died and 110 homes were destroyed. It was the first recorded tornado in Cincinnati.
The heart of Hyde Park is Hyde Park Square, which encompasses a 2-block area of Erie Avenue bounded by Edwards Road on the West and Michigan Avenue on the East. In 1900 real-estate investor Charles Kilgour donated the Kilgour Fountain to the people of Hyde Park. Centrally located on Hyde Park Square, this bronze fountain features a classically draped female figure, lion-head water spouts and fluted basins. It was restored in 1976.
Other historic places in the neighborhood: The Hyde Park Baptist Church, begun in 1790 by a surgeon in George Washington's army, moved to its current location on Michigan Avenue in 1904. The Victoria Inn of Hyde Park is housed in the 1909 Victorian home near the square. The Echo Restaurant opened in 1945 and still operates its 50s-style diner on the square.