Layers of History along the Mill Creek
Northside, Ivorydale, Elmwood Place, and Lockland
It is possible to think of the degradation of the creek as the price that Cincinnati chose to pay for prosperity. A more truthful analogy: the sacrifice of the Mill Creek was not a payment, but a loan, one that is now coming due.
–Robin Corathers, The Mill Creek
Many, but certainly not all, of the tours in this book follow a river valley for some or all of the way, either the Great Miami, the Little Miami, or the Ohio. In addition to providing a relatively level grade and the serenity of moving water, these rivers contribute to a sense of place in a variety of ways. Each of these waterways is part of a much bigger watershed. A watershed describes an area of land that contains a set of streams and rivers that feed into a larger body of water, a river, a lake, or an ocean. As the Mill Creek Alliance website explains, “Any drop of water that falls in the Mill Creek watershed will make its way to the Mill Creek.”
The idea of the watershed is one way to think about where we live. Riding along the Mill Creek in this tour, think about all the water that comes to these waterways from nearby areas and then, in turn, how all that water dumps into the Ohio River, then into the Mississippi River, and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. There are historical and contemporary, social and economic, and ecological meanings behind the idea of a watershed. Before roads and railroads, the greater Cincinnati region was marked by the boundaries of the Little Miami River on the east and the Great Miami River on the west. This was the area within the Northwest Territory, some three hundred thousand acres, originally claimed by New Jersey congressman John Cleve Symmes in 1794 and called Symmes’s Purchase. In between those two much longer rivers lay the Mill Creek, what the ecologist Stan Hedeen calls the “mother of Cincinnati.” Much of the account that follows is drawn from Stan Hedeen’s 1994 history of the Mill Creek, The Mill Creek: An Unnatural History of an Urban Stream.
The Little Miami River is 111 miles long and its watershed covers 1,757 square miles. The Mill Creek watershed covers 166 square miles. The Ohio River watershed is a thousand times bigger than the Little Miami watershed and drains over 200,000 square miles and parts of eleven states.
More detailed information on the route is available on the Bicycling through Paradise community page. We invite you to leave additional information on route updates, detours, and establishments that will be helpful to future cyclists of this route. Here’s a general idea of the route.
This tour is ten miles one-way, downhill and then gradually uphill. The tour begins in Clifton at a public parking lot behind the Clifton Market and ends in Reading. Restaurants and stores are located up and down Ludlow Avenue. Turn-by-turn directions are on our website. From Clifton to Elmwood Place is about six miles, and from there to Reading is about four miles.
We begin at the top of a long, graceful hill that will take us down into the Mill Creek Valley. We will cross the Mill Creek on a large bridge over 1–75. Hop up on the sidewalk and observe the Mill Creek and the valley and all the different activities going on in it from the bridge. Once in the valley, we will cycle along or near the creek for the rest of the tour. In Northside, we pass by the site of Ludlow Station (with historical marker) and then will cycle along the Mill Creek Greenway, then back onto Vine Street into Ivorydale and through the Procter & Gamble industrial corridor. In Elmwood Place, there are a number of restaurants and convenience stores.
From Elmwood Place, just after Vine Street, and on and Anthony Wayne Avenue, we will cross the Mill Creek at another spot where early settlers lived, called White’s Station. Once on Cooper, look for a small park with a historical marker about Lockland on the right. As we enter Reading, we will cross the Mill Creek yet again and enter the wedding district of Reading, where there is something to eat (or wear) and places to park.
Imagining Early Settlement of Cincinnati
In the late 1700s, one did not have to imagine the watershed because the most efficient means of entering the land beyond the Appalachian Mountains was by river, slowly drifting downstream past tributary after tributary of the mighty Ohio River. On a boat on the Ohio River in the area where Cincinnati now lies, if you looked to the south to the Kentucky side and then to the north to the Ohio side, the Kentucky hills rise much more quickly out of the Ohio River Valley than do those of Ohio. On the Ohio side, there is a low shelf near the river before the hills begin. That is why early settlers chose to settle in what became Ohio. But if one had traveled as far as the mouth to the Mill Creek, one would see that the Mill Creek Valley is deep and broad, broader than the shelf on the north side of the Ohio River. With such a valley, it would be possible to settle large numbers of people, develop farms and businesses, and use the Mill Creek and adjoining area for transportation.
