Welcome to 435 Elm Avenue, a stunningly beautiful home with a rich and colorful history like no other. Built as residence on the bustling Pennsylvania Railroad line in 1914, this property was transformed into a restaurant by two women in 1928. Known as The Marigold Tea Shoppe and later The Marigold Tea Room, it became a popular locale for wedding receptions, annual club meetings, afternoon tea dances, and bridge luncheons. With the deep wrap-around porches lined with rocking chairs and the open country setting, many Cincinnatians loved making the trip out to “the tea room”.
But the menu was not limited to just tea and light fare. During the 1920s, the term “tea room” was a popular term for restaurants owned by women as the restaurant business was at that time still thought of as an industry fit only for men. In fact, the Marigold Tea Room was so well known for their chicken dinners that Duncan Hines listed them in their national guide to fine dining, “Adventures in Good Eating”. There was never a printed menu at The Marigold, but a sign on the porch advertised the day’s fare to passing motorists.
The good times continued until 1942, when the Second World War created a gasoline shortage that prevented customers from making the drive out to Terrace Park, and the tea room closed and was converted back into a residence. Eventually the railroad was abandoned and today the home sits perched above the wonderful Little Miami Scenic Trail with private access to the popular walking and biking path.
Many renovations and changes were made to the property over the ensuing decades, but the current owners have fully expanded and updated the property to suit today’s lifestyle while restoring and highlighting the fabulous, historic details. The massive Rookwood hearth in the entrance hall is one of a kind, and the many large windows opening to the shaded porches give the home an echo of southern charm. During recent renovations, the original cistern was discovered underground and converted into a charming wine cellar. An October 1916 date, found scrawled on the original brick, is preserved as a nod to the storied past of this fantastic property.