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The Coleraine Historical Society Inc.

PO BOX 53726

Colerain Twp., OH 45253

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Fort Dunlap Photo
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The Coleraine Historical Society Inc.
The Coleraine Historical Society Inc.

225th Anniversary 


225 Years of Colerain History


It has been 225 years since Colerain Township was founded in 1794. Here in the Township, we have a rich history with great community members. We are truly excited to spread the word of our anniversary this year!

Throughout this year we will have our normal events and actives, but this year we will host a few extra events/items to make this year one to remember.

The Township will be partnering with the Coleraine Historical Society and Northwest Local School Board to make this year special.


The Historical Society will be publishing historic articles every month that will appear on CERKL and FACEBOOK. The Township will also be featuring a “Rotating Rotunda Series” which displays these articles and pictures outside the Trustee’s Chambers every month.


Help us celebrate this landmark year in Colerain Township!


Below are the articles CHS has provided to CERKL.

They are published on 1st and 15th of each month.

Thanks to CHS members Chris Henson & Margie Mohr

for their research.



CERKL Published March 18, 2019


To continue celebrating this landmark year in Colerain Township, in March, we want to celebrate Churches of Colerain Township.

Current Churches are encouraged to highlight their Church’s History in Colerain on “Colerain Church Sunday” March 24, 2019.


Read article below about the Early Churches in Colerain Township




Reprinted from the Coleraine Pageant February, 1987


After General Wayne’s victory and the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, settlements spread rapidly throughout Hamilton County, followed closely by churches.  The earliest churches were first established by the Baptists, then Presbyterians, followed by the Methodists.

On March 14, 1810, Solomon Slayback deeded one acre to the “Regular Baptist Church of Pleasant Run”.  The deed was signed by Solomon and his wife, Sarah, witnessed by William and Abel Slayback, recorded by Zebulon Foster on April 2nd 1810.  This church was built in the northwest corner of Section 25 in Springfield Township at the Butler County line.  A few stones remain in the little church cemetery on present day Mill Road at the end of John Gray Road.  Records copied from the stones show burials from 1827 to 1855.  Names of families buried there include Edwards, Farmer, Fitchett, Floyd, Hall, Newell, Shipley, Trim and Walden.


Also in 1810 another Baptist church was started on Compton Road, west of Mt Healthy on lands of Samuel Johnson.  It was constituted on October 28, 1810 by a council composed of William Jones, Ross Crosby and Henry Morton of the Columbia church; Richard Ayers, Cyrus Crane and Thomas Higgins of Carpenter’s Run; Isaac Sellers of Pleasant Run and Richard J. Compton of Muddy Creek.  The site if this first church was in Arlington Memorial Gardens Cemetery, but no trace of either has ever been found. 

Sometime in the 1820’s this church moved to Springdale Road east of Pippin on lands purchased from Jacob Williamson, a member of the church.  A brick church was built, but was destroyed by a tornado in 1833.  A second brick church building was erected in the same year. 

The church is gone but the cemetery – West Branch Cemetery - remains in the care of Colerain Township.  In 1965 114 stones were copied by Polly Stout and Ruth Wells, the earliest being that if Harbour Hughes, who died in 1827.  Early settler names found there are Compton, Cox, Hughes, Joyce, Martin, Miles, Monfort, Norris, Skillman, Stout, Struble and Williamson.  Many of the early settlers were Baptists.


The First Presbyterian Church of Colerain Township was located on Kemper Road, west of Pippin and next to the water tower.  On April 4, 1814, William Hunter sold the tract to the Presbyterian Church in Colerain Township “for the sole use and purpose of a burying ground”. 

The Trustees of the Presbyterian Ground were James Charters, John Ramsey, Jr. and William Gardner.  It was made by Judah Willey, J. P. and witnessed by Ephraim Brown and Abizer Miles.  It is shown on the 1869 map of Colerain Township as the “Peoples Church”.  The Presbyterians didn’t want to build another church in the graveyard so in 1854 Christian and Ann Schlunigar sole 2/3 of an acre at the corner of Hamilton and John Gray Roads to Paul H. Hunter, Benjamin F Fessenden, John H Messler and other Trustees of the Pleasant Run Presbyterian Church.  The old cemetery on Kemper Road is still there now known as the Huston Cemetery because of the number of that family buried there.  The earliest stone is dated 1805.  In addition to Huston, other names include Gray, McCrea, Pottenger, Ramsey, Sedam, Smith and Warman.  This cemetery is also in the care of the Colerain Township.