The reason this small creek, only about twenty-eight miles long, had such a wide basin, one and a half miles wide, is because it lay in an old path carved first by two larger rivers—the Licking River more than two million years ago and then by the Ohio River more than a million years ago. Four hundred thousand years ago, successive ice sheets had pushed the Ohio River into its current configuration near Cincinnati. When John Cleve Symmes first saw it, the wide, broad Mill Creek Valley invited human settlement. Symmes saw fertile, flat farmland, forests for timber and food, and plenty of water.
Europeans were not the first to admire and settle here, of course. They were invading land that Native tribes were already inhabiting. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the land on which Cincinnati sits was part of one of the “most contested regions in the world” according to the environmental researcher Uwe Lubken. The recently arrived (since 1400) Shawnee considered it the “center of the earth”; both the French and the British had sought control of it, and American immigrants were eager to explore and settle it. The Shawnee called the stream that came to be known as the Mill Creek Maketewa; Symmes called it Mill Creek to leave no doubt that it would be possible for new residents to set up mills for grain and lumber. But early settlers also fished the creek, swam, and canoed in it.
In the late 1700s, the region was densely forested. Stan Hedeen often tells students that in the late 1700s a squirrel could have traveled from treetop to treetop from the Ohio River to where Dayton is today without touching the ground once. The writer Scott Russell Sanders recalls accounts of early settlers along the Ohio River who marveled at the enormous size of the trees, particularly the sycamore trees, some of which, after hollowing out at the bottom (a natural occurrence), could become a temporary house for a family. There are some things we would like to travel back in time to see, and a sycamore tree that size is certainly one of them. The first European settler in what became Mount Adams above Eden Park was a woman who lived in a sycamore tree! For more on that, see the Floodplains and Hilltops tour. The forests were home to a wide variety of animals, including deer, buffalo, and elk. These are the kinds of things readers and riders can imagine as you walk and cycle through this landscape.
In 1997 the American Rivers organization called the Mill Creek the “most endangered urban river in North America.” That is some feat for such a small body of water. It was mostly deforested, mostly devoid of the animal life that used to inhabit its shores and waters, and, in many places, an urban blight. Its relatively short length, combined with intensive economic activity, were the cause of its demise. This activity had been growing and ongoing since the earliest European settlers arrived in the region. There were early settlements in other parts of what has become Cincinnati, such as at Turkey Bottoms (where Lunken Airport is now) and what has become the East End and California. But the significant concentration of industry along the Mill Creek was much greater. Now no one swims in it or fishes in it, but as you will learn, they do canoe it.
Early European settlers set up stations, or fortifications, along the Mill Creek. These were often at natural stream crossings, as the creeks and rivers provide a wide variety of resources to early settlers, but they also posed a barrier to travel between the two sides of the Ohio River. Therefore, places where it was easy to cross, or ford, became natural sights of settlement. These stations had blockhouses that the settlers used as protection. These were thick-walled buildings, much like small forts. The stone for the buildings was taken from the Mill Creek. Sometimes there were a few soldiers placed at the blockhouse as well. In 1789 James Cunningham made the first settlement along the creek some distance from the Ohio River (where Evendale is today). This intrusion of Shawnee land, however, led to hostilities and Cunningham and his family returned to Cincinnati a year later.
The next station, built by Israel Ludlow, a land surveyor throughout Ohio, was built in what is now Northside, at the corner of Knowlton and Mad Anthony Wayne in 1790. In 1792 Jacob White built a station at the third crossing at the north end of Carthage, not far from the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. It consisted of a blockhouse and cabins for multiple families. Both of these sites are on this tour.
