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LOOKOUT HOUSE

built it in time for the fall term. The Ohio River flood of 1913 greatly damaged the new school, but it was repaired and refurbished. That school was used until 1928, when a large brick school was constructed for the Consolidated Locust School and High School near the Forks of Locust Creek and the center of the community of Locust. The Locust High School had been established as a two-year school in 1912, and it occupied one room of the original large two-story schoolhouse. Children attending the school came from Hunter’s Bottom, Wrights Ridge, Kings Ridge, Locust Rd., and Painter’s Hollow. By 1927 J. B. Pullium was teaching 8 pupils at Locust High School, in a school term that ran eight months, and the next year he taught 13. Rev. Graham Good was the high school’s teacher in 1929; that year he had 9 students and in 1930 he had 8. Then in 1930 R. J. Wade taught 10 students at the high school. R. Bernhardt Bauer, who had attended Georgetown College in Kentucky, was teaching 14 students at the Locust High School in 1933. The Locust High School basketball team had to adjust its offense and defense around a pot-bellied stove that sat in the middle of the gym. A skylight provided light to the second-floor gymnasium. The high school closed while Allan McMannis was principal of the Consolidated Locust School in 1938. Students from Ghent, English, and Locust Schools in Carroll Co. were then bused to the Carrollton High School (CHS). The first year after its closing, the Locust Consolidated School sent 22 students to CHS. Bevarly, R. W. “History of Education in Carroll County,” Master’s thesis, Univ. of Kentucky, 1936. Campbell, Justine Tandy. “History of the Carroll County Schools,” Carrollton, Ky.: Carroll Co. Public Library, 1976. Carroll Co. Deed Books, 4, pp. 36, 38, 299, Carrollton, Ky. Carrollton News-Democrat, February 2, 1878; September 15, 1938.

Diane Perrine Coon

LONG RIDGE. This Owen Co. hamlet, located three miles north of Owenton at the intersection of U.S. 127 and Ky. Rt. 36, sits along the long ridge that cuts north-south across the county. Long Ridge is near the former location of Ed Porter Thompson’s short-lived Harrisburgh Academy/Owen College, in an area Thompson had named Harrisburg during the late 1860s. In 1909 the community’s name was changed to Long Ridge owing to the common postal confusion with the Harrisburg community in Mercer Co. Thompson opened the post office at Long Ridge in 1873, and it operated until 1966. Long Ridge was home to the well-known Kentucky blues fiddler Bill Livers, whose farm was along Old New Liberty Rd (Ky. Rt. 1978). Houchens, Mariam Sidebottom. History of Owen County: “Sweet Owen.” Louisville, Ky.: Standard, 1976. Rennick, Robert M. Kentucky Place Names. Lexington: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 1984.

LOOKOUT HEIGHTS. The city of Lookout Heights was located on the west side of the Dixie