The earliest record of a Methodist church is found on Blue Rock Road near Sheits.  June 2, 1823 Daniel and Rhoda Dean sold the tract of ground to the Trustees of the Methodist Society; John Dean, Henry Lore and Michael Isgrigg.  This became known as the Franklin Methodist Church and Cemetery. 

Also on Blue Rock Road near the end of present day Galbraith Road was established the Olive Branch Methodist Church, a log church building.  It was deeded in 1823 by Henry and Hester Lora to Trustees Joseph Hart, Thomas Heath, Joseph Sparks, Henry Loar, and Thomas Hubbard.  This church because the forerunner of the present Groesbeck United Methodist Church.

In the 1830’s the Gampbellite movement caused a breakup of the Olive Branch church, part of the group splitting off to form a Christian Church.  The remainder of the Methodists continued meeting in homes and later in the Round Top School house, at the sharp turn on Round Top Road near Colerain.  Some members of the Asbury Chapel Methodist Church on West Fork Road in Green Township joined with them.  Samuel J. Pouder and Charles West were leaders in this group.  Charles West gave land on the east side of Colerain Road opposite his home for a site for the new Methodist Church.  In 1849 this new Methodist Church, the West Union Chapel, was built.  The first building was of brick later replaced by a somewhat larger frame building.  The old date stone from the first brick building was preserved and can be seen today in the sanctuary wall of the present church.  The first two buildings stood on the site now occupied by the Mayflower Savings and Loan.  The West Union Chapel was so named because of Charles West, leader and donor of the land and for a union of two congregations – Olive Branch and Asbury Chapel Methodists.  The name was also given to the community until a post office was established, when it became necessary to change the name of the village as there was another West Union in the state of Ohio.  The name “Groesbeck” was chosen for one of the two brothers well known in the Civil War.

The White Oak Christian Church was organized in 1848 in the presence of Joseph Trowbridge and Benjamin Watkins.  Records of the church list elders as:  William Pool, Willian Conger (died 4 Jul 1849), Thomas Hubbard (died 25 May 1852) Garret Vanosdol and Thomas Tattersal.  Daniel Barnes, Dawson Hubbard and Dan Bacon were Deacons.   Such notices of deaths or transfers to other churches are found frequently in the old record books of the church.  Family names of Wilkinson, Stone, Sparks, Hatt, Heath, Gulick, Stout, Weatherby and many others are found in the membership lists of this church.  This was the only Christian Church in Colerain Township.


  Influx of German immigrants into Colerain Township in the mid 1800’s brought in the Lutheran Churches.  In 1840 the German Protestant Evangelical Church was built on Old Blue Rock Road south of Springdale in the old Barnesburg area.  This site is now occupied by St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.  Not much is known about this early church.  A split in this congregation led to the establishment of Trinity Lutheran, first on Gaines Road near Springdale where its cemetery exists today.  The present church is located on Springdale near Gaines. The brick church was built in 1874 in front of the little frame building established there in 1840.  Early officers of the church were Charles Kress, O. Rinckel, George Kern, Adam Hussell, Jacob Westerman, John Fuchs and George Kern.  Early pastors were Revs. Malcahn, Adele, Hering, Foelker, Mueller and Hummel.


The United Brethren Churches were numerous in Colerain Township.  An early one was the Bevis United Brethren resulting from services held by Rev. Elias W. Hoffner.  Among early members of this congregation were Jesse, Martin and James Bevis, John Hunt, Joseph Mullen and John Looper.  Rev. Hoffner preached in the abandoned old brick Bevis Hotel in the old village of Bevis, stranded by the building of the Colerain Turnpike a quarter mile west of the hotel.  It was replaced by another brick building on the same site in 1893, dedicated by Bishop Castle.

It adjoins on the north to the Bevis Cedar Grove Cemetery, although it apparently did have a small burial ground of its own at the church.  That building is today a Masonic Hall, the church having moved out beyond Day Road on Old Colerain and being known as the Prince of Peace Church.  Early preachers here were Revs. Hadder, Scanahorn, Kemp, Emerick, Bonebrake and Yingling.

At Georgetown, aka Dunlap, the English United Brethren Church was organized in 1847 by Rev. Scanahorn.  The first members were L. Burns, Margaret Joyce, Mary Ogg and William Pickens.  They worshiped in the Joyce School House until 1850 when Giles Richards gave a building site and the church was erected, dedicated by the Rev. Christopher Flinchpaugh.