The stations operated with a certain level of organization. An early settler at another location in the area noted:
The system of starting a station was, by a mutual contract to agree to stand by each other in difficulty—to obey the principal man after whom the station was named—to share equally—the dangers of defence—and perform the double duty of soldier and laborer. In addition to these written articles of compact there were inexorable customs prevailing among the stations, which required prompt assistance to be given in case of attack, amounting to a sort of warlike alliance between separate communities. There were also rules relating to capture and recapture of property, as well understood as the system of prize cases of the Admiralty Court.
In the late 1700s, American pioneers sent three expeditions to try to break Native resistance to White settlement in the Northwest Territory. These expeditions used the trails that lay along the Mill Creek Valley. The first, led by General Josiah Harmar, met defeat in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1790. The second, led by General Arthur St. Clair, with a badly trained army, left Cincinnati via the Mill Creek Valley, camping at Ludlow Station for six weeks. They reached what is now called Fort Recovery in west central Ohio. There, a Native force, led by Chief Little Turtle and aided by the British, surrounded them in the night and forced a retreat. General St. Clair left nine hundred dead American soldiers, the most disastrous defeat (given the size of the original army) that had ever befallen an American army.
In 1792 President George Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne to replace General St. Clair as commander of the Western Army. In 1794 General Wayne trained three thousand soldiers, also camped at Ludlow Station, and moved north in 1793. He chose to build a fort at the site of General St. Clair’s defeat, and at the end of 1793 named it Fort Recovery. At Fallen Timbers in August 1794, U.S. forces destroyed Shawnee villages and fields, creating a “fiftymile
swath of devastation,” giving General Wayne a more decisive victory. Native Americans were forced to sign the Treaty of Greenville, allowing White settlement in much of the Northwest Territory. The Treaty of Greenville opened up all of southern Ohio for settlement, driving Native Americans to the swampy northwest corner of Ohio. As a result of increased military presence, Cunningham was able to return to his home site in 1793, where he established a sawmill and a flourmill. Settlers to Cincinnati developed two roads using Native American trails. Hamilton Avenue follows St. Clair’s Trace, and Spring Grove Avenue follows Wayne’s Trace.
Four Sources of Pollution
European settlers cut down trees to build houses, fences, other buildings, and to clear land for farming (barley, wheat, and corn). Clearing land for farming required the destruction of much of the forest; building needs were quite small in comparison. Many of the trees were so large that felling them would have taken a tremendous amount of time, so settlers girdled them. Girdling required cutting a four-inch belt of bark off the tree. This killed the tree, as nutrients could no longer flow to the branches and leaves. In the following year, the tree was set on fire. By 1881, forest coverage in the Mill Creek Township was 15 percent of what it had been a century earlier. With the trees went the large mammals, such as black bears, gray wolves, mountain lions, and birds, such as the Carolina parakeet and passenger pigeon. In the absence of trees, more soil was able to wash into the Mill Creek, increasing sedimentation, changing, among other things, the character of the creek bottom and the amount of light that could penetrate to the creek bottom. Fish, invertebrates, and other species declined as a result. Without tree cover, water temperatures
increased. In addition to soil erosion and sedimentation into the creek, manure from animal farms was also dumped into the creek. Without tree roots and litter to retain rainwater, the creek was prone to higher floods and longer periods of low water.
The second impact on the Mill Creek in the early decades of the 1800s was the development of various industries, such as pork slaughterhouses, paper mills, and breweries. The first slaughterhouse was opened in the 1830s. The waste of pork processing, including blood, was dumped into the creek. From the 1830s to the 1860s, Cincinnati was the chief pork-processing city in the United States. Even after this time, pork processing continued to be an important industry. In 1881 all the slaughterhouses that were nearer the city center, and were dumping the offal into the Deer Creek, were moved to the Mill Creek Valley. Many also combined slaughter and packing operations so that not just blood but also inedible grease and salting and curing solutions were produced. These by-products were dumped into the Mill Creek as well. Additionally, a massive stockyard, located along the Mill Creek after 1871, disposed of the animal waste in the creek. By 1913, one cup of every gallon of water flowing through the Mill Creek contained alcohol or animal by-products.