Highway, overlooking Park Hills and Covington. Much of the early housing development, including the Fort Henry and General Dr. subdivisions and the streets along Park Rd. and the west side of Sleepy Hollow Rd., was done by Nick Kreutzjans, Fred Riedinger, and Joseph Trenkamp. Lookout Heights was incorporated as a sixth-class city in 1937, after a campaign led by a group of residents known as the Dixie Welfare Association, who were troubled by insufficient fire protection. Although largely residential, Lookout Heights had a diverse set of business and community organizations, among them St. Agnes Catholic Church and school, the Dixie Gardens Drive-In Theatre (see Drive-Ins), Oelsner’s Colonial Inn, the Hillcrest Tavern, the Lookout Motel, Lookout Bowl, a goldfish farm, a golf driving range, and the Dixie Bicycle Club, which offered bicycle paths, horseshoe courts, an archery range, and canoeing. The most famous locale was the Lookout House, a well-known nightclub along the Gourmet Strip of Dixie Highway. Offering casino-style gambling and national entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, it became notorious for its ongoing gambling problems. The Lookout House, after a decades-long run, burned to the ground in 1973. In 1964 the Lookout Heights Civic Club building opened and became a central gathering spot for the community as well as the seat of city government. Former mayors of Lookout Heights include Russell Oelsner (owner of Oelsner’s Colonial Inn), J. R. Blumlein, Howard Schambach, and Alfred Beasley. Annexation was an ongoing topic in Lookout Heights as in neighboring towns, leading to a major battle with Covington in the early 1980s. Covington tried to annex undeveloped land in the Fort Henry subdivision in the 1960s, but the landowners sued to block annexation, and the matter languished in court for over two decades. In 1980 the court ruled in favor of Covington; however, Fort Wright used a new state law that permitted reannexing land and put the issue on the ballot. Residents voted overwhelmingly to leave Covington and return to Fort Wright. In the interim, seeking better fire protection and wishing to prevent annexation by Covington, Lookout Heights merged with Fort Wright. In November of 1967, Fort Wright voted 532 to 319 in favor of the step, while Lookout Heights voted 389 to 150 for the merger; in 1968 the merger was complete, and the Lookout Heights name was dropped in favor of Fort Wright. City of Fort Wright 50th Anniversary Booklet. Fort Wright, Ky.: City of Fort Wright, 1991. “The City They All Seem to Want,” KP, November 11, 1985, 4K. “Dixie Bicycle Club Takes Over Plot for Recreation Project,” KP, March 14, 1941, 18. “Lookout Heights Has Vigor of Youth,” KE, June 26, 1958, 1K. “Park Hills, Ft. Wright, Lookout Heights Talk More on Merger,” KE, March 21, 1967, 19. “Town Groups Organize Dixie Municipal League,” KP, March 20, 1940, 1.

Dave Hatter

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LOOKOUT HOUSE. The Lookout House, a thriving nightspot for almost a century in Northern Kentucky, was located in Fort Wright, on the southeast corner of Kyles Lane and the Dixie Highway. The restaurant was well known for its gourmet dinners, gambling rooms, and live entertainment shows. In 1886 Aloise Hampel, a German immigrant, purchased the land on which the restaurant was to be built. The facility initially was a three-story brick structure with a slaughterhouse and an underground passageway that was used as a natural refrigerator for storing cut meat. The building also had a large tower in the front, which attracted visitors wishing to have a spectacular view of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. The popularity of this feature led Hampel to name his building the Lookout House. Many locals have speculated, erroneously, that the restaurant was so named because it had been used as a lookout point by Union troops during the Civil War. Hampel operated a successful restaurant at the Lookout House, and later he added a beer garden and a dance pavilion. During Hampel’s ownership the Lookout House was famous for excellent food and accommodations. After his death in 1912, Hempel’s children sold the business to Bill Hill for $25,000. Hill already had a national reputation as a saloon owner. Under his management, the Lookout House flourished as a nightclub; however, the business later struggled during the era of Prohibition, 1919–1933. In 1933 the Lookout House was sold to Jimmy Brink, who remodeled the restaurant and added Las Vegas–style gambling and live entertainment. Gambling was illegal in Kentucky, and in the 1930s Brink was charged numerous times but never convicted. In 1948 Brink was again charged with permitting gambling on the Lookout House premises. Harriett Shelander of Erlanger, along with several other witnesses, appeared in court and testified against Brink. It was also during this time that national investigators led by U.S. senator Estes Kefauver (see Kefauver Committee) uncovered a connection between Brink and the Chicago-based Capone crime organization. Two local mobsters, Morris Kleinman and Louis Rothkopf, were regular high-stakes gamblers at the Lookout House. Both men were connected to Jacob “Greasy Thumb” Guzik, who was known to be part of Capone’s gang. None of the three men, however, admitted to any involvements that connected themselves or the Lookout House to underworld activities. Before the case against these three men could be tried, Brink was killed in 1952 in a suspicious private plane crash at an airport in Atlanta, Ga. The Kenton Co. Circuit Court ruled that “there was a possibility Brink caused the crash through negligence by turning over the controls of the plane to Charles Drahmann.” Both men had been facing prosecution on gambling charges. Brink’s activities in Northern Kentucky at this time would suggest that organized crime was involved at his restaurant. He was nicknamed “Mr. Big,” and it was said that “everyone bowed to them

Chapter L of the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky  

The Encylopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com. Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, The University Press of...

Chapter L of the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky  

The Encylopedia of Northern Kentucky in partnership with NKY.com. Edited by Paul A. Tenkotte and James C. Claypool, The University Press of...