Experience History One Step at a Time
Who knew walking could be so interesting and educational?
Warm weather and sunny skies are on their way, so why not enjoy an outdoor historical journey? Hamilton, Ohio offers a handful of walking tours so you can adventure through town and learn all about some of Hamilton's greatest historical sites along the way. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce collaborated with the Hamilton Visitors Bureau to create a few Free Walking Tours to explore — Pick one to check out, or spend an afternoon to see all of the history Hamilton has to offer. Below, we have included some highlights for each tour. Get ready to lace up and go!
If you love beautiful, historical homes, then this is the walking tour for you. Victorian, Italianate, and Colonial style homes are here — most being dated back to the 1880’s!
Photo Credit : Dayton Lane Historic Area Inc.
One of the many highlights along this tour is the St. Paul Church Building. With a long history, the building is now home to the Hamilton Dream Center.
Downtown Hamilton Tour
Hamilton is a great place to visit, and its history can be seen in almost every step of Downtown. One of the main stops for this walking tour is the Main Street Bridge. Constructed as a 5-arch concrete bridge designed to prevent floods, it has stayed in great shape since its birth in 1914. There is a bicycle path and multiple outlooks across the bridge, perfect for a selfie!
Farther along this walking path, you’ll find some beautiful churches and the famous Butler County Courthouse. We also recommend keeping an eye out for the Palace Theater. Opened in 1919, it was Hamilton’s first theater to only show movies. After some alterations through the years, the original idea was brought back to life in 2003. The theater is now used to help local theater needs.
German Village Tour
In the 1840s, Hamilton had a huge wave of German immigrants come in due to the industrial opportunity that the town provided. Beginning in 1973, this area has been preserved as a historic district. German Village is a 9-block historic district located immediately north of Hamilton’s central business district and adjacent to the Great Miami River.
Photo Credit : Hamilton German Village Historic District
Some of the major highlights you’ll experience on this tour are the St. Julie Billiart Church and the Butler County Historical Society. This tour will immerse you in beautiful architecture, scenic views of the Great Miami River, the rich history of German heritage and the impact Hamilton had in industrial history.
High-Main Bridge Medallions Tour
This tour will give you a deeper look into the eight medallions across the bridge that connects High St to Main St. Seven of them are to honor the history of Hamilton and the Great Miami River, while the eighth is a symbol for the future.
Photo Credit : Burgess & Niple
The medals represent French Exploration, Flatboats & Early Trade, The beginning of Industry, The Miami Bridge, The Native American Trail, Site of Fort Hamilton, and finally one about the 2013 Flood and the recovery from that.
Many more beautifully designed homes are found here. One that will catch your eye is the one on 217 Ross Avenue. It is from 1881 and is a great example of Eastlake architecture.
Photo Credit : Amy Bolinder
Another can’t miss sight is The Arches. It is a 665-foot and 17-arch viaduct. Since 1855, these arches have transported railroads across the Great Miami River.
With summer starting, this is a great way to get outside and to learn something too! Whether you choose to do one, a few, or all of them, these walking tours are a great way to learn about the history of Hamilton and all that it has to offer.