Pork processing produced all sorts of waste, some of which could be turned into soap. The soapmaker James Gamble and his business partner and wife’s brother-in-law, the candlemaker William Procter, founded Procter & Gamble in 1837. In 1885 they moved their operations from downtown Cincinnati to what is now Ivorydale. It was named, of course, for the inexpensive high quality soap Procter & Gamble started making in the 1880s on the Mill Creek. Today the area is still known as Ivorydale. The Procter & Gamble industrial campus expanded over the years from 11 acres to 243 acres with ten buildings, including a fire station, dining rooms, and recreational facilities, in addition to the factory buildings and smokestacks. The campus was an example of a factory community, seeking to provide for many of the needs of its workers. By the mid-nineteenth century, both soil and industrial waste were being deposited into the Mill Creek.
Industrial development depended on reliable transportation. Construction of the Miami to Erie Canal began in 1825 and finished in Toledo in 1845, and a portion of it ran right along the Mill Creek. This tour ends near Lockland, named for four locks along the canal in this area. Before construction of the canal, there was no formal settlement. Within a short period of time, however,
the forty-two-foot waterfall from the locks brought industry to the canal. According to a historical marker in Lockland, when the canal was in demand, twelve boats would pass through in a twenty-four-hour period, some carrying people, and others carrying coal, grain sand, ice, and pigs, among many other things. The Erie Canal was also a place for recreation: picnics, fishing in the summer, ice skating in the winter, and romantic outings. The last boat trip was in July 1912.
Railroad construction began in 1848 on the west side of the Mill Creek. The first two railroads to connect Cincinnati to other points were built in river valleys in order to minimize costs. Eventually, by the early twentieth century, nine rail lines used the Mill Creek Valley to enter Cincinnati. A significant number of the 220 passenger and mail trains that entered the city on a weekday in 1889 traveled this corridor. The Mill Creek had become an industrial corridor, home to industry, rail, and intensive settlement.
Mill Creek at Ivorydale
All of those people produced a lot of waste, a third source of pollution for the Mill Creek. Initially, many people had outhouses or septic systems, which kept the human waste largely in place, but as more people lived in the same amount of area, it was impossible to maintain sanitation with such systems. In 1863 the Cincinnati City Council allowed sanitary waste to be discharged into underground storm drains. With this move, combined sewers carried sanitary sewage on a regular basis and excess rainwater after strong rains. Combined sewers were cheaper to build than separate sewers, of course. In 1934 a ten-mile-long interceptor sewer, a combined sewer system, was built along the Mill Creek. The chief reason was to take human waste from homes and other buildings and collect it in pipes that would then take it to a treatment plant. In 1959 a wastewater treatment plant was built near the mouth of the Ohio River
to treat water before it entered that waterway.
The secondary purpose of a combined sewer system, to divert rainwater from residential areas to prevent flooding and allow it to be channeled into the sewers as well, meant that, as populations increased, the sewers could not handle the primary and a secondary load. When overtaxed, they would open and empty into the Mill Creek. By 1910, Cincinnati’s population was about 350,000, and the Mill Creek received about half of the city’s sewage. The organic waste and heat pollution of the postindustrial water that were dumped into the creek destroyed all fish and insect life. A 1903 article noted that the Mill Creek was “an open sewer.” In 1940 about 8 percent of the time that it rained, the sewers overflowed and dumped into the creek.
By the 1970s, residents alongside the Mill Creek knew that not only was the creek gross both in terms of sight and smell but that it endangered their health. In 1989 a hepatitis A outbreak in Mt. Airy and South Cumminsville was linked to children playing in the creek. Vapors from the creek exceeded healthy levels; one resident recorded that the stench was so bad, you gagged while outside. Others saw pieces of toilet paper float by from time to time.
A combined sewer system is still in use in Cincinnati. Every time the area gets more than a tenth of an inch of rain per hour, the sewers flood with rainwater and end up overflowing into the Mill Creek, dumping raw sewage into the creek and eventually into the Ohio River. On the tour, you will see a number of combined sewer overflow (CSO) pipes. They open into the Mill Creek with a flexible door that gets pushed open with a surge of water during the storm. The water carries raw sewage into the Mill Creek. The farther downstream one travels, the larger the overflow pipes become. According to the writer John Tallmadge, there are 158 combined overflow ports on the Mill Creek watershed.
