The Road Less Traveled In Clifton

Blog Banner2Every old house has a story. Ever wonder about yours? Digging Cincinnati History specializes in just that–house geneaologies. You can contact Ann Senefeld (author, researcher, and consultant) for more information. Digging Cincinnati History recently completed a research report for one of our listings in the Clifton neighborhood–564 Evanswood Place (MLS # 1384603).

564 Evanswood Avenue.

564 Evanswood Place built in 1890 for Winifred Evans, daughter of Winifred M. and Seth Evans

Currently looking for a new steward, this charming 1890s home lands it into the “chatty” category. Here are some interesting details about the history of the property, dating back to Clifton‘s earliest years (Clifton was incorporated as a village in 1850 and later annexed by Cincinnati in 1893).clifton

Much of the area west of Clifton Avenue and north of Ludlow Avenue  was once part of the 110-acre Reuben Resor Estate. An expansive, Gothic-Italianate mansion (now the 3517 Cornell Place apartments and reportedly haunted) was the crown piece to the estate.

The Reuben Resor mansion.

The Reuben Resor mansion.


Reuben Resor passed away unexpectedly in 1854, and the estate was chopped up into a subdivision (Plat Book 1, 237: Hamilton County Recorder’s Office), with lots quickly sold to various people. In 1866, the largest portion of the subdivision–which included the mansion–was bought by David Gibson, a whiskey, grain, and feed merchant who was then forced to sell it again to pay off a $129,000 judgement against him. PorkopolisThe buyers were Winifred M. Evans and Seth Evans, a former pork-packer (no surprise in 19th century “Porkopolis“, er, Cincinnati) and president of the Second National Bank of Cincinnati. The Evanses promptly moved into the former Resor mansion and began acquiring adjacent lots to create a nice, 40-acre estate for themselves.

In 1890, the property located at 564 Evanswood Place was deeded to Winifred Evans, the daughter of Winifred M. and Seth Evans. However, she had eight siblings and the Evans Estate was quickly tied up in prickly litigation. Winifred did not get a clear title to the property until 1896, but she did go ahead and build a house on it–the same 4-bedroom, 3-bath home that still stands today, with its original period details. Unfortunately, by the time Winifred got her title, she had already moved to a home on Ludlow Avenue.

Robert Frost in 1948.

Robert Frost in 1948.

In 1903, Winifred Evans sold the property to Michael Guyer, a professor of zoology at the University of Cincinnati, who, in turn, sold it in 1939 to Helen and John K. Rose, a former attorney, City Council member and Cincinnati Park Board head. In 1945, Gladys and William Clark acquired the home. William Clark, who was a professor of English at the University of Cincinnati at the time, had studied under Robert Frost at Amherst College and still maintained a relationship with the famous poet. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Robert Frost made several trips to Cincinnati, usually for speaking engagements at the University of Cincinnati (he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1954). He often stayed in the private residences of friends and colleagues during visits and–in December 1948–he stayed with the Clarks on Evanswood Place (sorry, we don’t know which bedroom was his!). After the Clarks, 564 Evanswood enjoyed several other owners up to the present day–each staying until they came upon two diverging roads…I wonder if they all took the one less traveled by?

Acknowledgments and thanks to Ann Senefeld, Digging Cincinnati History, for the information provided herein.




by Robert Frost (1920)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.