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The Loneliest Road

East from the Indiana line, US-50 winds along the partly industrial, partly rural Ohio River waterfront, without much to detain you before Cincinnati. The one place worth a stop is the hamlet of North Bend (pop. 857), 5 mi (8 km) east of the state border. A tall sandstone obelisk, overlooking the river and US-50 amid a 14-ac (5.7 ha) park, marks the final resting place of William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), the ninth president of the United States, who lived here for many years when North Bend was a thriving frontier port. Born in Virginia, Harrison came to fame fighting Shawnee people in and around the Ohio Valley, and he served in Congress for many years before he was elected president; he died of pneumonia after only a month in office. His grandson Benjamin Harrison, who became president in 1889, was born in the nearby family home in 1833.

Continuing along US-50, 7 mi (11.3 km) west of downtown Cincinnati and just 3 mi (4.3 km) north of the main Cincy airport, the tiny Anderson Ferry ($5 per car, $0.50 foot passengers) has been chugging back and forth since 1817, though the broad Ohio River is nothing like the busy river it was back then. But as recently as 1940, the WPA Guide to Ohio wrote that “fleets of barges pushed by snub-nosed towboats crawl along the motionless water; and now and then appears one of the Greene Line packets, all white and triple-decked.”

Map of the Loneliest Road through Ohio.
Map of the Loneliest Road through Ohio.

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