Each year Dial One Security gathers our employees for a Spring Event to help build the bond between our employees. Often these events are a cookout at our offices, but this year we decided to do something completely different and unique by gathering on Vine Street in Downtown Cincinnati to take the Queen City Underground Tour conducted by American Legacy Tours. This was a great opportunity to learn about the incredible history of the Over The Rhine District and tour the recently opened beer caverns below the basements of many of the buildings. These beer caverns where the home to many of the early Cincinnati breweries, only to be sealed off around the time of prohibition and not rediscovered until the past few years. The whole Vine Street district is coming back to life with many new shops and trendy restaurants just blocks from the core of downtown and Music Hall.
On the tour we saw the spot where the People's Theater once stood and hosted Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, where Wild Bill Hickok and Annie Oakley performed, the untouched remnants of one of the great indoor beer halls, as well as Wielert's Cafe and Pavilion. It was in the Wielert's Cafe and Pavilion building that the legendary political leader of Cincinnati, Boss Cox would meet every day at 5PM , with Michael Brand, who conducted a 40 piece orchestra nightly during the summer at Wielert's, and became the nucleus of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and August "Garry" Herrmann, who was not only the head of the Cincinnati Water Works, but owned the Cincinnati Reds from 1902 to 1927, and was baseball's first commissioner, and has been called the "father of the World Series".
Below these buildings is where the tour really got interesting. Below the basement level of many of these buildings was a series of 40' ht beer caverns and tunnels used before refrigeration to brew, bottle and store beer for the beer halls, saloons and theaters at street level. Many of these had been sealed up during prohibition and forgotten about until one building owner noticed on some old building drawings that there was an additional floor below what they thought was the lowest level of the building. Upon further examination of the blueprints, the owners noticed dashed areas in two corners of the basement on the plans and decided to rent a jack hammer and explore. It was at this point that their jack hammer fell into the caverns and history was rediscovered.
Our tour guides brought the history of the Over the Rhine to life in great detail. Everyone on the tour had a great time and learned some incredible history about our city.