Most eastern cities suffer from similar problems. The US government has required all cities to take care of the problem, but has not offered funding to assist with rectifying the situation. This is called an unfunded mandate. The problem is that the cities and counties that have the faulty sewer systems do not have the funding necessary to fix the problem. If they were to fix it, it would mean charging water users an extraordinarily high fee for decades to come in order to cover the cost. Cincinnati and other US cities are in a difficult situation, not wanting to continue polluting their waterways and downstream neighbors’ water source but also not having the funds to take care of the problem through large infrastructure fixes.
The final contributor to Mill Creek contamination is non-point-source pollution. This is pollution that runs off from parking lots, lawns, etc. It can contain salts from wintertime road salting, fertilizers and pesticides from lawn treatments, and an array of other chemicals that result from washing cars, to pouring old liquids into a suburban yard.
Path Dependency in History
These visible layers are illustrations of an important concept: path dependency. The Mill Creek lay in the very old basin created by the former Ohio River. Native Americans were drawn to the broad valley and created trails. European settlers and US generals and, eventually, motor vehicles, followed the same trails. In the early 1800s, a canal was built in the same channel, then a few decades later, the railroad was built there, and eventually in the 1960s, I-75. This transportation corridor in Cincinnati has a tremendously long history. Those in a passenger car along I-75 are figuratively traveling in the multiple layers—geological/glacial, Native American, and early settler—of history.
The term path dependency can be applied to both the natural environment as well as the human built environment and means a situation of constrained development unfolds along a certain path with no clear way back. As the infrastructure of homes, businesses, roads, canals, bridges, mills, etc., built up along the Mill Creek, residents became increasingly tied to the location and susceptible to flooding. As settlement and industry increased, the potential risk from flooding increased as well.
As Uwe Lubken argues, from the perspective of the Ohio River and the water in the river (a hydrological perspective), the floodplain (part of the broad valley that was so attractive) of the river is a natural part of it. It is the area that during low or average flow is not covered by water but that has been and likely will again be flooded when the water level rises. Settlers in the Ohio
River Valley were eager to recognize the benefits of the floodplain—fertile soil, level ground, access to the river—but far less willing to accept the historical and ecological reasons the floodplain was there to begin with, that it was a part of the river itself. Lubken refers to settlements, like those along the Mill Creek, as “floodplain invasions.”
One response to the combination of floodplain invasion, path dependency, and river dynamics was that engineers sought to contain rivers to control their flow in order to prevent flooding. The Mill Creek suffered from a number of floods in the 1800 and 1900s. Hedeen notes that newspaper accounts report flooding of the Mill Creek from an overflowing Ohio River every other year between the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. The first flood of record is in 1805. Another flood occurred the following year. The Ohio River flood of 1937 was, Lubken writes, “At that time, the most devastating river flood in U.S. history (in terms of economic damage).” The normally twelve-foot-high river crested at more than seventy-seven feet and an oil spill caused a fire on top of the flooding.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers was charged with taking care of the flooding problems. There was simply too much invested in the valley to even consider defaulting to the natural inclinations of Mill Creek and to relocating human settlement and industry. Instead, the decision was made to take steps to ensure that the Mill Creek never flooded again. The first step was to build a barrier dam across the mouth of the Mill Creek. Such a dam would seal off the Ohio River floodwaters and provide an outlet for water from the Mill Creek through a water gate. The barrier dam was completed in 1948.
In the first decades of the twenty-first century, at least $10 million worth of repair is needed for the Mill Creek Barrier Dam to ensure that it continues to protect $3 billion worth of public and private investment. This money has to come out of the city of Cincinnati’s budget, and some of it will likely be passed on to residents, who produce wastewater and sewage and benefit from the dam’s effective operation.
