John Berger married Mary Elizabeth Metz on 2/4/1865. They lived in downtown Cincinnati, but Mary wasn't happy there. She wanted to move out in the country closer to her parents, so later in 1865 John bought 8 1/2 acres out west in Green Township on Lick Run. Mary's parents lived in the 2nd farm west of John's property.
John & Mary had 8 children, all born on Berger Hill: John Leander in 1866, Anna 1868, George 1871, Amanda, 1873, Ottilia 1876, Teresa 1880, Agatha 1884, and Joseph in 1886. In May of 1881 John Leander died. Agatha died when about 6 months old.
John's father Meinrad moved in with John, Mary and their family in 1881. About 1 year later on April 14, 1882 Meinrad died.
'Nauni' Maria Anna Bruegger (John's oldest half sister) was a resident on Berger Hill for many years. I suspect she moved in with John and Mary when Meinrad moved to the Hill. 'Nauni' lived with the family until she died in 1900.
In 1886 Jacob Metz (Mary's father) was invited and moved in with the family. He lived on Berger Hill until he died in 1893.
On July 13,1894 John died when only 56 years old.
"Grandma bought the 18.65 acres across the creek from the Hill in 1895 and used it as an extension of the pasture for cows and horses and they kept it looking like a park. On the very top of the back hill as a huge barn, which could not be seen from the house at all and was used to store hay for the animals and farm equipment that would not fit into the carriage house at the foot of the Hill. It was allowed to deteriorate as they no longer used it and it finally blew down in a storm during the twenties. The roof leaked very badly. You could see the sky between some of the roof rafters and eventually all the large beams and trusses rotted."*
"Between the old barn and the adjoining Dunham Hospital Grounds (which used to be called Branch Hospital for T. B. Patients) was a peach orchard with two rows of 12 peach trees about 50 feet apart. This was a real bonus in the fall of the year and Old Sebastian, the very reliable Swedish farm hand, who was practically a part of the family, and myself would hitch up Old Frank, the horse of all trades, to a home made sleigh. It was a wooden plank bed about 12 inches above the ground on steel runners which used to haul anything and everything. Of course it would screech horribly going over the gravel driveway and poor Old Frank would stop, look around and as much as say “Why in the hell don’t you put some grease on those runners?”. We would bring it back loaded with peaches, or pears, or quinces, or whatever the crop of the season was."*
*quotes by Walter Sheblessy.
Fred Berger has recorded more history of Berger Hill, including very current history in the excerpts taken from his book 'Stories from the Berger History'.
See the links at the left.
For information about 'a 1865 penny found by Fred Berger' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.48".
For information about 'a Berger Hill in the 1800s' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.50".
For information about 'the pool and tennis court' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.57".
For information about 'Mary' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.62".
For information about 'the lodge' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.66".
For information about 'a squabble on the Hill' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.70".
For information about 'Aunt Anna and Aunt Teresa' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.71".
For information about 'spending two weeks on the Hill' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.73a".
For information about 'Fred and Gail's temporary stay' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.73b".
For information about 'the new carriage house' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.77".
For information about 'the effect of TV and air conditioning' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.78".
For information about 'a new generation' see the link to "Fred's 'Stories'p.79".
See also the links to Berger Hill Memories to the left.