Side A: Near this site in Over-The-Rhine was one of the original Kroger Grocery & Baking Company stores, where Bernard H. Kroger began serving the Over-the-Rhine area in 1902. Kroger was 23 years old when he opened his first store, The Great Western Tea Company, at 66 East Pearl Street near the Cincinnati Riverfront in July of 1883. By 1902, when the company was incorporated as the Kroger Grocery & Baking Company, Kroger operated 40 stores. By 1908, the company had grown to a chain of 136 stores in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky, and began making deliveries to customers with 200 mule-drawn wagons. Kroger was the first to combine meats and groceries under one roof and the first grocery company to operate its own bakery. Currently called the Kroger Co., the grocer is a major contributor to the local economy.
Side B: In the 1840s, Cincinnati’s downtown basin area was the Ohio River end of the Miami and Erie Canal. The canal followed what is now Central Parkway. This area north of the canal welcomed German, Dutch and French immigrants, who were attracted by the low cost of land, ample rental housing and nearby job opportunities along the canal. The Irish and Italians soon followed. Because of the German flavor of the area, the canal was dubbed the Rhine and the area across the canal became known as Over-the-Rhine. Appalachian families and African Americans moved into Over-the-Rhine during the 20th century. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, Over-the-Rhine is an example of an intact 19th century urban neighborhood.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Over-The-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, and The Ohio Historical Society