About The Millers

The Camp Dennison School was purchased by Don and Phylis Miller in 1961. The school and adjoining property were previously owned by the local gravel company and the school was used as office space while permits to mine gravel were under review by the State of Ohio. The permits were declined by the state due to the presence of St Rt 126. They could not collect gravel on both sides of the St Rt. This saved the school from being demolished and made the property useless to the owner who then sold it to the Millers in 1961.

The young, and energetic couple were looking for a project. Don wanted to open a nursing home and Phyllis wanted a restaurant she could run while raising a family which consisted of 2 boys,Chris and Jeff,and 2 girls, Pam and Beth. The plans for the nursing home did not work out so our mother started on the plans for her restaurant.

A little history lesson: The Camp Dennison School was in operation from 1864 through 1954 as part of the Hamilton County School District. It was rumored to be the first 2-story, 2 room schoolhouse in this area. On the first floor were the class rooms, 1-4 in the current kitchen and 5-8 in our current dining room. The upstairs was the principals office and auditorium. The new school was opened on Drake Road which consolidated all the smaller schools in the area and became part of the Indian Hill School District.

Dr. Don, a local physician and gentleman farmer and Phyllis Miller, who had a degree in architecture from the Ohio State University, decided to renovate the schoolhouse and make it into a restaurant where families could go out and dine together. Inspiration for “family style dining” came from the Miller family’s own large round table with a lazy susan which they dined on every night. Our dining room tables were hand made by a gentleman who knew how to make wheels for the Conestoga wagons which were used as transportation in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Each table and lazy susan was hand crafted in the same design. The school room was left intact with the slate chalkboards in the front and the original wooden floors. The only alteration was the swinging doors which where added into the adjacent classroom which was converted into the kitchen. The swinging doors were actually the doors from the school teachers built in closets which you can still see in the corner of the dining room.

The menu idea came from both sides of the Miller family. Donald was born and raised in Terrace Park where his mother and father raised their family of 3 boys and 1 girl during the depression and time of war. There was always a garden out back with bountiful produce to feed the entire family. Phyllis was raised in Pennsylvania by her mother, who was a wonderful cook, and a loving father who raised his two children and his siblings. Family was very important as was the evening family meals that both Don and Phyllis Miller grew up with in their own childhood and have passed on this tradition to their own their children and grandchildren. Sitting around the dining room table and catching up on the days events with family and friends all around, enjoying a home cooked meal, was the inspiration for our restaurant. Good, simple food served family style shared with friends and family. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have over all these years.

The Miller family proudly owns and operates the Schoolhouse Restaurant and General Store. The Miller Family consists of; The eldest, Chris, is the happy go lucky, “guy at the front who always has a story to tell”, up at the front desk most nights who knows most everyone as they enter the front door and if he didn’t, he will know you when you leave. Our mother used to say Chris never knew a stranger and she was so right! Chris is married to his high school sweetheart and lives in Camp Dennison when he isn’t traveling the world. He’ll be happy to swap stories with anyone who loves to travel. The Second son is Jeff, who you will find at the General Store or up at the front desk. Jeff is married to his Ohio State University college crush and lives in Loveland. He is also a real estate agent if anyone is looking for a house!!! Their children, Matt and Kristi, are all grown up and living on their own now. Matt, who you will see at the restaurant helping out Uncle Chris out front, is the instigator for this web page and social networking expert for the family business. Kristi is currently living and working in Columbus and a very proud Ohio State Alumni, as is most of our family. Our Sister Pam is married and lives in Loveland with her two daughters, Suzy and Turner who attend Milford. Pam is our official quality control expert...otherwise she is busy in a commercial real estate career and a event planner for various organizations in Cincinnati. The last daughter, Beth, is happily married and lives in Madeira. You will see her floating around the restaurant helping and filling in where ever needed on busy evenings. She is the business manager for the restaurant..other wise known as the one who keeps things running,handles the mountains of paperwork, and can cook..important to know when you’re in the restaurant business!

The Camp Dennison School will be 150 years old this year. The Schoolhouse Restaurant will be celebrating 50 years of operation in 2012. We are proud to be the guardians of such a historic building and hope that you will come and enjoy a meal with our family and make new memories with your family and friends. We “Thank you “ for 50 years of support and friendship and look forward to another 50 years of serving the Cincinnati community a truly unique experience.