Hi! My name is Alyssa McClanahan.
I am a life-long native of Cincinnati, having grown up in Loveland, Ohio. For the longest time, I have loved all things old—especially old cities.
I studied American history at the University of Cincinnati and received my Ph.D. there in 2016. My dissertation examined women's peace activism at the end of the Cold War. I have taught history classes at UC and Xavier Univerity, conducted research in libraries and archives in the U.S. and Britain and presented my work at conferences. While this training taught me to teach and write in different historical fields, I love to use the city as a lens for the past.
For the last few years, my partner John and I have been involved in historic preservation and renovation in Cincinnati. Working on historic structures and being trained in history have compelled me to research and write about Cincinnati's past. This city, in all of its families, buildings, businesses and neighborhoods, operates as a microcosm for major political, cultural and social developments through U.S. history. This archive of stories is devoted to my research on Cincinnati and its old parts.
If you're interested in having historical research conducted, contact me HERE.
A PAST AND An UPCOMING PROJECT of MINE
The history of a tailor shop in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati
I helped to renovate a building in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, from 2014 to 2016. In that time, I fell in love with it. We named it the Tailor Shop since it functioned as an active tailoring business around the turn of the 20th century. But that use alone does not do justice to its long and complex history. Built around 1870, it housed hundreds of people over its years, including German-speaking immigrants, newcomers from Eastern Europe and Appalachians coming up from Kentucky. Through local records, genealogy and available academic literature, I tell the stories of its owners, tenants, nearby neighbors and the larger community. Click HERE to read more about this building and to read an online copy of its history.
Artwork provided by Jim Effler.
The power plant that was never finished
In 1969, Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company announced its plan to construct a nuclear power plant near Moscow, Ohio. What followed was neither quick licensure nor widespread community support for the nuclear station. Instead, a diverse coalition of vocal citizens and groups opposed the plant over the course of the 1970s and early ‘80s. My current project is to tell this story. Look for an article version in Ohio Valley History soon! Stayed tuned for the book!
Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Post, Blegen Library, University of Cincinnati.