Exercise Dayton – Riverscape Inventors Walk

Tired of the same exercise routine? Try visiting some of Dayton’s notable spots while you exercise!

Enjoy fresh air and history as you experience the Dayton Inventors River Walk.

The Route:

Starting with a brick medallion at the corner of Monument Avenue and Main Street, the Inventors Walk continues around Riverscape with informative tiles in the pavement, leading to the Automobile Self Starter, the first of 7 invention stations. Continue toward North Patterson Boulevard, visiting the Cash Register and Ice Cube sculptures. Cross the bridge on Patterson Boulevard to continue reading the tiles. Approximate distance is 1 mile (see map below).

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Dayton Firsts Part 10

Time for some more firsts!

  • First Canal boat – The first canal boat built in Dayton was christened the Alpha and was launched on Saturday, August 16, 1828, at 2 p.m. The first canal boat to arrive in Dayton with the formal opening of the canal was the General Brown. It arrived at the landing near the present site of the main branch of the Dayton Metro Library on January 26, 1829.
  • First Mayor – In 1829 a new charter went into effect in Dayton. Under it, the chief executive of the city became referred to as the Mayor, instead of the President of Council. Under the new charter John Folkerth was made the first Mayor of Dayton.
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Local Street Names Part 6

Curious about the early roads of Dayton, and their namesakes?

  • The following streets were named after the towns they went to: Troy, Bellefontaine, Wilmington, Belpre, Germantown, Xenia, and Salem (later changed to Clayton).
  • King – William King, an early settler of Dayton.
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Dayton’s Last Hanging

Harry Adams seemed to be on the right path for the first time in his life. Born as Francis Daniel Spealman, he had a tumultuous past involving running away from home and a life of crime, including jail time. Finally, using his acquired skill as a shoemaker, he was able to land a job as a cobbler for St. Mary’s School in Dayton. Although he was known to enjoy the drink, the consistent work kept him out of trouble. That is, until he met a woman named Lou Huffman.

Huffman was proprietor and madam to a house on Pearl Street in Dayton’s Red Light District. It did not take long for Harry to fall in love with her and move into her house. He helped Huffman operate her business and was available to her every beck and call.

It was during this time that a soldier named Henry Mulharen (also spelled Mulharon) was making his way to Dayton after receiving a $50 pension (a sum equivalent to nearly $900 today). Mulharen planned to visit the Soldier’s Home to get treatment for an injury he received as a soldier in the Civil War. Mulharen and a friend of his, a man named Woodward, met Adams at the brothel, where he introduced them to Jennie Smith, one of the girls working there.

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Dayton Firsts Part 9

Happy New Year, Dayton! We hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. Now it’s time to get back into the grind! As it’s the first Friday of the month, we have some more Dayton firsts for you!

  • First Stage Line – the route for stage coaches between Dayton and Cincinnati was started in 1818, by a Mr. Lyon.
  • First Sewing Machine – Brought to Dayton by an S. N. Shear, on October 11, 1851.
  • First Lion – The first lion to be exhibited in Dayton was shown on April 22nd, 1819 in the barnyard at Reid’s Inn, which later became the site of Loew’s theater (at 125 North Main Street). The first elephant ever seen here was shown at the same place on April 11, 1820.

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Dayton Firsts Part 8

  • First Girls’ School – Opened in March, 1815, by Mrs. Diomecia Sullivan on the west side of Main Street, south of Third Street.
  • First Show – A display of “wax works and figures,” on February 13, 1815.
  • First Fire Engine – Came from Philadelphia and through Cincinnati, and arrived in Dayton in the spring of 1826.
  • First Milliner – The first millinery store was opened by Ann Yamans in June 1815. She advertised her supply of goose feathers, and announced that military gentlemen could find her shop on Main Street, south of Second Street, with a full stock of plumes and decorations.
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Dayton Firsts Part 7

It’s time for some more interesting facts about the early days of Dayton!

  • First Masonic Lodge — The Masonic Lodge, and the first fraternal organization here, was St. John’s Lodge No. 13, the charter of which was granted by the state Grand Lodge at Chillicothe on January 10, 1812.
  • First Bank — The first banking institution in the city was known as the Dayton Manufacturing Company. It was incorporated by the legislature in 1813, and began business on December 13 of that year, in a building at the first alley south of Monument Avenue on Main Street.
  • First Stone Residence — About 1813, William Huffman built the first stone residence at Third and Jefferson. It served as both dwelling and store.
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Dayton Firsts Part 6

  • First Infirmary – the building was erected west of town, on land bought from Dr. James B. Oliver, in April 1826.
  • First Foundry – Opened by McElwee and Clegg and the first “heat” was made on December 2, 1828.
  • First Park – The land on Third Street between St. Clair and Patterson – now occupied by the public library – was deeded to the city in 1836 by David Ziegler Cooper, the son of D. C. Cooper, with the provision that it was “to be kept forever as a walk for the citizens of Dayton and its visitors.” It was first known as the “public square.”
  • First Episcopal Church – St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the first Episcopal church in Dayton, was organized on May 15, 1817 by Bishop Chase, with 23 members.
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Dayton Hero – David T. Chambers

The chain of events that started Dayton’s Great Flood started on March 21, 1913, with a rainstorm. Over the next few days, more rain came, ultimately weakening the levees and flooding the already oversaturated soil. Water rose quickly, and as gas lines were destroyed, a fire started downtown that destroyed most of a block.

As these events were happening, twenty four year old David T. Chambers of North Dayton could not stand by and watch without helping. From the safety of his home, which was located above the flood waters, he could see the damage being caused by the rising waters.

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Prominent Local Figures: Israel Ludlow

Although not very well known, Ludlow accomplished a lot in 39 years. Like Jonathan Dayton and James Wilkinson, Ludlow was from New Jersey, near Morristown.

Ludlow was a surveyor and town planner, helping to found Dayton, Cincinnati, and Hamilton, Ohio. Hamilton, Dayton, and Cincinnati all have a Ludlow street in his honor.

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