Drawing on his extensive cartographical experience, Dr. Know mapped out Mile Zero and the Distance-Defined Arteries for this confused questioner from the June 2013 issue.
I’m sure you’ve been asked this a hundred times, but where did the Four Mile, Five Mile, Eight Mile, Nine Mile, and Ten Mile road names come from? What are they four, five, eight, nine, and ten miles from? —Devoted to Data Dear Devoted:To the contrary. This is the first time anyone has asked the Doctor about anything having to do with Five Mile, let alone Eight, Nine, or Ten. And it is funny that you should ask, because the Doctor, who lives within easy walking distance of Cincinnati Magazine’s World Headquarters in the slightly shopworn Carew Tower, recently found himself wending his way through the Distance-Defined Arteries of Anderson Township taking vehicles out for test drives. He was directed by sales associates from the myriad automobile dealers that line Beechmont Avenue to follow an astonishing number of shoulderless roads from one unrecognizable point to another. Were it not for the occasional intersection with one of the DDAs, he would have become nervous wondering if he were being guided to a holler where, for reasons known only to the sales associate, he would be whacked after having to dig his own shallow grave. You will gather that he was somewhat out of his comfort zone.
When he was safely back in his warm, vinyl-free West End rowhouse, the Doctor poked the map button on his portable computer, got out his virtual dividers, and went to work to discover from whence he had been five, eight, nine, and ten miles removed. Since the DDAs are in no way parallel to each other, following what could have been either buffalo traces or footpaths of the indigenes, it became quickly apparent that the distances were established at the terminus of the roads with the ancient pike following the Ohio River. There and there alone is Ten Mile one mile from Nine Mile and two miles from Eight Mile, etc., etc.
The mystery is Zero Mile—which is, within a few hundred meters, the intersection of Wilmer and Kellogg Avenues at the south end of the Lunken Aerodrome. Could there have been a boatman’s refuge on this spot? An alehouse? Madam Sylvia’s All-Girl Review? The Doctor cannot determine the long-vanished landmark. What he does know is that it is Five Miles too far for him to walk.
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