The next problem was preventing flooding on the Mill Creek. Two solutions were implemented, both determined by cost effectiveness. Dams were built on upper tributaries of the Mill Creek, one creating Sharon Lake (1937), and the other creating Winton Lake (1952), both to be visited on the Town and Country tour. After that, the Mill Creek was channelized. In this process, the Army Corps of Engineers widened the stream to double or triple its normal size, stripped out all the trees, and put riprap (old broken rocks or old pavement) up the banks. In some places along the Mill Creek, such as where it runs through the Procter & Gamble complex, concrete lines the bottom and sides of the creek. The goal was to allow more water to move more quickly through
the channel during peak times. The result was total loss of vegetation along the creek and within the creek in the areas with the most intense channelization. As Hedeen writes, “Channelization forecloses any possibility of restoring a natural stream community.” The channelization project was never completed due to a lack of funds, so there are stretches close to downtown Cincinnati and further upstream that were never channelized and are more natural-looking, with trees, grasses, fish, birds, and other animals enjoying the clearer water and the shade from the tree canopy.
West Fork of the Mill Creek at Lockland
Cleaning up the Creek and Raising Awareness
Where does all of this leave us? It is now clear to many that the pollution of the Mill Creek is a loan that is coming due, as Robin Corather’s statement at the beginning of this chapter notes. But that awareness has been gained through the efforts of many over the last three decades, including those involved with the Mill Creek Alliance and this organization’s prior incarnations. The Mill
Creek Valley could provide recreation, food, rest, and biological diversity if it were not treated as a waste receptacle.
Remember that some people canoe the Mill Creek? They do so with the leadership and inspiration of the Mill Creek Yacht Club. The name alone should suggest grand inspiration (or delusion). The Mill Creek Yacht Club, though the name is said tongue in cheek, has a serious purpose, and that is to raise awareness both of the creek’s current degraded state but also of some of the areas where nature is making a comeback. They also do so to remind us that this is our city’s waterway and it should be our jewel—a recreational and biological wonder rather than a toxic dump.
The Mill Creek Yacht Club runs organized canoe and kayak trips down the entire length of the twenty-eight-mile creek. On one of their trips a few summers ago, both channelized and nonchannelized parts of the creek were on display. A tree-lined stretch that ran almost to the Ohio River looked healthy, while a channelized, degraded wide urban waterway totally exposed
to the sun made up the other portion. But even in this section, trees, shrubs, and grasses were poking through cement and through riprap, and the stream was still doing its meandering thing. Of course, the same polluted water than ran through both sections. The day of this particular trip was not long after a significant rain, so the leaders made it clear that canoers were likely traveling through sewage.
The Mill Creek Yacht Club is part of a much larger effort to restore the creek to a healthier state. Part of that solution, of course, is to reduce and eventually eliminate the disposal of any kind of waste into the stream. Federal environmental regulations, such as the Clean Water Act, have helped to regulate industrial waste. But there are other sources of the creek’s pollution, and in order to take care of those, a number of steps have been taken to help lessen the amount of rainwater that reaches the storm sewers and to bring back some of the biological diversity to the banks of the creek, including providing spaces for people who dwell near it to use it for recreation and enjoyment. The Mill Creek Alliance has undertaken thirty-three ecological restoration projects along the Mill Creek and its tributaries, including bank stabilization, streambed stabilization, wetland restoration, and wildlife habitat restoration. In 2013 a thirty-acre
stream restoration project was finished where the east fork of the Mill Creek flows into the main stem. The goals of the project were to improve the water quality, wildlife and aquatic habitat, reduce flooding, and provide recreational and educational opportunities. The Mill Creek Alliance created meandering stream banks, a five-acre floodplain wetland, man-made rifles, and planted stream sides with native plants. A decade or so before that, a significant demonstration project was opened at Salway Park, across from Spring Grove Cemetery. There, a series of rain gardens, a few solar panels, pervious pavement, and a sculpture convey how people can become stewards and protectors of the environment and restore the Mill Creek instead of degrading it. Since the opening, fruit trees (as part of an edible forest project) and other plantings and rain gardens have been planted in other places. Thanks to these efforts, turtles, salamanders, beavers, and birds are all returning to the Mill Creek corridor.
