Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Porkopolis

Original Flying Pig Sculpture at Sawyer Point

Original Flying Pig Sculpture at Sawyer Point

Every city gets a cool nickname such as “The City that Never Sleeps”, “Sin City”, or “The Mistake on the Lake”. What would Cincinnati be without our cool nickname, “Porkopolis”?

Around 1835, we became the biggest pork processing center in the country. It’s rumored that packs of pigs (group, not literally a packed and processed pig) would wander the streets of downtown.¬†The easy access to the river with the late and great steam engine along with the vast farmland surrounding southwest Ohio made for the perfect location for the slaughterhouse capitol of the US.

Although Chicago took our title in about 30 years, Cincinnati still recognizes our pig culture. The flying pig (which later was used for our famous Marathon) was originally used as a sculpture for the gardens at Sawyer Point on the city’s 200 year anniversary.

What’s a better way to represent a city other than a farm animal? I can’t think of one! But in all seriousness, the pig really was a huge part in industrialization of our wonderful town, so it’s understandable that we recognize and take pride in the creature.

The Flying Pig Marathon gives some what of a double entendre, meaning the sarcastic phrase “when pigs fly” (such as, “Yeah, I’ll run 26.2 miles and NOT collapse at the end when pigs fly!”) and the symbol of Cincinnati itself.

Where would we be without the pork industry? It’s hard to say really, but we wouldn’t have as rich and recognizable of a culture without it. Who knows, maybe we wouldn’t have our beloved Montgomery Inn or other barbecues around the city.

The only downside to this title was the undesirable and copious amounts of pollution that plagued Cincinnati with the steamboats and slaughtered pigs, but that’s a story for another day.

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Welcome to Cincinnati

Being my first blog post, I will try my best here. Cincinnati is arguably one of the richest cities in culture and history in the Midwest region. Starting with the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, land between Allegheny Mountains (part of the Appalachian range) and the Mississippi River opened up for settlement.

John Cleves Symmes, a New Jersey man, then made the Miami Purchase, and received the land between the Little Miami and Great Miami Rivers. Thus, Losantiville (soon to be known as Cincinnati) was born.

Losantiville, as silly as it sounds, got its name from combining several words together. It most literally means “The city opposite the mouth of the (licking) river”. The “L” is from “Licking River”, the “os” is Latin for mouth, the “anti” is Greek for opposite, and the “ville” is French for city.

The city was later renamed after the Roman general, Cincinnatus, who is said to have saved Rome, and then returned to his farm life. Not only is Cincinnati connected to Ancient Rome that way, but we are also known for our 7 hills. A very popular one being Mt.Adams.

Fast forward two centuries, and you have modern day Cincinnati. Home of Carew Tower, the Great American building, Duke Energy, the Reds, the Bengals, Union Terminal, the Freedom Center, etc. The list is endless. That’s why I’m doing this blog, because of the rich history and culture of this wonderful city of ours.