Hamilton’s hidden gems: How to learn about the city’s fascinating places

This building, which some call the Lindenwald Castle, will be part of Monday's presentation about Hidden Gems of Hamilton at the 17Strong Advisory Board meeting 6 p.m. Monday in City Council Chambers at 345 High St. CONTRIBUTED

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This building, which some call the Lindenwald Castle, will be part of Monday's presentation about Hidden Gems of Hamilton at the 17Strong Advisory Board meeting 6 p.m. Monday in City Council Chambers at 345 High St. CONTRIBUTED

For those who have never heard of the Lindenwald Castle, Hamilton resident Kyle Cummins and Brandon Saurber, both who grew up in the Lindenwald neighborhood, will offer a presentation Monday.

Cummins has slightly haunting memories of the well-kept “castle,” which is on Tiffin Avenue in Lindenwald.

“For the first 20-25 years of my life I lived in Lindenwald, so I recall it as a kid during Halloween,” Cummins said. “It’s just a huge Gothic-looking castle. It’s in the middle of just normal, typical Lindenwald framed houses and then just this gigantic castle on Tiffin.”

Cummins, 41, vividly recalls being about 9, and, “I was scared to death to go up and get candy.”

But he did: “My Mom and Dad would have to force me to get candy. The people were extremely nice and gave us good candy.”

The presentation will happen during the 17Strong Advisory Board meeting 6 p.m. Monday in City Council Chambers, on the first floor of 345 High St.

Cummins, a 17Strong board member, is a business teacher at Mason High School. This summer he was one of several people who performed a comprehensive inventory of every parcel in the city.

“Through this, it was exciting to come across some hidden gems in Hamilton,” Cummins said. “I’ve lived in Hamilton for 30 years of my life, and there were some areas I wasn’t even familiar with,” especially on the city’s West Side.

Another interesting place that stood out for him was a large farm house on Alberta Drive, in the city’s New London neighborhood.

“There’s all these new developments, and as you’re going up this hill on Alberta Drive, there’s this old … . I would think it was probably before any of that settlement took place,” probably from the early 1900s, Cummins said. “That was really, really cool in that area.”

While studying city properties, he was surprised by the many city parks and other public areas that aren’t generally known to people who don’t live in an immediate area. Also, “these beautiful blocks on neighborhood side streets that are deep in subdivision, and unique homes that weren’t easily seen along the busy roads.”

“There are some areas of Hamilton that are very cool to see,” he said. “I think the charm and charisma in some of these neighborhoods is unbelievable.”

After he graduated from Miami University, he moved to Cincinnati to be near his job. He moved to the Highland Park neighborhood, where he has lived two years, and is building a house in the Washington neighborhood.

Saurber, the city’s director of neighborhoods, said in the past people have shown up at 17Strong board meetings and had to sit through the uninteresting aspects of board business.

“We’re really trying to consider that and make sure the board meetings themselves offer an opportunity for engagement and outreach of people outside the board.”

So, “These presentations are going to become a new staple of the board meetings,” Saurber said. “So if you don’t stick around for any of the board business, some of these presentations should hopefully be pretty enlightening for residents.”

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