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Howe Tavern

Howe Tavern, U. S. 27, College Corner, "is significant as an example of early 19th century tavern-inn architecture," says the web site of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society. "It is also significant for its status as the first permanent building in the area and for the role it played in the development of the town of College Corner." It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The OHPO says "Gideon S. Howe is recorded as owning personal property in Oxford Township as early as 1829. In 1832 he purchased land from Miami University and began construction of the Howe Tavern, strategically located on the road between Hamilton, Ohio, and Richmond, Ind. In 1833 he began operation of his hotel and tavern. By 1837 he had attracted enough settlers to the site to lay out the village of College Corner. In 1840 he sold the tavern to a local justice of the peace, Joseph Beck. Samuel Ridenour succeeded Beck as owner of the tavern. It was said of Samuel Ridenour that 'College Corner was never of any importance' until he began his mercantile business there. The village's. unusual position on the boundaries of three counties and two states led to his prominence in all of them. He was a native of Maryland and moved to Ohio in 1806 at the age of 15. He learned the miller trade from his father, Peter, who built the first sawmill and grist mill in Israel Township of Preble County, Ohio. Ridenour gradually purchased a number of farms in the surrounding counties and several of these were later platted as subdivisions of College Corner by his sons. He died in 1850. His son, William H. Ridenour, obtained the tavern in 1852 through a sheriff's sale. It passed through several other owners until 1865 when Moritz Schlenck, a native of Bavaria, became the tavernkeeper. He died in 1885, but the tavern remained in his family until 1930. While it has passed through many hands over the many years of its existence, the Howe Tavern is unique in that it has continuously served as a hotel and inn since its erection in 1832." (See College Corner.)


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