This Weekend’s Events

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are a few events!

Peter Sunderland

Samuel Spencer born on April 14th, 1698 in Yorkshire England. Born to the 3rd Earl of Sunderland Charles and his commoner wife Judith, Samuel was not entitled to any inheritance or title due to his mother’s status. This led Samuel and his family to immigrate to the United States in 1737 with his children, including son William. The family all took on the surname Sunderland upon their arrival in the United States. In 1770, William Sunderland married Sarah Barraclough in Burlington County, New Jersey. William and Sarah eventually came to Ohio in 1795 along with their 18-year-old son, Peter.

Peter went on to live a storied life in Centerville.

  • In 1799, Peter Sunderland married Nancy Robbins, the daughter of one of Centerville’s founders, Benjamin Robbins in what was the first wedding ceremony to be performed in Washington Township.
  • In 1802, Peter and his brother Richard bore witness to the first will filed in Montgomery County.
  • In 1803, Peter was the defendant/perpetrator in the first court case in Montgomery County, for assault and battery on a man named Benjamin Scott. The case was held on the upper floor of Newcom’s Tavern. He pled guilt and was fined $6. A year later Scott and Sunderland were back in court, but this time Scott was convicted.
  • Sunderland served in the War of 1812.
  • Around 1820, a stone house was built on Alex-Bell Road (where Fortis College and Cross Pointe Shopping Center are now). The house had a secret hiding place which was used as part of the Underground Railroad.
  • In 1826, a slave from Kentucky known as “Black John” took refuge in the Sunderland house. When a group of men came to “reclaim” John, Peter threatened them and yelled for Black John to escape. Black John ran into the nearby woods and disappeared.
  • After hearing a rumor of an Indian uprising, Peter built a large stone springhouse on his property to protect the area. When the land was being cleared in the early 1980s for development, the spring house was rediscovered and subsequently dismantled and reassembled in Stubb’s Park.

Peter Sunderland died October 2, 1841 at the age of 67 years old. He is buried in the Sugar Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Centerville along with his father, mother, and wife.

The Tragic & Sensationalized Death of Anna Hockwalt

Anna Hockwalt
Date of Death: January 10, 1884

“Wisely they leave graves open for the dead
‘Cos some to early are brought to bed.”

During the flurry of activity in preparation for her brother’s wedding, Anna Hockwalt (also spelled Hochwalt) sat down in a chair, overcome with the excitement of the day. Moments later her mother found her in that chair, dead. A doctor determined she “was of excitable temperament, nervous and affected with sympathetic palpitation of the heart.” The wedding carried on, but with marked sadness permeating the ceremony.

The following day, attendees of Anna’s funeral remarked how natural her skin looked and that her coloring was that of a living person. Later, they told Anna’s mother they couldn’t shake the impression that she may not have been dead when buried. They approached her parents asking them to check. This idea persisted until finally the parents couldn’t take it anymore, and unearthed Anna’s coffin.
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Halfway to Halloween

This Saturday, April 29th at 5pm! Come out to the Oregon District to celebrate Halfway to Halloween with us. They will also be announcing the theme for this Hauntfest.

Outside of Clash Dayton and Heart Mercantile, vendors will be set up, including Sara selling her book!

A few activities:

  • Special Effects artist and Makeup Manager at Land of Illusion Jessica Hale
  • Burlesque performances at Next Door Dayton at 9pm.
  • Dark alternative dance party at Space Bar
  • Themed drink specials at Lily’s Bistro, Blind Bob’s, Ned Peppers, Toxic Brew Company, and Trolley Stop
  • Sushi special at Thai 9


Allistair Dunn

Allistair Dunn was born April 21, 1921 in Scotland. When he was five, his family emigrated to Detroit, Michigan, where he grew up and attended school. After graduation, Al enlisted in the Army Air Corps in the beginning of WWII. He performed as a radio operator in a B-29, flying in 128 missions and twice receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.

After being discharged, he returned to Detroit and his job at Ford Motor Company. He met with Marilyn, who he met as a teenager, and they married and had four children. He graduated in 1951 with a BS in Industrial Management.

Al moved his family to Dayton in 1964 so he could become President of Master Consolidated, a Division of Koehring Corporation. Later, Miami Valley Hospital Board Chairman Fred Smith asked Al to join the MVH board as a trustee. Fred felt Al could lead MVH to the next level as a leading healthcare organization in the region. After joining the board, Al became instrumental in creating the Care Flight air medical transportation program.

Al used his knowledge of the air ambulance programs used during the Vietnam and Korean wars and how many lives they saved. He had read studies that showed the higher probability of survival if they get to the hospital within sixty minutes of trauma or injury. In 1983, Miami Valley Hospital became the first air medical program in the region and the 65th civilian air ambulance in the nation.
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The Bride Who Thought She Was a Widow

This 1913 flood account first appeared in the Dayton Daily News on March 25, 1962.
Bride Spent Many Hours Thinking She Was A Widow
659 Carlisle Ave.

Next Nov. 20, my husband, Frank, and I will celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. But for several hours on Tuesday, Mar. 25, 1913, I would not have believed that we would have that first anniversary together.I thought that I had been widowed after four months of marriage, that my husband had drowned in the terrible flood that hit Dayton.

On the night before that disastrous day we had walked the short distance to the river from our apartment house on Washington St. to view the rising waters.

But we weren’t too alarmed as the newspapers that day had said that Dayton would be “protected by the levies which the city’s wise forefathers had built.”

But the next morning, the water had reached the first step leading into our apartment house.

My 15-year-old brother, Bill Fette, was visiting us from Cincinnati.
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