What’s in a Name?

(by Jen Buchholz, reprinted from the November issue of “A Walk in the Park” Magazine)

Terrace Park is a town with a story to tell. The varying styles and ages of the homes in our village show that our neighborhood that has evolved over the years. In fact, a simple map of our town reveals much more history than you might expect.

Terrace Place

This land was home to the prehistoric Mound Builders and, centuries later, was a hunting ground for Miami and Shawnee Native Americans. With the opening of the Northwest Territory in 1787, white settlers first began to inhabit this area. Terrace Park was in a parcel of land between the Great and the Little Miami Rivers that was purchased by Continental Congressman John Cleves Symmes. In his “Miami Purchase,” he acquired 330,000 acres for 66-cents an acre.

A Revolutionary War Captain, Abraham Covalt, acquired 1209 acres from the Miami Purchase and built Covalt Station, a 40,000 square foot settlement. Settlers also established Round Bottom Station, at the opposite end of Miami Avenue. Covalt Station was abandoned in the late 1790s and burned down in 1810, but this area was identified as Covalt’s Station until 1835.

Terrace Park remained agricultural and attempts to make it a residential center often failed to realize their planned potential. John Smith, a Baptist minister who helped Ohio achieve statehood and was one of the first U.S. senators from Ohio, owned Round Bottom Farm, named from the early settlement. His farm was the center of his business and even had its own post office. However, a political scandal with Aaron Burr lead to Smith’s resignation in disgrace, and likely stopped Round Bottom from becoming the center (and the name) of Terrace Park.

In 1850, William Winters planned a subdivision called Camden City. The pillars at the bottom of Drewry Farm at Wooster Pike bear the name of Camden City, the remaining evidence of his plans that had also included a school, blacksmith and saloon.

G.W. Corey was another early developer in the neighborhood, creating the residential area on Park Ave in 1886.

Thomas R. Biggs, the builder of the grand house on Elm named Gravelotte, attempted to develop a subdivision of the same name. However, most of his land remained undeveloped, as he sold off parcels.

The majority of planning occurred between 1886 and 1892. John Pattison and JB Iuen partnered with James W. Sibley and started to develop the “Camden City” section of the village, naming the streets after their university names. Sibley later partnered with CR Stuntz and platted the land south of Amherst. The last of Biggs land was sold to Harry and Miles Eveland in 1937.

Terrace Park’s naming, however, was a fluke and not a product of the haphazard subdivision of the village. John Traber, a businessman in Cincinnati, built a house at New Street and Wooster, a vineyard on Indian Hill. He ran a contest offering a sewing machine to the person who named the town. No one entered the contest, so his proposed name of Terrace Park won—and stuck. The rest, as they say, is history.

Your property may reveal more history than you realized. As you look through documents, you may find that you live in the subdivision of Thomas Biggs Estates, Eveland or Pattison & Iuen. Named by mistake, and developed in phases, our streets certainly have a story to tell. You can learn more about Terrace Park’s history by reading A Place Called Terrace Park and Terrace Park from Unsettled Land to Incorporation.