This tour presents glimpses of the eclectic residential and commercial corridor of a onetime separate rival city across the Cuyahoga River from Cleveland.
Ohio City was founded on the west bank of the Cuyahoga in 1818. Located just across the river was the city of Cleveland, founded just two decades earlier. The two cities' competition for commercial supremacy culminated in the Battle of the Bridge, an actual armed conflict on the Columbus Avenue Bridge which occurred in 1836. While in that battle the Ohio City forces were arguably the victors, Cleveland eventually became the clear victor in the struggle for commercial supremacy. In 1854 the voters of Ohio City opted for annexation to their larger neighbor to the east.
Once it was absorbed into Cleveland, Ohio City dissolved into the larger amorphous district commonly called the Near West Side. It swelled with the ranks of European immigrants and eventually Puerto Rican and Appalachian migrants--all drawn to the city's industrial jobs. By the late 1960s, the area attracted new interest as part of a national trend toward rediscovering and restoring what were increasingly viewed as historically significant central-city neighborhoods. Thus, alongside Columbus's German Village and Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine, the "Ohio City" name was resurrected as part of efforts to reverse the flow outward to the suburbs. Today Ohio City continues to be a site of development that borrows from its long, rich heritage.
This tour begins in the Franklin Circle area of Ohio City (now a historic residential neighborhood of Cleveland), strolls down streets featuring the quaint nineteenth century houses of the historic district, and proceeds to the food and brewing district surrounding the century-old West Side Market before ending at historic St. John's Church.