Fun Dayton Facts

Here are a few more interesting facts about Dayton!

  • Of the original purchasers of the land for Dayton, Jonathan Dayton’s name was chosen because it was considered the most pleasing name to grace the township.
  • Dayton’s first hanging took place on a gallows east of the river, where Sinclair Community College is now located. This fact is the basis for the storied hauntings of the campus.
  • Dayton’s flood of 1866 cost the city a quarter of a million dollars and left only the corn crops standing in its wake.
  • Dayton born Daniel Denison Bickham pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 1886 for one game. He returned to Dayton when his father called him home because he felt baseball was “not a gentlemanly sport.”
  • Charles Bickham, Daniel’s brother, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1904 because he “crossed a fire-swept field, in close range of the enemy and bought a wounded soldier to a place of shelter.
  • Father to Daniel and Charles Bickham, William Bickham, was Dayton’s leading newspaper editor. After the riot that burned the office of the Dayton Journal, Bickham arrived to revive the paper and return it to financial stability.
  • The Wright brothers built their first glider for about $15.

“Black Magic” Threats

It wasn’t a normal day of business January 30, 2018 when Dayton police responded to “black magic” or “Voodoo” threats at Honeywell First Responder Products on Innovation Court.

Two workers at Honeywell found threatening notes on their desks. In total, five notes had been left around their work stations throughout that day, making statements and allegations about the male and female victims that they claimed were untrue. These were not the first threats, as both the male and female described receiving nasty text messages in April and September 2017, from an unknown number. The notes left around the workstation threatened to make the man sick, and that he should not waste his time consulting a doctor when it happens.

Additionally, salt was spread across the male’s desk, with crosses and faces imprinted in the salt. Two eggs had been left on the desk as well, with crosses drawn on them. Other employees have reported receiving threats via text or notes as well.

This case mirrors one from 1976 in Circleville, Ohio. A bus driver named Mary Gillespie started receiving threatening letters accusing her of having an affair with the superintendent of schools. Mary vehemently denied the accusation, but the letters continued and even escalated to the point of Mary’s life being at risk, her husband dying, and the wrong man being convicted of the letter writing.

Unsolved Mysteries aired an episode covering this case and right before it aired, they received a letter threatening them if they aired the case, stating:

Forget Circleville Ohio: If You Come to Ohio You El Sickos Will Pay.

Signed, The Circleville Writer

In both cases, there are no leads and the mystery remains.

We were on Gem City Tonight!

Our appearance on Gem City Tonight is now live! Thanks so much to Andrew Mitakides and Gem City Tonight for having us!

The line up for the episode was:

Dayton Unknown
And Lucky, Mr. Gay Ohio 2018

And always, the musical stylings of Aimee James and the Gems!

Check it out!

Dayton’s UFO Sighting/Hoax

A cell phone video showing what appears to be a blue flying object hovering over Wright Patterson Air Force Base went viral in May 2016.

The video, supposedly captured by an unidentified woman, was shown on Fox News and other news circuits around the world. It showed a blue object flying in and out of sight behind a cloud, appearing to “move with the clouds” as the woman in the video stated.

Experts ranging from a Dayton Astrophysicist to a UFO Investigator from Cleveland have debunked the video, presuming that the website promoting the video, Secureteam 10 may have been getting paid for advertising every time they showed the video. The website did not release the source of the video, the identity of the couple they claimed filmed the video, or any other information.

A spokesperson from WPAFB denied any connection to the video or any activities related to it.

Magee Park

In real estate, a property’s value is all about location, location, location. Is that the case for supernatural and unexplained happenings in Bellbrook? Magee Park seems to be the location for many a supernatural haunt. Located in Ohio’s Sleepy Hollow, Magee Park boasts more spooky stories than can be told around a campfire in one night.

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Magee Park: J. Buckley

Another urban legend from Ohio’s Sleepy Hollow.

As the urban legend goes, John (also sometimes listed as James) Buckley was a rich man living along the banks of Possum Run Creek (now Little Sugar Creek). One night, his cabin was broken into and he was decapitated as thieves tried to find his buried treasure, and his ghost still haunts the creek looking for his head.

Is this story true? Did this really happen?

Well, yes and no.

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Magee Park: The Woman and Her Baby

Magee Park is a smallish park just off Little Sugarcreek Road in Bellbrook. Although it looks unassuming and quiet, it is smack dab in the middle of a city dubbed, “Ohio’s Sleepy Hollow.”

As the legend goes, in the late 1800s, around the 1880s, a young servant girl had an affair with her master, the mayor of Bellbrook. As these things go, she soon found herself pregnant. Once he discovered she was pregnant, he turned her away from his home, and refused to see her again. Desperate, the young girl turned to prostitution to feed herself and the baby growing inside her.

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Dayton’s Unknown

Halloween is coming, and to get into the spirit (HA), here are some of our favorite local spooky stories!

The Escape of John Wilkes Booth

This story is only indirectly connected to Dayton, but too fascinating not to share!

In 1924, Whitney Bolton, editor of the Dayton Daily News, wrote an article telling of the escape of John Wilkes Booth, after interviewing reporter John Young. At age seven, Young had attended the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre with his father. It was a night Young would never forget.

Near the end of the second act, a shot rang out and a man crashed to the stage, brandished a long knife, yelled, “Sic semper tyrannis!” and ran away, a significant limp in his step.

Years later, Young interviewed James Kelley, a man who had been a member of the Richmond Theatre Company with John Wilkes Booth. Booth and Kelley had shared a dressing room and the services of a young dressing valet named Henry.

When the war started, Booth became passionate for the South, at first enthusiastically, then slowly becoming sullen and angry. The change in his mood caused John Wilkes Booth to be fired from his acting job. Booth left for Washington, and took Henry with him. He left behind a number of play manuscripts with scribbled notes in his handwriting. Kelley kept the manuscripts.

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The Day They Hung John McAfee

In 1825, a man by the name of John McAfee was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to death by hanging. Although he never made a formal confession, he was said to have written one out in rhyme:

Draw near young man and hear from me
my sad and mournful history.
And may you ne’er forgetful be
of all this day I fell to thee.

Before I reached my fifth year,
my father and my mother dear
were both laid in their silent grave
by Him who their being gave.

No more a mother’s love I shared,
no more a mother’s voice I heard,
no more was I a father’s joy –
I was a helpless orphan boy.

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