Another vision of how the Mill Creek corridor might be used with less of a damaging footprint is as a bikeway. Small sections of bike path dot the lower half of the creek. The goal is a bike path run from what used to be White’s Station down beyond Ludlow Station. A region-wide bike trail plan calls for connecting the entire city area with a fifty-mile loop path, and in the center of it would run the Mill Creek bike path.
The Path Dependency tour provides a chance to ride through layers of history, but they are only visible if you know what to look for: a broad valley carved by glaciers long ago on the descent to Ludlow Avenue; creeks that supported the Shawnee, whose name for the Mill Creek, Maketewa, is carved in a stone block resting by the bicycle pathway; historical markers that denote the sites of early European stations at creek fords; Army Corps of Engineers concrete embankments that are giving way to plants and trees; and edible forests and rain gardens, which seek to restore the creek to a more natural state as site of food, recreation, and spiritual renewal.
 Stanley Hedeen, The Mill Creek: An Unnatural History of an Urban Stream (Cincinnati, OH: Blue Heron Press, 1994), ix.
 “But First, What Is a Watershed?” Mill Creek Alliance, http://www.millcreekwatershed.org/whatiswatershed/.
 “Symmes Purchase,” Ohio History Central, https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Symmes_Purchase.
 “Little Miami River,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Miami_River.
 “But First, What Is a Watershed?
 “Ohio River Basin,” Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education,
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 44–51.
 Uwe Lubken, “Rivers and Risk in the City: The Urban Floodplain as a Contested Space,” in Urban Rivers: Remaking Rivers, Cities, and Space in Europe and North America, ed. Stephane Castonguay and Matthew Evenden (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), 132.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 10.
 Scott Russell Sanders, Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993), 27.
 Skip Tate, “Patron Saint of Lost Causes,” Cincinnati Magazine, September 1988, 66.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 11.
 Richard Scamyhorn and John Steinle, Stockades in the Wilderness: The Frontier Defenses and Settlements of Southwestern Ohio (Cincinnati, OH: Commonwealth Book Company, 2015), 15–22.
 Scamyhorn and Steinle, Stockades in the Wilderness, 24, 151.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 12–13; Scamyhorn and Steinle, 63–64.
 Scamyhorn and Steinle, 105–10.
 Scamyhorn and Steinle, 150–55.
 Scamyhorn and Steinle, 20.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 11-16; Scamyhorn and Steinle, 107–9.
 Hedeen, 11–16; Scamyhorn and Steinle, 107–9.
 Hedeen, 29–38.
 Hedeen, 71–91.
 “P&G: A Company History,” https://www.pg.com/translations/history_pdf/english_history.pdf; Sue Ann Painter, Alice Weston, and Beth Sullebarger, Architecture in Cincinnati: An Illustrated History of Building and Designing an American City (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007), 111–13.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 56–59.
 Hedeen, 72–73.
 Hedeen, 64–70.
 Hedeen, 95–127.
 Hedeen, 95–127.
 Hedeen, 95–140.
 John Tallmadge, The Cincinnati Arch: Learning from Nature in the City (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004), 200.
 Jen Kinney, “How to Pay America’s Big Sewer Bill,” NextCity.org, February 26, 2016, https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/cities-combined-sewer-overflow-upgrade-green-infrastructure.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 126–27.
 Lubken, Rivers and Risk in the City, 131.
 Stanley Hedeen, “Waterproofing the Mill Creek Flood Plain,” Queen City Heritage (Spring 1998): 15.
 Lubken, Rivers and Risk in the City, 138.
 George P. Stimson, “River on a Rampage: An Account of the Ohio River Flood of 1937,” Bulletin of Cincinnati Historical Society 22, no. 2 (April 1964): 101–2.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 151–58.
 Todd Dykes, “Little-Known Cincinnati Dam Needs Millions in Repairs,” WLWT, July 19, 2016, https://www.wlwt.com/article/little-known-cincinnati-dam-needs-millions-in-repairs/3567794.
 Hedeen, Mill Creek, 168..
 Hedeen, 163–76.
 “The Mill Creek Alliance,” https://www.themillcreekalliance.org.