In 1789, plans were made for a settlement near the mouth of what is now known as Mad River. The proposed name for the site was Venice, and the river was to be named Tiber. The deed was executed and recorded, and the village of Venice was laid out on paper.
But Indian troubles and some misunderstandings with the landowner and the government led to the abandonment of the project. Fortunately, a treaty was signed with the Indians six years later, and in 1796, three parties set out from Cincinnati for the newly-named settlement of Dayton.
One hundred years later, Dayton was a modern city, its citizens open to innovative ideas, but still proud of their past. The Main Street Bridge was one of the first concrete bridges in the United States.
Cash registers, invented in Dayton, were in stores throughout the world. Yet time was taken to save the city's oldest structure, Newcom Tavern, and place it near where the first settlers of Dayton had come ashore. In 2014, Newcom Tavern underwent a $100,000 exterior renovation.
As it was in 1896, so it is today; a symbol of how, from such humble beginnings, a great city can rise.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Curt Dalton is the visual resources manager at Dayton History, the local historical society. He has written over a dozen books detailing a number of historical events in Dayton’s long history, from the home front during World War II to the many indoor theaters that once dotted the city’s landscape.