From the Village Views article for January 2008 by
Carol C. Cole - after further research on 415 & 411 Terrace Place.
James W. Sibley established his first of four
subdivisions in 1886, south of Oxford Avenue to the north side of Amherst
Avenue. Probably that same
year or a bit later he had a house built facing Terrace Place (411 Terrace
Place) a couple of lots down from where the Terrace Park Market later
stood. That was a Victorian
Queen Anne style three-bedroom frame house, bought by Mrs. Harriett Gegner
in 1891. The 1893 Hamilton
County Directory lists “Gegner, Mrs. Harriet M., books, post master and
railroad agent.” The
building shows on the 1892 map of Terrace Park, the only building in that
block and is marked Post Office on the 1892 map of Sibley’s subdivision. On Sibley’s map there’s also a train station across the
tracks of the Little Miami Railroad and a Grocery store marked on the
corner of Amherst Avenue and Newtown Road, later renamed Elm Avenue
Terrace Park was incorporated early in 1893 and obviously needed a
place for its Council to meet. At
first they had an arrangement with Dr. Langsdale to meet in his Elm Avenue
office. (2011 - After more investigation Esther H. M. Power has
concluded that Dr. Langsdale's office was at 609 Amherst Avenue, clearly
in sight of Elm Avenue, but not actually on Elm Avenue. Dr.
Langsdale lived there and had his medical office there. That would explain
why we'd never been able to find his office on Elm Avenue.) For some reason by September of 1893 their meeting place was
changed to the room over the Post Office, which they rented from Mrs. Gegner. It’s interesting
that there were then nine places where public notices had to be posted:
Beck’s Grocery (corner of Amherst and Elm?), the Station, Iuen’s
Tavern (at the crossroads on Wooster Pike), the house of Village Clerk
Voige (101 Miami), the large sycamore in front of Mr. Floto’s house (211
Terrace Place - he
was mayor), the School, near the Baptist Church (Community House),
Robinson’s Station and the big tree on Marietta Avenue.
A resolution was passed
on January 30th, 1903: “On
November 19th the Council of this Village adopted a resolution
for the issuing of bonds in the sum of Fifteen Hundred and Fifty
($1550.00) Dollars for the purpose of raising money to purchase real
estate for a Town Hall and Offices for the Village.”
Thus it looks as if the Village wanted their own building and not
to have to rent from Mrs. Gegner.
[The TP Historical
Society has] the original
plans for that building on the corner of Harvard Avenue and Terrace Place,
drawn by James L. Chapman Sr. The plans show there was already a building
a bit back from the corner with a door opening onto Harvard Avenue. The new building just added on to the front with a much
grander entrance opening onto Terrace Place.
In fact it was a building very similar to Mrs. Gegner's.
We do not know whether
James Sr. had any formal education to become an architect or may have just
been apprenticed to an architect and learned that way. However, he designed the Terrace Park School as well as the
store and 618 Yale Avenue where they lived for a while. Later they bought 100 acres on Shawnee Run and ran the
Chapman Dairy. It may have
been in one of the dairy farm’s barns that the plans for the Terrace
Park Market were found. Mary
Chapman also gave us blueprints – but neither copies include dates.
Lucius Conkling was a relative of James Chapman and had his home
built at 615 Amherst Avenue in 1891/2.
His family had been in the area since 1803 when Lucius’
grandfather, Abraham, moved from Morristown New Jersey to Indian Hill,
buying land where the Camargo Club is now.
There were 10 children, five of whom remained in the area.
Son, Lindley, built the mansion that is now the administration
building for Stepping Stones. Lucius’
daughter, Sidney, married the architect, James Chapman.
Their son James Jr. married Mary Ernst of Milford and it is she who
has given us so much information and pictures of the Conkling and Chapman
The land where the market
was built was owned by James W. Sibley in 1886, the year he established
his first subdivision. It was
sold to Barbara C. Keene that year, then to George B. Keiser in 1898, then
to Helen Barnett’s relative, Emil M. Rauscher, in 1899 and finally to
the Village of Terrace Park in 1903 for the purpose of building a “Town
Hall”. The ground floor was rented to Lucius Conkling.
He and his wife served successively as grocers and postmasters from
1903-1921. The Village used the upstairs as a Town Hall, council chambers
and polling place. It also
served as a community center where functions including dances were held.
One reached the 2nd floor through the old side door on
Harvard Avenue. The Village owned the building until 1925 when they no longer
needed it for Council Meetings or other activities because they had moved
to the present Community House on Elm Avenue.
daughter, Lillian, was postmaster for about a year in 1920-21 in a small
building on what later became the Village Green.
Mrs. Gegner sold her home in 1921 to Lulu Tarvin who then became
postmaster, followed in 1925 by Lillian Droescher for 25 years, until
Effie Miller took over and built the present Post Office in 1953.
Harriet Gegner, Lulu Tarvin and Lillian Droescher all were
storekeepers at 411 Terrace Place.
The Conkling home facing
the Village Green stayed in the family until probably 1950 when it was
sold to Bolton Drackett. Store
keepers after the Conklings included Louis & Elsie E. Bosch, Hugh M.
& Elisabeth B. Gallagher (732 Miami), John Barnett, Durward Hughes
(329 Rugby) William R. & Carolyn M. Vinnage, Louis & Carolyn
Farnbach (600 Myrtle) and Juergen & Gerda Braunheim.
Unfortunately in 1980 no one seemed interested in buying and
running a small independent grocery store so it was sold to Paul Kennedy
where he and his brothers now run Kennedy Associates.
We are very fortunate that Paul grew up in
Terrace Park and remembered fondly visiting the
market almost daily. Thus
rather than tearing down the building that had served the community well
for so many years, Paul restored the original peaked roof, destroyed in an
earlier fire, and set his addition back on one side so the original
dimensions of the market are still clear.