I just checked my archives and realized I've never written about one of my side projects from this past year. I've been busy. Last summer I was reading local magazine and read about this group connected with the Cincinnati Preservation Association that offers walking tours of the city. I thought it might be a good idea for me to get involved with this group as
1) I'm a missionary to Cincinnati, so the more I know about the city, the better.
2) It would be a great opportunity to meet some new people.
3) Tracing back to my CBC admissions days, I'm the consummate tour guide.
4) I love Cincinnati history, so I might as well do something with it.
So I contacted the woman in charge to see if I could become a volunteer tour guide. They were just adding a tour of Clifton [think near UC] and needed more people, so I was in. Starting last October, we started laying out the tour and I began studying Clifton/Cincinnati history. Architecture is a large part of it too, and I know absolutely nothing. I can now identify a porte cochere, note distinguishable characteristics of Italinate architecture, and know a little bit about Frank Lloyd Wright [there's two of his homes in Clifton]. There's a ton of information I disseminate during the tour, but I can keep a cheat sheet with me. We started this spring and will run it through the fall; I do about one or two tours each month.
So far, I'm liking it. I've conducted a few tours with local historians that were challenging [leading people who have ], but this morning I showed a few ladies around Clifton and it went rather well. And it's opened up some great local contacts for me to get some good word of mouth about Echo out there.
This new hobby of mine reaffirmed how cool our city is. Most people think Clifton and don't get beyond the UC campus and Pill Hill. But there are some amazing houses in that area with a good amount of history connected to it.
The next tour I'll host will be next Saturday July 28th at 10am if you're interested. It costs $10 which covers brochures and administrative fees. All twenty-plus people associated with the tours are volunteers like me. Architreks not only hosts walking tours in Clifton but in Mount Adams, Over the Rhine and downtown Cincinnati. I had to take them all to become a "certified tour guide."
So come out and see what a history geek I am.