The Bethel United Brethren Church was organized by Rev. Thomas Thompson meeting at William Shipman’s wagon shop.  In addition to Shipman, early members were Parmenus, Ithamar and Swain Corson, John Dean and Benjamin Davis, who gave the land for the church and cemetery.  It was built in 1855 at the corner of Gaines and Springdale roads.  The church building is long gone and forgotten, but the cemetery remains in the care of the Colerain Township Trustees.

A German United Brethren was built many years ago on Dry Ridge near Scull Road.  Not much is known about it except that it was started by the Raisch Family.  In the early 1900’s the building was cut in two parts and moved with wagons and teams and reassembled next to the home of Jesse Bevis.

A German Brethren was organized at Dunlap by the Rev. Mittendorf and held services in the English U. B. there until 1872 when a church was built.  Trustees at that time were George Lueckhauer, Jacob Bernhardt and George Horning.


Also brought in by the German immigrants were the Roman Catholic Churches.  The very First Catholic Parishes outside the city of Cincinnati, serving both Green and Colerain Townships, was organized in 1840 at the home of Sylvester Oehler.


St Jacobs, now St James, built its first log church on Cheviot Road in 1844.  This became the mother church for all parishes established within a ten mile radius – St Patrick’s in Northside and Assumption in Mt Healthy being early ones.

 St John the Baptist, on Dry Ridge Road, was the second parish to be organized in 1860.  Rev. Gebhard Egger was pastor from 1866 to 1873, at that time followed by the Rev. Franz Karl Julius Voet.  As early as 1846 this Catholic group had erected a log school house.  This is a thriving country parish today.


In 1867 St Bernard’s of Taylor Creek was established on Harrison Pike at the end of Springdale Road.  The three acre site was given by George Wingirtir.  All three of these parishes have cemeteries adjacent to the churches.  They are active parishes today.

This is the story of the various religious movements established in Colerain Township, and sheds some light on the history of the area.


NOTE – The Coleraine Historical Society is asking Churches to forward pictures and information about your Church’s founding to



CERKL Published March 1, 2019

The American Barn:

           A Disappearing American Icon

Barns are the story of America; from pioneer times to our modern rural landscape.


The American barn is a quickly-disappearing icon of our country.  When rural life in America dominated, barns varied in style and purpose but there was one element they all shared. Each was built with common sense, a specific intent, and economy. Early barns were more important than houses because without an agricultural building to protect the animals or the crops, early settlers had few ways to survive.


Sadly, many of these barns are falling into disrepair or being knocked down as more and more land is developed. With the demise of the American barn, we lose a part of our story.


In February 2007, The Coleraine Historical Society launched “The Barns of Colerain” Project to identify, photograph and record the history of barns in Colerain Township. Project Manager was Glenn Welch and his team members were JoAnn Bertram, Mary Burdett, Peg Lohstroh, Sandra Shea and Clare Weinshenker.

Within 2 years, they had identified and documented 64 barns on 46 separate properties.


Some of the barns go back to the early settlers and immigrants in the Township. The types of barns that were built varied based on the settler’s country of origin. There were no blueprints or guide books for building barns. Knowledge of barn-building passed from generation to generation, so people built what they knew from their home country and that was what they built in America.


Many Colerain Township barns are BANK BARNS, which are found in Southern Germany. The Bank Barn is built into the hillside with entrances on 2 different ground levels; and is best suited for the hilly terrain of Colerain. The location of the barn in relation to the farmhouse, a ridge, a creek or a road also tells a historical story.


The Township is home to 2 semi-famous barns: a 2003 Ohio Bicentennial Barn on the Fideldey Farm on East Miami River Road; and one of the few remaining Mail Pouch Barns in Ohio, located on Old Colerain Rd.


There are still many more “Barns of Colerain” to be researched and documented. To volunteer for this project, contact Chris Henson at


For information and family history of some of the most iconic barns in Colerain Township, please join the Coleraine Historical Society on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 as they

present a PowerPoint presentation on “Barns of Colerain Township”.

Light refreshments at 6:30pm, followed by FREE Program at 7:00pm.

Location: Northwest Community Church - 8735 Cheviot Road in front of Colerain High School. For more information check CHS website:




CERKL Published February 15, 2019



Excerpts from the Coleraine Historical Society Pageant, March, 2011

This land was part of the Symmes Purchase, but does not appear to have been involved in any ownership dispute. 

