435 Elm Avenue

General Information

No: 435
Street: Elm
Name: Marigold Tea Room
Family: Freshley
Historic Plaque: N

Owner Info: Y
Built: 1914
Sec: 23
Sub: Camden City
Lot: 312 ir, 688 to 697 & 821 to 825 inc to Jackson St. Vac pars 87 to 104
Cont/Build: Harry Eveland?

Description: 2 story stucco Traditional with southern porches, hip & gable roof.
Original Use: Residential
Current Use: Residential

Add To: Y
Sub From: N
Replace: N

Changes Details: Added bath and bedroom to back (1st floor). 1988 - combined existing bedroom/bath into large bathroom (Comisar). 1990s - added a two room playhouse with electricity and phone as an outbuilding. 1998 - major addition to the north with excavation of brick cistern for wine cellar for the Freshleys. Added attached garage and master bedroom and bath (Jane Yancey, architect; Fletcher, contractor). 2002 - permit for M&M Dan Freshley to erect accessory structures - pool, pool house, fireplace, open arbor, stone fence and patio (Fletcher, contractors, Arcanum, architects).


Current Owner: Jill & Fred Freshley
Curr Date Fr: 1995
Curr Date To:

Original Owner: Anna Louise Closterman
Date Fr: 1915
Date To: 1928

Owner 1: Rev George Grunkemeyer (later Gertrude et al)
Date To 1: 1950

Owner 2: William
Date Fr 2: 1950
Date To 2: 1956

Owner 3: Virginia M. Cramer
Date Fr 3: 1956
Date To 3 1967

Owner 4: Robert R. & Jeanette Eisele
Date Fr 4: 1967
Date To 4: 1976

Owner 5: Donald U. & Palmer L. Ellsworth
Date Fr 5: 1976
Date To 5: 1980

Owner 6: William S. & Sarah M. Cantwell
Date Fr 6: 1980
Date To 6: 1986

Owner 7: Nathan
Date Fr 7: 1986
Date To 7: 1995

1958 Owner: Virginia M. Cramer. 312 Irr Lots 688 to 697 & 821 to 825 Inc Camden City Sub & Jackson St. Vac Pars 87 to 104.

1975 Owner: Robert R. & Jeanette Eisle. 688 to 697 & 821 to 825 Camden City & Jackson Street Pars 87 to 104


Story 1 : This may have been at one time a two family house??? (don't know the source for this) Later it was the Marigold Tea Room Restaurant with a wrap around porch on three sides and rocking chairs for guests of the tea room. It was also rumored once to have been a brothel for the railroad workers (unknown source). The Marigold Tea Room is the only one well documented. The other suggestions seem unlikely since we pretty much know who lived there.
Story 2 : The Marigold Tea Shoppe was opened c1928 in an already existing building by Bertha O'Hara (widow) and her cousin (sister?) Gertrude Grunkemeyer (maiden lady). It closed in 1942 due to gasoline shortage. There was no printed menu. A large sign was by the driveway. It was noted for its fried chicken dinners (quoted in Adventures in Good Eating, a nationally distributed book). It served groups: weddings, receptions and the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. (Tea Room information from Ruth Oberle [333 Harvard] and sister-in-law, Betty Everhart, whose aunts opened the tea room, and Bob O'Hara, son of Bertha O'Hara)
Story 3 : Mrs. William Cook France (Ruth Neely France) was a newspaper and public relations woman. When the France family owned 435 Elm, it was known as France Acre. There is more information on Mrs. France in the People file of the TP Historical Society. Ruth Neely France is the sister of Mrs. Simon Ross, 1005 Elm (according to the minutes of the TP Woman's Club, May 21, 1928).
Story 4 : Article about Ruth Neely France (who married William Cook) in 100 Who Made A Difference. Greater Cincinnatians who made a mark on the 20th Century. By Barry M. Horstman, The Cincinnati Post. 1999. (See Reports & Articles)
Story 5 : When the Cramers owned the house it was full of antiques collected by Mrs. Cramer, some of which were no doubt sold from the house.
Story 6 : The Eisle's son, Doug, later lived at 711 Stanton according to the 1982 Terrace Park phone book. He now owns an art restoration business in Fairfax (more information in the TPHS files).
Story 7 : February 2005 Eastern Hills Journal - Elm Avenue: Rosenberg, Bart H. to Freshley, Fred & Jill Ann. Is this a triangle of land nearer where the RR bridge was (south of their house)? Answer from Bart Rosenberg of Sibcy Cline Realtors: Yes it was. I had bought it at forfeited land sale for $5 and later sold it to Freshley. Interesting history about how it ever got detached from the main parcel - apparently an oversight when the house was sold.
Story 8 : Peonies along the walk, relocated in 1999 along the rear terrace, are peony officionalis like the peonies at the Errett/Fenton House that were destroyed earlier. Even though the peonies at 435 Elm are no longer visible from the street it's wonderful that they're still growing!
Story 9 : In 2009 this was the address of the Cincinnati Rowing Club.


1939 Map:
O'Hara & Grunkemeyer

1942 Map:

1951/3 Map:
W. C. France

195-68 Directories:
Lowell & Virginia Cramer

1969-74 Directories:
Robert & Jeanette Eisele

1975-76 Direct:
'' (Sold 1976)

1978 Directory:
Don & Palmer Elsworth

1980-84 Directories:
William & Sarah Cantwell (moved from 315 Harvard)

1986 Directory:
(Sold 1986)

198-93 Directories:
Nat & Gigi Comisar

1994-95 Direct:
(moved to 906 Miami)

1996-2012 Directories:
Dan & Jill Freshly