Sunday, September 09, 2001

Property always valued for view

By Gene Franzen
Enquirer Contributor

        NEWPORT — In 1886, former Newport mayor and state senator George Richard Fearsons sold his “mansion on the hill” to the Campbell County Protestant Orphans home.

        This prime piece of real estate on the hilltop now referred to as South Newport afforded a panoramic view of Newport, the Ohio River and Cincinnati.

[photo] The Baptist Convalescent Center windows offer a panorama of Newport and Cincinnati.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        The Fearsons' home was operated as an orphanage for 65 years until 1951 when it was sold to the Campbell County Baptist Association. The orphanage moved to Cold Spring, changing its name to Holly Hill. The Baptist Association converted the Fearsons mansion into living quarters for the elderly. Occupants would be responsible for their own doctor bills and be able to take care of themselves.

        This new concept in elderly housing was slow to catch on. Three months after the home opened in 1952, there were only three residents. In 1953 the decision was made to convert the facility to a convalescent home.

        The Fearsons mansion was razed in 1967 and replaced by a four-story building for 116 residents.

        Today, the Newport Convalescent Center provides 197 skilled nursing and personal beds. It also houses a day care center.

        The old Fearsons property has undergone many changes since 1886 but one thing remains unchanged: the spectacular view.

        Now and Then, a look at historic places in Northern Kentucky, appears Sundays in The Kentucky Enquirer. To suggest a feature, call 578-5555.

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