Geography of Cincinnati

Findlay Market

The City of Cincinnati sites in the southwestern corner of Ohio and serves as the center of the 15-county "Tristate" region that encompasses parts of Indiana and Kentucky.

Geologically, the Greater Cincinnati area lies in the Cincinnati Arch province situated between the Illinoian and Appalachian Basins, and is composed largely of limestone and shale. These sedimentary rocks were formed during the Ordovician Period and were later exposed during the Illinoian Glaciation period, which was also the event responsible for the formation of the area's Great Miami and Little Miami Rivers.

Historic PNC Building

These same two rivers, along with the Ohio River, late became the boundaries for the Symmes Purchase, a sizeable tract of land purchased by Judge John Cleves Symmes in early 1788. That same year, Mathias Dunman purchased land from Symmes at the confluence of the Licking and Ohio Rivers; by December 1788, Dunman, along with 11 families and 24 additional men, landed at present-day Yeatman's Cove and founded the City of Losantiville, which later became Cincinnati.

Campus Fountain

Cincinnati's rich history is directly tied to both the physiographic and the cultural aspects of the Ohio River, which gave the early city significant access for settlement, trade and defense, and which later helped to propel the city to become a highly populated and diversified center from which further explorations of the United States were launched, and as a boomtown of industry and manufacturing. Large-scale German and Irish immigration movements of the mid-1800s further increased the size and diversity of Cincinnati, and helped to establish and define its character and culture.


Cincinnati Skyline

Today Cincinnati is a city of 52 neighborhoods and nearly 300,000 inhabitants that is governed by a mayor and a nine-member city council, and it serves as the financial, administrative and cultural center of a metropolitan area of over 2 million people. Procter and Gamble has its worldwide headquarters downtown, and other large corporations, including The Kroger Company, Chiquita Brands International, the U.S. Playing Card Company, GE Aviation, and Great American Insurance Company, among many other large and medium-sized businesses, have their headquarters in the area.


Downtown Cincinnati

The city, however, is more than just business. The Reds (baseball), the Bengals (football), the Flying Pig Marathon (from one of the city's earlier nicknames of "Porkopolis," when Cincinnati was the world's major pork processing center), Oktoberfest, Tall Stacks, Cincinnati-style chili, goetta, Italiante architecture and Graeter's are just a few of the cultural traits, events and institutions that are synonymous with Cincinnati.

—Kevin Raleigh
April 30, 2011

Roebling Bridge