Dayton’s 225th Anniversary

“April 1, 1796. Landed at Dayton, after a passage of ten days, William Gahagan and myself having come with Thompson’s and McClure’s families in a large pirogue.”

– Benjamin Van Cleve, in his journal.

“The boat party was the first to arrive. Rounding the curve in the river, where for so many years since then it has been flowing under the Dayton View bridge, the pioneers perceived before their eyes the swift current of Mad River emptying itself into the main channel, just as it had been described, and saying to each other (so we may imagine), ‘Yes, this must be the place,’ they tied the pirogue to a tree at the head of St. Clair Street and led by Mrs. Thompson, all clambered ashore.

At that moment DAYTON came on the map!”

– Charlotte Reeve Conover, The Story of Dayton.

imageFounder’s Point at Riverscape. Underneath the canopy, there are some footprints in the concrete simulating the steps of the settlers. Also, there is an etching stating, “On April 1st, 1796, the first settlers of Dayton, led by Samuel Thompson, came ashore near this spot. The party included the first Daytonian, Benjamin Van Cleve. According to one account, the first person to set foot on shore was Catherine Van Cleve Thompson, great-great-grandmother of the Wright brothers.”

Miami Conservancy District

Note: Due to the current events across the country, there are a lot of questions about the potential for flooding in the Dayton Area. Our next few posts will address those concerns, and share a little bit of the history regarding floods in the Dayton region.

The Miami Conservancy District was organized in 1915, in response to the Great Dayton Flood. The MCD built levees, straightened the river channel, and built 5 dams to control flooding in the Miami Valley. The Miami Conservancy District was the first major watershed district in the nation. The district and its projects are unusual in that they were funded almost entirely by local tax initiatives.

Continue reading

Dayton Fun Facts Part 1

Occasionally in our research, we come across a really interesting fact, but there isn’t enough for a full story. We like to compile these into lists to share. Here are a few!

  • Mad River, the former Wayne Township (now Huber Heights), Wayne High School, and Wayne Avenue are all named for Major General “Mad” Anthony Wayne.
  • Abraham Lincoln credits the first mention of his presidential race to Dayton, Ohio.
  • On March 30, 1901, the Dayton Daily News was run by a women-only editorial staff. Local historian Charlotte Reeve Conover approached James M. Cox and asked him to allow the Young Women’s League to run the paper for one day to raise money for a new building. Despite predictions of failure, the paper not only went to press on time, but the demand was so high, they had to work overtime to compensate. The ladies received a check for $1,800 for their efforts.
  • Continue reading

David’s Cemetery

Located at the corners of Mad River Road and David Road in Kettering, David’s Cemetery is one of the older cemeteries in the Dayton area. The cemetery was formed on land donated by local man, Christian Creager, in 1826 and recognized its first burial in 1831 — a young boy named Noah Darner. It was named after Rev. David Winters, the first preacher to serve the Dayton area.

DavidsCemeteryCollage

Continue reading