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The Former Ken Mill | by J Wells S
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The Former Ken Mill

Walnut Hills neighborhood in Cincinnati. I lived a few blocks from here in the mid '40's while my father served in the Navy during WWII. In the '60's this was a bluegrass bar called the Ken Mill where we occasionally went to hear performers like the Stanley Brothers. Because the bar was frequented by some really rough characters, us college boys had a few rules: 1. We sat as close to the door as possible. 2. We tried to never speak to any of the other customers unless spoken to first. 3. We would never ever look at any of the women. 4. When (note I didn't say "If") the fight started, we'd immediately leave and not return that night.

Following these rules, most nights we'd get to hear at least the first set, before we were out the door.


As the neighborhood deteriorated further and the gangs and riff raff got a deeper hold on the area, the bar changed owners, was renamed "Saten's Den" and attracted a different crowd which made it off limits for us.


There is currently a revitalization effort going on in the neighborhood. Many of the old buildings are torn down or scheduled to be so. I wouldn't be surprised if this place meets the wrecking ball before long. A couple of blocks from here, I'm helping build four new town houses. I took this in the early morning before I began work.

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Taken on June 23, 2012