Hathaway Hall was a large home located on a hill overlooking the Ohio
River. The property on which the hall was constructed was acquired by
the Reverend Henry Hathaway in 1833. Soon thereafter (c. 1838) he began
work building the home. The original style of the home has been lost
to history. However, it is known that the building exhibited a central
hall plan. Each of the large rooms in the building sported a fireplace
for heating purposes. A large cherry stairwell linked the two floors.
original owner of the hall, Reverend Henry Hathaway was a known abolitionist.
Many believed his house was a station on the Underground Railroad. They
point to the large underground tunnel that once linked the basement
of the hall to the banks of the Ohio River.
Many have surmised that this tunnel was used as an escape route by runaway
slaves. Other historians argue that these tunnels were common in many
other large Northern Kentucky antebellum homes. The tunnels were constructed
to haul supplies from the river into the homes. Despite the debate,
many newspaper articles have appeared over the years linking the hall
to the Underground Railroad.
In 1877, the Protestant Residents of West Covington began using a shed
on the Hathaway property for worship services. The Union Church (later
Union Methodist Episcopal) Church emerged from these meetings.
The Hathaway family lived in the hall for several generations. In 1952,
Joe Spratt, a manual arts teacher at Ludlow High School, purchased Hathaway
Hall. The building was in a dilapidated condition by then. Several windows
had been boarded up and others had been punched through the century
old walls. The interior of the structured had suffered extensive damage
due to neglect. Pratt slowly began restoring the structure. However,
in 1969, Spratt was approached by the Arnold Ingram Real Estate Company
to sell. Spratt agreed to the offer. The Ingram Company demolished Hathaway
Hall and built a large, multi-storied apartment complex for senior citizens
on the site. The complex was named Hathaway Senior Citizens Apartments.
The street that was constructed to provide access to the apartments
was named Hathaway Court.
Kentucky Post Times-Star, March 12, 1969; Cincinnati Enquirer, November
12, 1961, p. 4f.