Oakley was originally known as “Four Mile,” and was a popular stop in the mid-19th century for wagon drivers on the Madison Turnpike, now Madison Road. The village of Oakley, a name referring to the many oak trees in the area, was officially registered with the Hamilton County Courthouse in 1869 and the village was incorporated in 1898. Oakley was once the home of the famed markswoman Annie Oakley, who made her public debut in 1876.
During the 1890’s the community began to grow and the Oakley Race Course, famous for thoroughbred racing, was opened. The race track closed a few years later due to a state law prohibiting betting. The Cincinnati Milling Machine Company, often referred to as “the mill,” moved to Oakley in 1905 and library service began in 1910, when a deposit station opened in Barton’s Drug Store.
Oakley was annexed to the city of Cincinnati in 1913. In the same year, Aglamesis Bros. Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Shoppe opened to accommodate the growing population of workers at the Mill, as the Cincinnati Milling Machine Company was called.
The Geier Esplanade, commonly known as Oakley Square, was created when two parcels of land were acquired in 1927 and 1932 and were converted into green space. It is situated in the heart of Oakley on Madison Road and, through the generosity of the Geier family, flowers and bulbs are planted each year to beautify this small parcel of land in memory of Mr. Fred Geier and Mr. Philip O. Geier, Sr.
The Twentieth Century Theatre was built in 1941 and is a distinctive Oakley landmark with its 72-foot tower rising over the business district. The deteriorating theater was slated for demolition in the early 1990s, but was spared due to its historical significance and is finding a new life as a concert and special events venue.
Some of the Local Businesses:
- The 20th Century Theater
- Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore
- Habits Cafe
- Aglamesis Brothers
- Dewey’s Pizza
- Eye Care Associates of Greater Cincinnati, Inc
- Flaggs USA
- Fresh Market
- King Arthur’s Court Toys
- Oakley Pub & Grill
- Oak Tavern
- Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop
- Sleepy Bee Cafe
- The Spotted Goose