After the Great Flood of 1913, the Miami Conservancy District, led by Colonel Edward Deeds and Arthur Morgan, started the process of building dams to prevent future flooding catastrophes in Dayton. Driving along Route 444, you’ve probably glanced over to see the Huffman Dam.
Construction of the Huffman Dam started in January of 1918 and was completed in December of 1921.
Where the Huffman Dam is now was once the site of the town of Osborn. In 1922, 200 wood-frame houses were relocated to higher ground to make room for the flood plain. Years later in 1950, the town of Osborn merged with the adjacent Fairfield, to become the city of Fairborn.
Some interesting facts about Huffman Dam and MetroPark:
- In July 1838, the first and largest group of Mormon pioneers to migrate west camped along the Mad River for a month in what is now Huffman MetroPark.
The bodies of 5 children who died during the encampment on the Mad River are buried here.
- The Huffman Prairie – where the Wright Brothers conducted their second successful flight – extended across what is now Huffman MetroPark and part of the WPAFB. On a hill just east of State Route 444, there is a Wright Brothers memorial that overlooks the dam and park.
- During construction of the dam, workers found a giant trilobite fossil, which was donated to the Smithsonian.