Hamilton is located just north of Cincinnati and was named for America's first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and whose face is on the $10 bill. Originally, the community was laid out as Fairfield in 1794, but when General Arthur St. Clair began his ill-fated military expedition into the Northwest Territory in search of Native Americans responsible for numerous attacks. St. Clair built a series of forts as he moved north. One of those forts was near Fairfield, and was called Fort Hamilton. The fort was built on the east bank of the Great Miami.
When General St. Clair was defeated near Greenville in Darke county, his army retreated to Fort Hamilton with a loss of over 600 men. Several years later General Anthony Wayne led another expedition through Fort Hamilton. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers many of Wayne's army after it was disbanded, returned to Fort Hamilton and built permanent homes. Fort Hamilton was officially abandoned in the fall of 1795 and the stores sold at public auction.
Over the years, Hamilton has had a colorful history. First incorporated in 1810, but 5 years later lost that status because the early fathers failed to hold proper elections. Twelve years later it incorporated again with Rossville, a community located across the Great Miami River. That relationship lasted just 4 years until the marriage of cities was dissolved in 1831. But 24 years later the two communities reconciled their differences. In 1857 the newly reconnected communities achieved city status.
Early industries located in Hamilton because of cheap labor, water and the Miami & Erie Canal. Paper manufacturing and iron production were the major industries associated with Hamilton. During the Roaring 20s, Hamilton acquired the nickname "Little Chicago" because of the influx of many Chicago gangsters who had either purchased or built 2nd homes in the city. The city became an active gambling community that also supported prostitution. In fact, during World War II, the city was declared to be off limits to military personnel because of the number of these illegal establishments.
The city has become known for its support of the arts and especially public sculpture as evidence by the internationally recognized Pyramid Hill.
A restored 1804 log house stands on the site of old Fort Hamilton, on the bank of the Great Miami River. It is decorated and furnished in period pieces, and is open for public viewing Monday-Saturday. The cabin is often host to interpretive and educational programs. The cabin is located in downtown Hamilton next to the Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument.
The Butler County Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument was built by the people of Butler County to honor those who served and who sacrificed their lives in the service of our country. The monument also celebrates the men and women who first settled Butler County. The Butler County Soldiers, Sailors & Pioneers Monument is open to the public free of charge.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts was a gift to the Hamilton community from the bicentennial commission to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Hamilton. It opened in 1993 and the Carruthers Center for Arts and Technology was opened in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Fitton Center. The Fitton Center's purpose is to provide unique arts experiences and to "build community excellence through the arts and culture."
101 South Monument Avenue