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Earliest Settlers & the Carpenter's Run Baptist Church
Information and pictures gathered from descendants of five Blue Ash pioneer families, along with minutes of the historic Carpenter's Run Baptist Church dating back to 1791, provide a view of what life was like in the early settlement. Accounts in family histories tell the stories of bravery and courage exhibited by the pioneer families of John and Elizabeth Ferris, James and Mary Craig Carpenter, Price and Molly Denman Thompson, Abner and Hannah Ayres Denman, and Richard Ayres, many of which have descendants still living in the Blue Ash area today.
The Carpenter's Run Baptist Church (1797-1828) served the earliest settlers of Blue Ash. Built of logs from the blue ash tree, the church gave the community its name. When the church disbanded around 1828, the building was used as Plainfield School. Three grade schools, Plainfield (1814), Blue Ash (1892) and White Oak (mid-1800s), served the community. Sycamore High School (now the Junior High) was built in 1925. In 1949, the three elementary schools along with three others and the high school combined into the Sycamore School District, with Edwin H. Greene named the first superintendent.
An Emerging Community
Blue Ash was a rural community of farms throughout the 1800s and did not incorporate (as a village) until 1955 (Blue Ash was incorporated as a City in 1961). The railroad (CL&N) was built through the community in the 1880s, and it brought a post office to Blue Ash. Commercial activity at this time consisted of a blacksmith shop and a grocery store until 1908 when the Blue Ash Building & Loan was established, the longest continuous business in operation in Blue Ash today. The 16 Mile Stand Rangers provided police protection (for those who paid). There were attempts to incorporate Blue Ash during the early 1900s but none were successful until 1955. The Blue Ash Civic League served as the voice in the community prior to that time (established around 1908 as the Blue Ash Improvement Association).
Above is a 1949 photo of Blue Ash Elementary formerly located at the southwest corner of Kenwood & Cooper Roads.
We realize the above 1957 street map of Blue Ash is difficult to read; however, it does show the difference between today's Blue Ash in terms of overall development.
Blue Ash is rich in aviation history. The Watson Airport (pictured above), once located on Cooper Road, is the oldest established commercial airport in Ohio.
The Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) was founded by a group of Cincinnati business leaders in the early 1960s. It was a very important factor in the development of commerce & industry in Blue Ash.