Jerry Summers: Cincinnati-Choo Choo City Comparison No. 1

  • Tuesday, November 28, 2023
  • Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers
Jerry Summers

The Queen City on the Ohio River and our local Choo Choo City on the Tennessee River have historically been compared to each other in several areas:

1) Originally both relied on river transportation to establish their reputation as inland ports of commerce;

2) The counties for both cities were named after Alexander Hamilton (Secretary of Treasury under George Washington who died in a duel with Aaron Burr in 1804 prior to the November 2023 temper tantrum displays in Congress);

3) Cincinnati has also often been called the “City of Seven Hills” because of its crescent shaped geography while Chattanooga sits in a bowl surrounded by Signal Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, etc.;

4) One has the architectural masterpiece Roebling Bridge and the other has the preserved Walnut Street Bridge as a pedestrian walkway;

5) Railroads were major forms of commercial transportation in both venues;

6) In 1880 the Cincinnati Southern Railway was completed to Chattanooga and, until recently when it was sold to Norfolk Southern, was the only municipally owned railway in the United States;

7) The larger Ohio city includes three municipalities while eight independent boroughs surround Chattanooga;

8) Flood conditions have historically hindered both communities but controls have been enacted to protect downtown “Cincy” by the Serpentine Wall and “Dynamo of Dixie” by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Brainerd levee;

9) Thunderstorms, tornadoes, and snow storms are frequent in both locales in their weather histories;

10) Major corporations such as Procter and Gamble and Kroger in Ohio and Volkswagen in the “Scenic City” have helped to make an ongoing transition from a declining industrial base to Gig City;

11) The riverfront development projects such as “the Banks project” (Cincinnati) and “The Bend” (Chattanooga) are designed to project an infusion of billions of dollars into the economy through public and private investment that include apartments, retail, restaurants, and office space;

12) Cincinnati is famous for its Skyline and other varieties of chili while Chattanooga was the home of the first Krystal hamburger in 1932;

13) Each has had its colorful and controversial individuals. Talk show host Jerry Springer was elected mayor in 1977 at the age of 33. Chattanooga can claim baseball owner Joe Engel of the minor league Lookouts and Fire and Police Commissioner James B. “Bookie” Turner.

Wikipedia has a 37-page article with 226 footnote sources that covers many other areas of comparison between the history of growth and development of the non-declared but actual Sister Cities. China and Ukraine will follow.

(In article number 2 a closer analysis of what the future may hold for Cincinnati’s younger brother, sister, etc.?) 



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