In 1854, two Jewish immigrants named Isaac Pollack and Solomon Rauh began a business partnership dealing whiskey and wine in Dayton from a warehouse on West Third Street.
Eight years later in 1862, Pollack served as a corporal in the civilian Squirrel Hunters during the Civil War and was regarded as a hero after the Squirrel Hunters successfully defended Cincinnati from an attack by the Confederate army. At the end of the war, Pollack and his friend Rauh started to build two identical homes on West Third Street.
Upon completion of the two homes, the two friends flipped a coin to determine who would take which home; Isaac Pollack took ownership of 319 West Third Street (pictured on the right above), and Solomon Rauh took ownership of 321 West Third Street (pictured on the left above). The two friends remained in business together until 1893, when they went their separate ways, but they remained neighbors until Pollack moved out of the house in 1903, and later died in 1908 at the age of 72.
After Isaac Pollack’s death, the house became a dance studio, then was later purchased by Montgomery County for $78,000. Due to the location in the center of the city and the fact that Dayton was growing, the residents were forced out of the home and the County Board of Elections took possession of the building in 1954. Sadly, the twin home at 321 West Third Street was demolished to allow for the building of Dayton’s Safety Building (335 West Third Street).
The Isaac Pollack house was preserved by being added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1974. This decision was supported by Isaac Pollack’s prominence in the area, and the fact the house was considered the “last remaining high Victorian architecture” in Dayton.
In 1977 to avoid the still-present threat of demolishment, an architectural engineering consultant named Thomas Dues bought the Isaac Pollack House and worked with the county and revitalization planners to move the house from West Third Street to 208 Monument Avenue, where the house is today.
The Isaac Pollack house became the permanent home for the Dayton International Peace Museum in 2005.
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