Over-the-Rhine Museum's 'The Women of Over-the-Rhine' Streaming Lecture Series Features Local Stories to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment

Influential Cincinnati women Barbara Behler, Bonnie Neumeier and Molly Wellmann will share not only their own stories, but also the stories of the women who shaped the city before them

click to enlarge Everlene Leary and Kathleen Prudence, two founding mothers of Peaslee Neighborhood Center - Photo: Provided by OTR Museum
Photo: Provided by OTR Museum
Everlene Leary and Kathleen Prudence, two founding mothers of Peaslee Neighborhood Center

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment (aka the one that gave women the right to vote), this summer’s “Three Acts in Over-the-Rhine” honors the women that impacted the history of OTR. Hosted by the Over-the-Rhine Museum, the lecture series will be held virtually throughout the summer, celebrating our city’s women each Thursday.

Officially titled “The Women of Over-the-Rhine," the series will feature speakers Barbara Behler, Bonnie Neumeier and Molly Wellmann — all influential Cincinnati woman, sharing not only their own stories, but also the stories of the women who shaped the city before them.

The first lecture will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 and will be hosted by Barbara Behler, a fourth generation Cincinnatian. Behler will share her family’s story starting with their immigration from Germany to OTR in the 1850s, and will focus on her Aunt Margaret, a beloved longtime character at Ursuline Academy.

The following week’s lecture — 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25 — will feature Bonnie Neumeier, an activist, poet and “lover of pitch flowers.” Neumeier has been a longtime member of the OTR community and has spent her time fighting for affordable housing and human rights for her neighborhood, having worked with the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition and Over-the-Rhine Community Housing. She will share the story of the origins of the Peaslee Neighborhood Center and highlight the women that have made up the backbone of this resource. 

The final lecture — 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2 — will celebrate Molly Wellmann, nationally recognized, award-winning mixologist and owner of Japp’s Since 1879. She will share her own story, along with tales of women and saloons throughout Cincinnati’s history, including that of Cincinnatian Mary Brokamp and her “horrible demise” as the owner of a dive bar “under the worst circumstances.” 

All talks will last 15 minutes and will begin streaming at 6 p.m. on their designated dates on the Over-the-Rhine Museum website: otrmuseum.org.

A $5 donation is suggested by the Over the Rhine museum to enjoy this series. You can donate at otrmuseum.org/donate.

The Over-the-Rhine Museum — inspired by New York City’s popular Lower East Side Tenement Museum — has been in the works since 2015. It aims to bring to life the stories of Over-the-Rhine and the people who have called the neighborhood home. The vision of the museum, as stated on its website, is to "be housed in a historic tenement" and "use the stories of that building's residents to explore the larger history of urban America. In January, they officially purchased a permanent home at 3 W. McMicken/12 Findlay St.

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