CINCINNATI GALVANIZING CO.
The Cincinnati Galvanizing Co. was established by the sons of John Micahel Schott in 1905 with an initial investment of $20,000. The sons had been operating a firm their father established in the late 1870s, known as J.M. Schott & Sons Cooperage. After their father died in 1903, his sons, who became known as the Schott Brothers, decided to establish a galvanizing company. It was located next to the cooperage on the east side of what is now McMicken Avenue, between Tafel Street and Straight Street. The beginning years of the Cincinnati Galvanizing Co. are briefly discussed under the Schott Family. This section provides a somewhat more detailed examination into this galvanizing concern, which operated under the Schott's family ownership until 1962, or for nearly 60 years. After it was sold by the Schott family, the company operated for about another decade, closing in 1970.
THE EARLY YEARS
The impetus for the Cincinnati Galvanizing Company may have been initially to improve their barrels with galvanized rims. However, it was likely to also diversify from their cooperage business, and in doing so, transition from wooden barrels to galvanized metal containers. Even though it was more than a decade before Prohibition, the prospect of reduce demand for their wooden barrels likely lingered, and was another reason to establish a galvanizing company. Therefore, in 1920, with the success of the galvanizing business, they decided to create a large galvanizing plant in the Cincinnati Mill Creek Industrial District located at 4879 Spring Grove Avenue.
Cincinnati Gavlanizing Co.
CINCINNATI GALVANIZING COMPANY
Founding & Expansion
Cincinnati Galvanizing Company was incorporated in 1905 with an initial investment of $20,000. It was established by the five sons of J. M. Schott & Sons Cooperage: Chris, John Jr., George, Louis and William. The cooperage business was established in the early 1870’s and was a prosperous concern. However
Products & Clients
Standard products for Cincinnati Galvanizing Co. were galvanized 30 gallon metal trash cans, buckets, waste baskets and wash bins. But the firm was also involved with specialized products, such as the King Seamless Potato Ricer and canisters for hand operated fire extinguishers. In addition, by the mid 20th century the firm expanded their product lines to include decorative waste paper baskets, including those with images of Disney characters. Clients included local and regional firms as well as some national chains such as Sears. It also had various government and military customers, not only for their standard products, but also for specific contracts such as 50 gallon water barrels used in fallout shelters during the early Cold War period. The name of the company on products was usually abbreviated as Cin'ti. Galv. Co. When mother died in 1931, the positions of the brothers operating the Cincinnati Galvanizing company were listed as follows: Christian Schott, President; William C. Schott, General Manager; George Schott, Secretary; and, Louis Schott, Treasurer. In 1937, possibly around the time the cooperage business was dissolved, the aforesaid officers of the galvanizing company also acquired the Bavarian Brewing Co. The brewery operated across the Ohio River from Cincinnati in Covington, KY, until 1965.
Sale of the Company and the Spring Grove Plant
The Cincinnati Galvanizing Co. was sold in the mid-1960s to a diversified industrial company that produced Bell Helicopters, industrial staplers and automotive parts. That firm later became known as Textron, which has become a large publicly traded company. Today the Cincinnati Galvanizing plant is one of the regional facilities for Clean Harbors Inc., a public company, known as Spring Grove Resource Recovery Inc. The original galvanizing, cooperage and saloon structures no longer exist.
The entire Bavarian Brewing Co. tunnel system, encompassing the above mentioned three underground passage ways with a total length of several hundred feet, was only used about for about a decade before Prohibition began in 1919. Once the brewery was reopened after Prohibition, the two southern most tunnels, T1 and T2 would still have been usable. There are accounts that T1 was definitely used between the Mill House and the Boiler House. It also seems that T2 was also used between the Stock House and the former Engine Room, which became the Bottling Department. However, the longest tunnel, T3, was on property that was sold in the 1920s and early 1930s and no longer part of the brewery property when it reopened in 1935. This tunnel had been closed, either by walling up the inside of the Tunnel like the north side of T1 or walling up the above ground entrances, or both. But none of tunnels were totally destroyed, until around 2017.
What Happened to the Tunnels?
During the building of the Kenton County Government Center between 2017 an 2019, the developer of the buildings, Turner Construction, reported encountering multiple tunnels. It was necessary for them to excavate a portion of the property where tunnels T2 and T3 were located for the foundation and lower level of the South Wing of the noted government complex. So, it was unfortunately necessary for Turner to demolish these two tunnels. They also became aware of the oldest tunnel and former lager cellar, T1. Since this tunnel was west of the former Brew and Mill Houses, and under an area designated for surface parking in front of the new North Wing of the aforementioned government complex, excavation of this area was not needed. Therefore, the former T1 tunnel, which had also been a lager cellar, remains intact as of this writing. Because the opening to this tunnel is currently narrow and the stairs need repair along with the need for a secure railing, there are safety issues with making this tunnel accessible. (See a photo of this opening on the right.) Besides safety concerns with its access, there are other issues involving this tunnel. It may need lighting, improved ventilation and an above ground stair entry structure, probably built against the adjacent stone wall on W. 12th street and integrated with the surrounding hardscape and landscaping. Of course, before doing any repairs on this former lager cellar , it would probably be prudent to determine if it would only be used for tours, or if it has a better use.
2019. The recent access to Bavarian's former Lager Cellar, identified herein as tunnel T1.
A recollection of someone when they were a boy who used one of the tunnels with their father around the 1950s is mentioned under Memories of Bavarian's. On the bottom of this same section, a reference to a Facebook page is provided by a former employee of Brew Works, a micro-brewery and restaurant located in the renovated Bavarian Brewery that was renovated in the mid 1990s. This page had some photos and a video of the lager cellar (T1), which may become available again. (For more information about the the uses of the Bavarian Brewery after it was renovated, please there will be a Brew Works and Jillian's page forthcoming.)
The background photo of this page is of the Bavarian Lager Cellar or Tunnel, referred to as T1 above.