Tree lined streets. Charming homes. Elephants!
Although the Village of Terrace Park is now a quiet residential neighborhood, 120 years ago it was the winter home of one of the most popular traveling shows of the time, the John Robinson Circus. The three generations of John Robinsons and their menagerie of exotic animals are legendary here. But most famous of all was their star performer, Tillie, the African elephant. Stories abound in Terrace Park about her exploits, and when she died in 1932, her funeral was a civic event. School was cancelled for the day, a private plane dropped flowers and the Cincinnati Enquirer carried a full obituary.
In 2001, in an effort to document and preserve the history of the Village, a group of residents led by Carol C. Cole and Betsy Holloway came together to found what is now the Terrace Park Historical Society. The first meeting of the Society as held in November, 2001 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, with 48 interested residents in attendance. Support continued to grow as the society offered educational programs, and became the repository for the history and traditions of the past.
In 2003, St. Thomas Church generously offered to provide much-needed space for the TPHS offices and in 2011, the Society opened a Gallery/Museum in the church as well. The new Gallery/Museum provides a space where school groups and other visitors may view the Society’s historic memorabilia and works of art donated by both residents and former residents. As Terrace Park is home to a large creative community, the collection includes paintings, photographs, sculpture, and a selection of well- known children’s books, as well as many unique handcrafted items.
From the beginning, the Society has stressed the value of collecting and displaying historical information about Terrace Park. Along with maintaining an extensive collection of archives, the society also collects oral histories and provides educational programs for the community. A newsletter, The Tracker, is published quarterly.
Since 2008, the Society has hosted the popular House Tour of Terrace Park, showcasing some of the Village’s unique and historic homes. These events have attracted visitors from as far north as Dayton, south as Louisville, and throughout Greater Cincinnati. Currently, the Society is planning the upcoming 2014 House Tour, which has been scheduled for Sunday, October 5. Save the date!
As the event is finalized, information can be found on our website, TPHistoricalSociety.org, and in the Village Views.