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The first Cincinnati Turners club was formed on November 21, 1848 in a small building at the corner of Plum and Canal Streets in Over-the-Rhine.  By 1850 a gymnasium was constructed, but the membership grew so rapidly that the building was replaced with a much larger one.  The buildings not only housed gyms and bowling alleys, but meeting rooms as well.  They were, in effect, community halls in which a variety of Cincinnati political and civic groups met on a regular basis.

Turnfest 1886 Turnfest 1889

An 1865 Cincinnati Turner festival at Parker’s Grove (now Cincinnati’s Coney Island amusement park).

A Cincinnati Turner festival held on the riverfront, 1889.

Turnfest
Turnfest
The Central Turner’s Hall on Walnut Street in Cincinnati, ca. 1909. The Nord Cincinnati Turnhalle in the neighborhood of Corryville.
Turner Hall postcard
Turner Hall postcard