Just Why Was Victory Parkway Called Bloody Run Blvd?

Oct 31, 2021

In honor of Halloween, we thought it best to bring you the history behind one of Xavier's creepiest legends ...

Most at Xavier probably don't know that the street running from Walnut Hills to Reading Road wasn't always called Victory Parkway. In fact, it was called something much spookier. 

It was Bloody Run Boulevard.

Some may have heard a version of the folktale about the road having a different name, but there still seems to be some confusion as to why.

"The history of the road is a bit complicated," says Anne Ryckbost, Xavier's University Archives & Special Collections Librarian. "Most often I’ve heard it was named Bloody Run because of its connections to the slaughterhouse. However, I’ve also seen references to the road being given that name due to attacks on white settlers by Native Americans in the vicinity. The name was changed by the park board in 1921."

"(One) story comes from the slaughterhouse that was near the end of the creek on the Beresford farm in Walnut Hills where Gilbert Avenue meets Victory Parkway today," says 2014 Xavier graduate Ann Senefeld, who runs the Digging Cincinnati History website.

Still another story is much more gruesome. According to the book, WPA — A Guide to the Queen City and its Neighbors, pioneers would frequent the old trail, and would frequently run into Native American ambushes.

Senefeld, who earned a Liberal Arts degree with a minor in history, researched one incident in 1794, "when two men were killed by Native Americans near the beginning of the creek at St. Bernard."

And so it was called Bloody Run Boulevard until 1921.

We here at Xavier applaud the park board for making the name change, though we do think "Bloody Run" would strike fear into the hearts of all our baseball and soccer opponents, who would have to play alongside the street.

Happy Halloween!

- Ryan Clark, Sr. Digital Content Specialist, Xavier University

Now we want YOU to share! Comment on social media and tell us about your strange or spooky Xavier stories.

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