VINEGAR HILL was the name for the riverside bluff located immediately south of Huron Rd., between Ontario St. and the Cuyahoga River. The area, just northwest of the old CENTRAL MARKET, featured various commercial enterprises, including warehouses, boarding houses, saloons, lumber yards, meat packing plants, slaughter houses, rendering plants, and soap and candle factories, during the second half of the 19th century. The name may refer to a nearby vinegar works at Broadway and Central (now Carnegie) streets from the 1870s to the 1890s, or possibly to the vinegar used in the meat-processing plants.
In 1909 the Wheeling & Lake Erie built their passenger station at the foot of the hill; it replaced an earlier, abandoned railroad station. The Wheeling's passengers could either enter the station on Ontario or walk down the steps on Vinegar Hill to reach the tracks. In 1929 the Wheeling's station and most of the other adjacent buildings were torn down for approach tracks for the Cleveland Union Terminals project, and a retaining wall was constructed along Ontario St. Since the 1980s, only the Rapid Transit tracks and the Cleveland Thermal Energy plant occupied the site of Vinegar Hill.