lookout house

lookout house
The Original Lookout House, Alois Hample, proprietor.
The Bulletin of the Kenton County Historical Society has a good history on the Lookout House at their site, here (pdf).

The newspapers of 1900-1920 are chock full of social clubs, churches, and fraternal organizations holding events at the Lookout House. We've collected a very small sampling to demonstrate the breadth and variety of things you could belong to in the days before TV, the internet, and other harbingers of the end of civilization.


Hample dies, and his heirs sell to Bill Hill. . . ...and immediately there's a fire.

lookout house

Bill Hill's Lookout House
View of the Main Dining Room of Bill Hill's Historic Lookout House  on the Dixie Highway, Covington, KY.
  Spacious, cool, restful,  subdued in atmosphere and permeated with the hospitality for  which Kentucky is famous.
The home of those good Chicken, Steak and Frog Leg Dinners - prepared and served just as you would expect
them to be in “Old Kentucky.”
Cuisine Unsurpassed * Music Par Excellence


Bill Hill's
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Lookout House, Showplace
of the Nation
“Earl Arnold, with his popular
dance orchestra is playing to
increased crowds each week
at Bill Hill's Lookout House,
Dixie Highway, Covington,


The Cincinnati Post of April 30, 1934 ran a tiny paragraph that said the Lookout
House “has been re-opened under the management of James Brink.”

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Jimmy Brink's Lookout House


lookout house

Jimmy Brink leaving the Kefauver Commission hearings, left.
That's the Senate Sgt-at-Arms, Joseph Duke, on the right.

The 1951 Kefauver Commission's Report had a
profit statement from the Lookout House. It's here.
Jimmy Brink's Lookout House had a tunnel
that ran from the club, under Dixie Highway.
Brinks died in an airplane crash near Atlanta in 1952. His obituary. Was he targeted by the mob for skimming, or was that just a nasty rumor?


Ellington Ellington

Duke Ellington plays the Lookout House, January 28- February 2, 1946,
and November 27-29 in 1947
from Facebook posts by Robert Wendel

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Lookout House,
New Years Eve 1934-35
( “Courtesy of James Brinks” )
The Lookout House
donated for charity,


An aerial view of the Lookout House, 1952
note St. Agnes in the upper right

The Lookout House would close in the late 1950's.

Chester Geaslen has written about the Lookout House.


Richard and Robert Schilling bought the property in May of 1962, and brought it back to prominence.

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The Lookout House
( Schillings )
The Lookout House (front and
back) ( Schillings )

They sold the property in September of 1970.


lookout house Suspension Bridge
The Lookout House burns down,
August 14, 1973. 
Lookout House Fire
from a Facebook post by Jeff Barkley

Video of the fire from WCPO


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Lookout House Luncheon Menu, unknown year.


Lookout House Menu

Thanksgiving, November 26, 1963
From a Facebook post by George Smed Jr.
“There was a fine attendance at the Lookout House last evening. 
The German band gave selections from Italian opera”
from The Cincinnati Commercial, August 8, 1877



The Kentucky Post, March 14, 1912



OK, this one's a puzzle. Was Hume visiting someone near the Lookout House? Ambushed on the highway? There was alcoholic refreshment at the Lookout House, so we hope he didn't have to go home and admit that he drank so much he lost his mule. But as Larry Douglas noted, because of the gambling there in it's heyday, Hume was neither the first nor last man to lose his ass at the Lookout House. Kentucky Post, September 25, 1907