'Battelle Lane' honors philanthropist, City's history

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer prepares to unveil the new sign as City Commissioner Shannon Smith, left, and Vice Mayor Michelle Williams watch.

COVINGTON,Ky. -- The eastern-most half block of Seventh Street has a new name: Battelle Lane.

The name - unveiled after a ceremony this afternoon inside the Covington Ladies Home that sits at the corner of Seventh and Garrard streets - honors the founder of the facility, Ellen Battelle Dietrick, and the Battelle family.

Battelle started the home in 1886 for women displaced by Ohio River flooding. She went on to be a fierce advocate for women’s issues and the suffrage movement on a national level. Her brother was a pioneer in the steel industry and helped lead the company that became AK Steel. Her nephew founded the renowned international scientific research organization called the Battelle Memorial Institute.

“The Battelles were an amazing family,” said William Konop, director of advancement for the Home.

Officials from both the Institute and AK Steel attended the ceremony.

The Covington Ladies Home also unveiled a new brand - The Victorian at Riverside - that will accompany an expansion that is set to begin.

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer noted the facility’s historic name - the Home for Aged and Indigent Women - and joked how as a kid he’d often mispronounce the name “and I think Ellen would have appreciated this, as the Home forIndignantWomen.”

Poster boards at the street renaming ceremony juxtaposed the Covington Ladies Home's past, right, and its future.