Welcome to downtown Dayton, home to many historic districts, each with their own unique personalities! Discover the Oregon District, St. Anne’s Hill, Historic Huffman, South Park, Webster Station, and more! Each of these are tight-knit communities, who boast their own history, but work to support one another.
The City of Dayton, also known as the Gem City, was initially founded in 1796. It wasn’t until 1805 that the city was developed enough to be incorporated. This came only two years after the Ohio was admitted into the Union. The city was named for Jonathan Dayton, who was a captain in the American Revolutionary War, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, and a prominent land owner in the Dayton area. Throughout the next century and beyond, many neighborhoods developed around the area, and as the population grew, these many localities became joined into what we now know as the city of Dayton. Following the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 and with the advancements in technology, it was in the early 20th century that more of Dayton’s residential population began moving out of the city for the suburbs.
Dayton is still home to some of the most interesting neighborhoods. There are several historic districts throughout the city that take great pride in their heritage and maintaining a strong sense of community. These districts include the Oregon District, St. Anne’s Hill, Historic Huffman, South Park, and Webster Station, as well as the Dayton View, Grafton Hill, McPherson Town, and Wright-Dunbar neighborhoods. The styles of homes you’ll find in these communities include Victorian (Queen Anne, Italianate, and Gothic), Second Empire, Craftsman, Tudor, Four-Square, Colonial, and many more beautiful classic styles.
Overall, the City of Dayton covers over 55 square miles of land today with more than 140 thousand residents. The Dayton Public School system includes 6 High Schools (among which is the Stivers School for the Arts) and 20 additional schools for students in prekindergarten through the 8th grade. There are many private schools for residents to attend as well (11 High Schools). Dayton residents are supported by the Dayton Police and Fire Departments. Additionally, there is the public works division, who handles waste collection, recycling, and street maintenance, among other responsibilities.
Opportunities for Parks and Recreation also abound in Dayton. The city has a wide array of parks and facilities throughout available for residents to enjoy. The Five Rivers Metroparks also have several locations within city limits, and many more just beyond. Dayton offers programs through their Recreation and Youth Services, and the Dayton Metro Library serves all of the greater Dayton area with their very active and robust network. (I recommend stopping in to the downtown branch and checking out The Dayton Room. Here you’ll find many records and resources about local history!)
Dayton Ohio is home to so much history, with a past is checkered with innovators, artists, and other prominent individuals. This thriving community is still very much alive and well today!