The following is an interpretation of the “Tree of Tenure” from Dan Strengfeld’s thesis:

In 1792, John Cleves Symmes purchased the property from the US Government.  In 1794, William Tendel purchased the land from Symmes.  Subsequent owners were Jacob Compton (1796-1800), and William Hankins (1800-1848).

William Craig and Abraham Tunney acquired it in 1848, and by 1859 it was divided into three separate farms with owners Craig, Tunney and John Hankins.  In 1862, Craig sold his farm to Joseph Stout Jr, and in 1863-1864 Abraham Stout bought all three farms.

In 1869, Aaron Stout was the owner until he sold it to Herman Muehlenhard in 1865.  Herman leased the farm to his son, William H Muehlenhard from 1910 to 1922 and William bought it in 1922.  In 1956, William Muehlenhard sold the property to Cincinnati Building Inc and it became part of the Northbrook subdivision.

From this we learn that the Muehlenhard family owned and farmed this land for over 70 years (1885-1956); almost a third of the time since its purchase by Symmes (1792-2011).




By John Overbeck excerpts from Press Community Newspapers, Colerain Township Bicentennial, September 28, 1994


The four of them Bob, Bill and Norm Muehlenhard, and their sister Florence Goetz, sat around the kitchen table in Bob’s Northbrook Subdivision home, remembering how it used to be, and gently arguing over the date of this and that event.

The farm where they were raised is gone, but the memories remain.  Bob, Norm and Florence live next to one another, in three tree shaded brick homes at the end of Manhattan Drive, on lots that used to be part of the Muehlenhard family Farm.  Bill also still lives in Colerain Township, on Hanley Road in White Oak.


All four, plus their older sister Esther Huss, and their older brother, Herb, were raised on the family’s 100 acre farm.  Only Florence, the youngest, was born in a hospital.  The other five were born at home.  The Muehlenhard family’s farm, which was mainly a dairy farm, fronted on Pippin Road just north of what is now Northbrook Shopping Center at Pippin and Adams roads.  The farm, and the rural life that part of Colerain Township had known since the 19th century, became a part of the past in the 1950’s, as Cincinnati’s suburban outreach transformed the area into residential neighborhoods.


In adulthood, only Herb, who lives pretty much retired in rural Butler County, followed in his father William Henry Muehlenhard’ s footsteps as a farmer.

Bill was a brick mason for almost 45 years, and both Bob and Norm worked for more than 40 years at Procter & Gamble.  Florence also spent seven years working at P & G until her first child came along.


But as they sat around Bob’s kitchen table, as they must have many years ago in the kitchen of the family farm house, the four of them remembered how it was when their father ran the Muehlenhard place.


They remembered the Mt Healthy Airport, located west of the Muehlenhard farm at the site of the present-day Northgate Shopping Center, and they remember, Bob said, when the land “wasn’t even an airport,” when it was just ‘vacant farmland.’  Norm remembers the airport being built in about 1925 and closing around 1947.  “I remember them plowing over there to make the runway”, said Bill.  Both Norm and Bill had private pilot’s licenses and Bill joked that when he got married, he “traded my pilot’s license for a marriage license.”  Norm flew out of the Mt Healthy Airport and Bill out of Lakewood Air Park, which was built, the brothers said, after World War II near the present-day Northbrook Shopping Center.


All four remember the day that three military jet fighters, low on fuel, made an emergency landing at Lakewood.  And Bob recalled the 1928 airplane crash on the Muehlenhard farm that killed a student pilot and an instructor operating out of Mt Healthy airport.


In their youth, Bob remembers, “we had no running water in the house.”  But, he added, they did have the ‘luxury’ of an indoor pump connected to the cistern.  Indoor plumbing came to the farmhouse in 1936 or 1937, and electricity sometime after that.


Norm remembers that the family had to buy the poles that carried the electric wires to the house, and Bill recalls that ‘the electric bill was three or four dollars a month.’  “We know what it is to study by kerosene lamp,” Bob said, referring to the days before the Muehlenhard home had electricity.


Their generation was the first in the family to finish high school.  All graduated from high school, Bob said, except their older sister Esther, who attended high school, but did not finish because “she was needed to help at home.”


orm was the first in the family to attend the Colerain Township Centralized School, a grades 1-12 school located at the present site of Colerain Elementary School.  The four also remember such things as sledding on Pippin Road in the winter without having to worry about automobile traffic, the family mailbox being located some distance from the house, at the corner of Pippin and Adams roads, and the newspaper, which came through the mail, always arriving a day after publication.


