Cincinnati's Lost History: Before The Banks offers a glimpse into the history of the area, when it was very different from the trendy place it is today. Rivermen and merchants once rubbed shoulders with prostitutes, gamblers, and thieves. It was the melting pot of popular culture, an area where new music came upriver from the South—a fresh sound known as the blues. This style was refined in the many riverfront saloons before making its way up the Ohio. A marble-and-pillared bank on Third Street had a tunnel allowing gold to be brought secretly from the river to its vaults. At night, an even greater treasure used the passageway: slaves making their way to freedom.
Readers will not only gain knowledge about the residents, but they'll also step into the lives of those who worked, visited, and played in the area.
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Steven J. Rolfes is a fourth-generation Cincinnatian, who has been a professional writer for decades. His articles have appeared in such publications as America, Social Justice Review, Fate, and Liguorian, among others. His first book, Historic Downtown Cincinnati, was published in July 2011. Other book credits include Cincinnati Landmarks (2012); Cincinnati Art Deco (2014), coauthored with Doug Weise; Cincinnati Theaters (2016), coauthored with Doug Weise and Phil Lind; Cincinnati Underwater: The 1937 Flood (2014); and The Cincinnati Courthouse Riot (2016).
Steven received the Ohioana Library Writer’s Award in both 2012 and 2014. He has a passion for history, especially the history of Cincinnati, and has volunteered for several years at the Cincinnati Museum Center in the Cincinnati History Museum.
In his free time, he enjoys family vacations to the most magical places on Earth: Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
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