Tree lined streets. Charming homes. Elephants!
The first place to go for the story of Terrace Park is a book by Ellis Rawnsley, “A Place Called Terrace Park”, which talks about the area from earliest time to the present.
Although the Village of Terrace Park is now a quiet residential neighborhood, a look back in time reveals a very different picture.Long before recorded history a mysterious people created a vast pattern of earthen mounds across the landscape, of which only traces remain.The Valley of the Mound Builders is a website created by Terrace Park resident Steve Early, to explore the ancient history and archeology of our area.
Fast forward to 1792 when 40 pioneers led by the intrepid Abraham Covalt arrived on the shores of the Little Miami River to find a vast wilderness populated by Native Americans. A research project undertaken by Carol C. Cole and Esther H.M. Power, Terrace Park from Unsettled Land to Incorporation documents this time period.
One hundred years later, Terrace Park was the winter home of one of the most popular traveling shows of the time, the John Robinson Circus. Three generations of John Robinsons left their mark on the village with their crew of circus performers and menagerie of exotic animals, including their most famous star, Tillie, the African elephant.
Part of the mission of the Terrace Park Historical Society is the preservation of historic artifacts, including documents, photographs and memorabilia from our past.
We welcome additions – if you are cleaning out an attic or have found an item that is relevant to Terrace Park history, please let us know. (As we have limited space, we can’t take any more copies of Village Views newspapers or Village directories.)
One of our projects involves keeping digital copies of many of our most valuable documents, and as these are completed, we are making them available on this website. Our first digitized collection, our archive of Village Views newspapers, can be found HERE.
You are invited to enjoy The Story of the John Robinson Circus, as told by Terrace Park resident, Erin Purcell, for the website “Circus4Youth”.
Over the ensuing years the village was popular with commuters who could travel by rail to Cincinnati and enjoy the quiet country life in Terrace Park. Many of our most beautiful and historic homes were built during the early part of the 1900’s. The original Terrace Park School had its first graduating class in 1890, and continued to serve the community until 1957. In November of 1989, two of the original graduates, Virginia Marquett (1941) and Ralph Vilardo (1949) founded the Terrace Park Alumni Association.
We hope you enjoy our articles on aspects of Terrace Park history, and you are also welcome to visit us and explore our archives as well.