Ellen B. Dietrick
The Victorian at Riverside, formerly Covington Ladies Home, was founded in 1886 by philanthropist and early activist for women’s social needs, Ellen Battelle Dietrick. Ellen became aware of the difficult conditions for elderly women (often of limited means) in her Covington community, following the disastrous Ohio River flood of 1884. Responding to the devastation, Ellen offered up her own home as a safe haven for the elderly women who were displaced by the damage to their houses.
As the need quickly expanded beyond the capacity offered by her own house, Ellen teamed with philanthropically minded friends to form The Women’s Educational and Industrial Union. That program transitioned into the Home for Aged and Indigent Women and, in 1894, the group’s original Board of Managers built the grand Victorian mansion house in the Licking River Historic District, still in use, today, as a permanent personal care residence for elderly women. To honor Ellen’s service to the community, in 2019, the City of Covington changed the name of the street passing along the side of our building to Battelle Lane and each year, we give “Ellen Awards” to women from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who are well known for their charitable work. These highly coveted awards boast some of the most noted recipients from our region and are well covered by the press during our annual fundraising Gala.
In the 1970’s, the name was changed to Covington Ladies Home to reflect the changing times, services and broader clientele served. That name remained until 2019 when the operating name was again changed to the present, The Victorian at Riverside, to correspond with an exciting state-of-the-art building expansion that will be finished in Spring 2021, greatly increasing our current resident capacity and offering even more amenities!
While The Victorian at Riverside has undergone many renovations over the years to keep up with changing styles, conveniences and safety guidelines, it has served as a genteel reminder of another era and remains a safe haven for the elderly women of Greater Cincinnati. The Victorian at Riverside is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your generous donations allow us to continue to provide outstanding care and a safe haven for the elderly women in our community.
VAR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Vicki Berling, President
Michelle Turner, Vice President
Cheryl Johnson, Secretary
Nicholas Hawthorne, Treasurer