Preserving Yesterday, Enriching Today, Inspiring Tomorrow

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps: The Earliest “Street View”

Have you wondered what your town or neighborhood looked like 100 years ago? Want to know what that large building at the end of your block was originally used for? If you answered yes, you will want to check out the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. In 1867, the Sanborn Map Company, which is still in business today, began making detailed fire insurance maps to help “insurance agents determine the degree of hazard associated with a particular property.”[i] The Sanborn Company estimates they created maps for 12,000 cities and towns in the United States[ii]. The maps are very intricate and detail the size, shape, placement and number of windows and doors, property boundaries, and type of business or industry located within a structure. They are also coded to reflect the various types of building material used and to distinguish residential from commercial property.

While the maps are no longer used for insurance purposes, they are now a wonderful way to supplement your historical and genealogical research. They are also essential tools for anyone interested in the history of their home or a particular structure. The maps can be used in conjunction with city directories and newspapers to locate the homes of individuals or businesses in a town and even on a specific street. Because the maps were constantly updated, researchers can track changes that took place in towns, business districts, and neighborhoods. Street addresses and street names have also changed over time, and sometimes more than once, so the maps are an excellent way to find the original address for a specific home or business.

The Local History and Genealogy Department, located on the 2nd floor of the Covington Branch, has Sanborn Maps in original map format, […]

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By |August 12th, 2014|Categories: Featured Post, History, KCPL|Tags: , |0 Comments

Cooking for Two

While many of the library patrons served by the Outreach department are residents in facilities that provide them with daily meals, not all of them are. Several are retired couples, or individuals who live in their own homes and apartments. They are responsible for their own food choices and preparation and in that respect; they fall into a category of household that is becoming more and more standard these days.
No longer is the large family the norm.  There are many singles and couples, and they all want to feed themselves well.  Statistics back this up, with at present one-third of American families containing only two people. 
-from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two
Whether you’re a retired individual, a young adult moving into your first apartment, a bachelor or bachelorette, a pair of newlyweds, or an empty-nester, you will be faced with the new territory of either cooking for yourself for the first time, or cooking smaller sized meals than you have in the past. During these challenges, it’s dangerously easy to fall into the takeout/pizza delivery trap. Learning how to adjust your skills and cook at home is better in the long run for both your health and your wallet. Plus, you’ll avoid the dreaded, “what do you want?”, “I don’t know, what sounds good to you?” exchange that can go on endlessly and frustrate even the most generally unflappable individuals.

According to research, most people who cook for themselves use and rotate, at most, only a dozen or so recipes…thus everyday meals can become so routine that any mealtime excitement is lost.
-from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two
I can say from personal experience that the statement above is true. While living alone, and even now […]

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By |July 31st, 2014|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL, Outreach||0 Comments

Cooking with the Library Month – Kentucky Inspired Cooking

July is Cooking Month at the Kenton County Public Library and today’s blog focuses on what’s available from the Local History and Genealogy Department in Covington.

Do you know how to make jellied chicken? How about hominy puffs? Have you ever had Bouilli soup? You can find recipes for these and other unusual and delicious regional dishes in our cookbook collection located in the local history and genealogy department.

Many of our books can serve as historical sketches of the region. It’s interesting to see some of the older recipes like one for Kentucky burgout from The Blue Grass Cook Book that calls for “6 squirrels and 6 birds” or what was included in the book’s recipe for a “very fine omelet.” But, while many of our cookbooks are a glimpse into kitchens of the past, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try to make some of these delicious concoctions in your own home.

If you’re looking for a challenge, you might want to try a recipe from The Kentucky Housewife by Lettice Bryan. This compilation uses a paragraph format for each dish instead of the list presentation that is commonly used in today’s cookbooks. It also calls for measurements and techniques that are atypical in today’s modern kitchen, but don’t let that scare you. In fact, we highly recommend the “plain potato soup” on page 24.

Why not give one of the books below a try (or another from our four shelves of cookbooks in the local history department)?

The Blue Grass Cook Book – K 641.5975 F793b
The Kentucky Housewife – K 641.59 B915k
Appalachian Home Cooking – K 641.5975 S682a
The Blue Ribbon Cook Book – K 641.5973 B463b
The Historic Kentucky Kitchen – K 641.5975 S278h
The Delta Queen Cookbook – K 641.5975 N753d
The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook – K 641.625 S348k

You can also check out our […]

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Baseball and Beer: A Look at the Wiedemann Baseball Club

Summer is almost here and with it comes a lot of baseball and fine beer. After all the two go hand and hand. So lets visit a local baseball team from the past, that was closely related to the beer industry. During the early 1900s baseball was played everywhere and by everybody even women! There were often police ordinances established to prevent youngsters from playing ball in the streets in towns and cities across the area. Many businesses had their own teams, sometimes comprised of employees while others had experienced players on their teams.

Several Breweries in the Northern Kentucky area aside from being in the beer making business also dabbled in the world of baseball. Breweries such as the Bavarian Brewing Company, Heidelberg Brewery and the George Wiedemann Brewing Company all at one point in time fielded baseball clubs. The Wiedemann Club and Heidelberg club played around the same time and even faced each other on several occasions. The most prominent though was the Wiedemann Baseball Club also known as the ‘Brewers’ They were a Semi-Pro team that played baseball in Newport, Kentucky. According to team letterhead from 1909 the club was organized sometime in 1903.

 

The above letterhead from the August “Garry” Hermann papers obtained from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Hermann owned the Cincinnati Reds from 1902 to 1927. He also had a stint as the president of the National Baseball Commission. This particular letterhead was part of a note sent to Hermann from Wiedemann manager Arthur Nieman. Notice how the letter head proclaims the club as being leaders in Semi-Professional Baseball.

While researching the club between 1903 and 1907 other than a few game announcements and outcomes not many details […]

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