Book highlights Covington’s ‘weird, wonderful’

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Title says 'Cincinnati,' but 16 locations are found here
 
COVINGTON, Ky. - When travel and lifestyle writer Kathy Witt was identifying places to feature in her 2018 book "Secret Cincinnati: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure," she sifted through a region containing almost 1.6 million people.
 
Yet she kept returning to Covington.
 
Witt's fascination - and the city's reputation for what residents call "quirky" - combined to create this notable statistic: 16 of the 89 places featured in the book are in Covington, even though its population accounts for only 2.5 percent of the area she looked at.
 
"Covington definitely has its fair share of weird, wonderful and obscure - and that's a compliment," Witt said. "It's a city with lots of treasures."
 
This Saturday, Witt and her husband, photographer John Witt, who shot the photographs for the book, will appear at a book signing that's being billed as a "Show-and-Tell" at Roebling Point Books & Coffee in Covington.
 
We won't reveal which Covington spot will be one of the four "Secret" locations featured at the event, but we promise you that the book itself is full of fascinating information.
 
For example, not many people know that Covington is home to the 1914 Pullman steel and movie-famous Jovita ... a mysterious "hidden" staircase ... a stone from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem ... a prominent statue of a man once jailed for bankruptcy ... one of only two playable Schwab organs in existence ... Romanesque ruins ... a cultural center where a famous medium - once called out by Harry Houdini - held seances for three decades ... 800-year-old carpentry tools donated by an Israeli prime minister ... and a Depression-era mural uncovered when a half-century of grime was scrubbed off a former library's wall.
 
Witt said she knew from the beginning that some specific Covington locations would be in the book. After all, she was married at the spiritual "crown jewel" that is Garden of Hope. But she said that other locations - like the "eerie ambiance" of Hail Dark Aesthetics and "the little piece of the American West" known as Henry Farny Park - came to her as "wonderful surprises."
 
To reveal more about the 16 Covington locations in the book would be to ruin the suspense and anticipation.
 
Where to get it
Signed copies of the book can be purchased at Roebling Point Books & Coffee on Saturday, of course. The books are also available at most major bookstores and online retail sites. If you buy the book at www.KathyWitt.com, the signed books arrive with a bookmark listing all 89 secrets, "so they can be checked off as you go," Witt said.
 
A good place to start would be Covington, she said, because "it's a fun place to spend a few hours."

About the event
  • WHAT: "Secret Cincinnati Show-and-Tell"
  • WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 13
  • WHERE: Roebling Point Books & Coffee, 306 Greenup St.
  • MORE: Four venues featured in the book will show artifacts and share details about their histories and "weird, wonderful and obscure" characteristics.
 
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