May 2018 THE BEACON Page 3A Market Street History- Odd Fellows, Hardware, Crafts, and More By Nicole Williams The Market Street Grille is a building with many stories to tell. Located in downtown Harrison, the establishment has gained steady recognition for its food and charm. The Sunday Brunch is popu- lar and their “Wine Down Wednesday” is the perfect way to break up the week. But strong roots to this time- less building were planted generations back and have many ties to the city of Har- rison as we know it today. Christopher Dunce built the current building in 1856 to house a brewery. The con- struction used one hundred thousand bricks from local John Singer’s brickyard, for the grand total of $300. The original brick is still exposed today in the interior. When Mr. Dunce’s finances ran dry, he sold the building to John and Jacob Schneider. The two brothers started a malt establishment that was eventually converted into a dwelling. In 1893, the Schneider heirs sold the building for $9,750 to the Harrison Lodge No. 140 I.O.O.F. The Inde- pendent Order of Odd Fel- lows is a civic group that was formed to support the local community. The Odd Fel- lows immediately began to renovate the building, chang- ing the main stairway to the second and third floors. They decided to designate the third floor as ballroom for special events and raised the roof to create sixteen-foot ceilings. The second floor was broken up into two different sec- tions. The Odd Fellows used one unit for recreation and a kitchen. The other section was used by the Masons as a meeting room. Today, the spaces have been renovated into apartments. Since the I.O.O.F. renova- tion of 1893, the first floor has been transformed into many different venues. The J.C. Bevis Hardware Store and coal shop once occupied the entire first floor. The store had an actual “weighing sta- tion” that was located in the front of the store where the citizens of Harrison could come and weigh their produce and goods. In the back of the building they sold the popu- lar “Weber Wagons” under an open air shelter. In 1934, J.C. Bevis sold the busi- ness to Harry and Margaret Clippinger, who went on to operate the business for 34 years as a hardware store that An original piece of carpet from the main dining room is displayed over the origi- nal brick wall. was also known for selling stoves. Mrs. Clippinger used the front window to display trendy Fenton Glassware and Rockwood Pottery items, which they would sell as an- niversary and birthday gifts to the ladies in town. Through the years, the lower level of the building has been convert- ed from restaurants to insur- ance offices to a craft store. In 1996 the building was purchased by siblings Adam Walter, Brenda Leonard and Paula Eggleston and became today’s Market Street Grille. The team of owners kept the integrity of the build- ing and were awarded the 2000 Preservation Award for excellence in Rehabilitation by the Cincinnati Preserva- tion Association. There are examples of this in every room of the restaurant. A bookshelf was made from the original door that is nestled by the fireplace. The painted tin ceilings are original. In the brick room left of the entrance hang several framed items from the building. Among these are an original piece of carpet and wallpaper from the main dining room. An ornate century old mirror stretches across the back of the room that came from the old Central Hotel building which is still standing a short distance away in the 100 block of Harrison. The more concealed part of history concerning this build- ing goes even deeper. And by deeper, I am referring to the actual tunnels that exist un- derneath the building. I was excited to connect to one of the building’s biggest advo- cates and employees, Cody Moore. A self-proclaimed “history nerd”, Cody offered one of his knowledgeable tours of the main floor and its notorious underbelly. “As far as we know, we are one of the few privately owned buildings with access to these tunnels” he explained as we descended down the narrow stairs. Pictures of the current building throughout the different decades decorate the walls. In the bottom pic- ture you can see the great flood surrounding a buggy. One cannot help but feel you are stepping back in history when entering the underground tunnel. The large stone walls stretch up to create a perfectly arched stone ceiling. Cody pointed out the precision and manual labor it would take to create this stonework consider- ing the mor e primitive tools they had to work with at the time. There is a thick layer of sediment on the floor from previous flooding before the tunnels were sealed off. The stone came from a hill near Lawrenceburg Road; the gap in the hill still being visible from the highway. The tunnel served sev- eral purposes throughout the years. It winds all the way to the Whitewater River and was used in earlier times as a way to transport supplies and product from the river. The original elevator shaft is now a stairwell to the basement and was used to bring goods up to the first floor of the building. During the famous Morgan’s Raid of 1863, the people of Harrison hid their goods and livestock down in the tunnels, where they remained undiscovered from the Confederate cavalry. The tunnel underneath Market Street Grille is now sealed off by stone after claims of not being what it was originally intended and boot-legging activity. When they closed the tunnel with stone, a coal shoot was added as a way to transport the coal to the building without having to carry it through the first floor. Cody still enjoys sharing the history of the building for education pur- poses. “One of my favorite tours was actually to a group of third graders. They asked the best questions, some of which I had to go research Cody Moore explaining the workings of the tunnel. Directly behind him is the coal shaft and to the back right was the location of the elevator. the answers myself!” If the walls could talk, there also might be a whisper of a ghost or two. A couple months back, the famous TV show, Ghost Hunters, set up shop. The staff at Market Street Grille had to black out the front of the restaurant and all windows to make it easier for the equipment to pick up any supernatural activity. Without the sound of laughing customers, clank- ing glasses and humming appliances, the atmosphere changed. The consistent The remnants of the once working elevator as seen from the stairwell. stories from the staff are absolutely hair raising and make dining at the historic restaurant that much more intriguing. Results Matter! The Maddin Team closed over $10 Million Dollars in 2017. Let us sell yours in 2018! OUR ADVERTISERS ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS. SHOP LOCAL AND TELL THEM YOU SAW THEIR ADS IN THE BEACON.