Carl & Mary Krippendorf
Krippendorf Lodge - Lob's Wood

Krippendorf Lodge

Carl Krippendorf was born in Cincinnati in 1875 to German immigrants.

His father was the founder and president of the Krippendorf-Dittman shoe company. When young Carl became ill with Typhoid, his doctor counseled with the Krippendorf family to send Carl away from the dirty air of the city. A country doctor living in Perintown agreed to house Carl for the summer. Thus began Carl's love affair with nature.  Perintown Ohio, the town is just a short walk to the north part of  Rowe Woods. A little more than 1/2 mile up a steep hill. It was a very large town at that time. With a huge flower and yeast mills. Also logging was a large industry of the area.

In 1898, Carl Krippendorf purchased 97 acres of the land where he spent the summer recuperating to preserve it from becoming a tobacco field. In the heart of his beloved woods, Carl built a home for his new bride, Mary, where they lived for 64 years and raised a family with daughter Rosan.

Carl and Mary invited everyone they knew to experience the land they loved and originally named Karlsruhe Gardens, meaning “Karl’s place of peace,” the name is changed affectionately to Lob’s Wood after World War I It has often been said that no one left the Krippendorf property empty handed. Carl was known to give daffodil, Lycoris and other bulbs to his visitors.

Too this day the Rowe Woods is full of early spring flowers that bloom through out the Woodlands. The herb garden and water tower still stand. To this day the Krippendorf Lodge has thousands of daffodils, and the beautiful Beech, Ash and Maple woods continue to preserve the Carl and Mary Krippendorf's legacy at Rowe Woods in Milford. Sadly the Ash trees are all dying due to Emerald Ash Bore that are infesting the trees. In about 10 years there will no more Ash Trees.

Rosan ( Krippendorf ) Adams sold Lob's Woods to Stan Rowe and the other people who founded Rowe Woods the original site of the Cincinnati Nature Center

Carl Krippendorf and Mary Krippendorf  left behind a beautiful foundation for the place now known as Rowe Woods. For this we all can be very thankful for such a paradise so close to the city, yet so far away from the city once you are there. I wonder what they would think of what was left behind. Since CNC has now become a Disneyesque commercial simulated nature place.

Pictures of Rowe Woods
Information on Rowe Woods Facts and News

The 175-acre Krippendorf Estate was once a private home referred to as the Lodge, with numerous outbuildings and designed landscape. The Lodge and entire Estate now serve the public as the Cincinnati Nature Center (CNC). Though there are many unique features, the architecture, designed landscape, and weaving of nature and manmade throughout the Estate make it reflective of the broader Arts and Crafts movement.

This movement influenced architecture, decorative arts, and gardening at the turn of the century with emphasis on the use of natural materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. Elements of the Arts and Crafts movement can clearly been seen at the Krippendorf Estate; the Lodge, built in 1899, is an eclectic Shingle Style home and the designed landscape reflects early Prairie Style. The landscape has numerous historic features that remain on site: formal garden, swimming pool, dry stone planting walls, stone-line footpaths, with stone steps and stone bridges. In the mid-1960s the Estate was converted into the Cincinnati Nature Center (CNC). There have been interesting, and continued, preservation on site of the complex and landscape including Eagle Scout projects, as well as dedicated volunteer gardeners who planted and cultivated 103 species of plants introduced by former owner Carl H. Krippendorf.

Carl Krippendorf
Carl Krippendorf

I often wonder what Carl Krippendorf might think of how Lob's Wood has evolved since it became Rowe Woods. I am not sure what he might think of the commercialization and Director Bill Hopple's Disneyesque type of nature destination place. Rowe Woods is now evolving into a commercial simulated nature preserve compared to the purist nature natural learning center it once was before the new mission statement. When I walk around Rowe Woods and the hiking trails and Krippendorf Lodge and look at all the flowers, trees and gardens that he and Mary worked on to provide a nature paradise. The Lodge complex with Sugar house and out buildings for guests made a inviting place to visit.  The water tower, and swimming pool all added to this grand place in a woodland paradise he called home. Carl and Mary were very special people who raised wonderful children in a garden and nature oriented home.

Krippendorf Estate History
Lob's Wood

Natural Light SmugmugPBase Galleries  -  FlickR Sets

This site is dedicated to 
Stanley M. Rowe Sr., Karl H. Maslowski, Kay Benedict, Helen Black, Katherine T. Nyce, Jim & Jeanne Anderson
As well as the other 5 founders of the Cincinnati Nature Center

Dennis Camp Photography

Copyright © 201