The family dairy, Norm said changed with the times from a retail to a wholesale operation.  Their father, he said, “retailed milk for a number of years, until they required pasteurization and then he wholesaled it.”


Bill remembers that their father had the first tractor in the neighborhood and also the first potato planter and first hay loader, and Norm remembers that their dad had the neighborhood’s first milking machine.  The end came for the farm in 1956, when William Henry Muehlenhard sold the property to Cincinnati Builders and the rolling land that the family farmed since 1883 became part of the Northbrook Subdivision.


Bob and Norm and Florence built their homes on the northern edge of the Muehlenhard farm property around 1951.  They have made their lives outside farming and have seen their farm turn into a neighborhood.  But they still live on the land where they were brought up.  Not many can make that claim.



Herb, Bob, Bill, Norm and Esther Muehlenhard have passed. Only the youngest sibling, Florence Muehlenhard Goetz, age 95 is with us to recall their legacy.



CERKL Published February 1, 2019





On August 24, 1749 French explorers buried a lead tablet at where the Great Miami River joined the Ohio River; thus proclaiming the land for France. For the next 100 years, that lead tablet would be used for surveying purposes. The French later sold the land to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.


October 1785, The United States sends General George R. Clark to the area and he establishes Ft. Finney near the mouth of the Great Miami River.

January 1786, the Shawnee Tribes give up control of the lands east of the Great Miami River by signing the Fort Finney Treaty with General Clark.

In 1787, The United States Congress created the Northwest Territory which included Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and a section of Minnesota. The land was described as being “West of the Allegheny River, North of the Ohio River, and East of The Mississippi River”.


THE SYMMES PURCHASE         Excerpts from an Article Feb 1997 in the Coleraine Pageant

Benjamin Stites was visiting in what is now Maysville Kentucky when Indians stole some of his horses.  As he pursued them through the wilderness in Ohio, he was so impressed with the fertility and beauty of the country that he told his friend, Judge John Cleves Symmes, of its possibilities. 


In 1792, Judge John Cleves Symmes formed a syndicate, the Miami Company, and convinced the Congress to allow him to purchase a large tract of land between the Great Miami and Little Miami Rivers known as the Symmes Purchase or Miami Purchase. Symmes with the first group of settlers founded the town of North Bend. From there he enlisted the services of a friend, John Dunlap. Dunlap was a Surveyor and Symmes needed his land plotted and boundaries marked so he could sell off parcels of the territory to arriving settlers.


After surveying and plotting the land, in 1790, John Dunlap ventured up the Great Miami River to a spot along the East side about seventeen miles Northwest of Ft. Washington (on Ohio River). Dunlap named the area Coleraine, because of the rolling hills and winding river that reminded him of his homeland – Coleraine, Ireland. The northern border of Coleraine was actually five sections (about 3 miles) more north than it is today. It extended into what is now Butler County.


In Coleraine, along a large bend in the Great Miami River, Dunlap and a small band of settlers started clearing an acre of land. Then they built small cabins with roofs slopping to the rear to keep rain draining away. The cabins were built in close proximity to each other. They hoped this arrangement would improve safety and protection from the Indians who roamed the area in violation of the Fort Finney Treaty with General Clark.


This band of settlers also built an eight foot high stockade wall. This wall was not very sturdy, as settlers split the logs used for posts so they could cover more length of stockade wall using fewer logs and cutting down fewer trees. They also built the stockade wall between the cabins using the back wall of each cabin as part of the stockade wall. Using the cabin walls actually weakened the security of the stockade because their sloping roofs were close enough to the ground that dogs could go to and from the stockade by jumping off these low roofs. At each end of the settlement, small block houses were built. Settlers took turns as sentries. They named this settlement Dunlap’s Station. But it is sometimes referred to as Ft. Coleraine.


By 1791 about 30 persons inhabited the small fort, including women and children. Only 10 of these were experienced with firearms, leaving the settlement highly susceptible to attack.


The Fort, or Dunlap Station, sustained a brutal attack by the Indians in 1791.  It was abandoned temporarily by the settlers, who went down river to the settlement at North Bend.


A Model of Dunlap Station has been made by a member of the Coleraine Historical Society, Robert Muehlenhard. It is currently on display in the Colerain Township Administration Building Rotunda. The Coleraine Historical Society considers the Muehlenhard Model to be the single most important visual piece of physical township history to preserve and share with the Township residents.


The Township dropped the E when using the name Colerain

when it became a Township in 1794.

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