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May 02

Happy Preservation Month!

Posted on May 2, 2023 at 10:21 AM by Bryan Taulbee

May is National Preservation Month.

Did you know?  

The first National Preservation week was celebrated in 1973, from May 6th through May 12th.

 Preservation is about the capturing of our history.  From stories, to photographs and physical items, to our built environment, all these factors tell us about where we came from.  The help us complete the picture of what life was like for our ancestors.     

 The City of Dayton works to ensure the preservation of our 13 locally designated historic districts, and our 71 local landmarks.  For more information on our historic districts, you can find links to maps and the original nomination forms, here:  

Did you know?

Dayton’s first historic district was the Oregon Historic District, designated in 1972.  The most recent historic district is Squirrel-Forest, designated in 2011.

Exploring our past can help us find people and stories that are not always wide-known or celebrated.

An image of the art institute and celebratory news clipping

Did you know?  Mrs. H.G. Carnell donated the land and the building for the Dayton Art Institute to the City of Dayton in 1928. (May 22nd, 1928, Dayton Daily News)  


An image of a front porch in E Sixth Street

Did you know?  Older homes will sometimes have two front entrances.   Often, one entrance was the “formal” entrance, for guests, and the other was the main entrance for the residents.


A newspaper clipping about Gate Night/Halloween

Did you know? Halloween used to be associated with “Gate Night”, a night where young folks would play pranks, usually involving stealing people’s front gates. (October 31st, 1906, The Dayton Herald)


In addition to photographs and newspaper articles, we can access the stories of our friends, neighbors, and other community members.  Programs like the Dayton and Miami Valley Oral History Project and the West Dayton Stories Project record and provide access to the stories of our residents, provided access into the real lived experiences of the past.  You can access the recordings for the Oral History Project online here:

West Dayton Stories can be found here:

 “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Preservation helps us remember.  Take a look around your neighborhood today, find a building that you like, find a building that you don’t like, find a building that you’d like to know more about.  Celebrate and acknowledge your own built environment, and the stories it can tell us.   

--Post by Holly Hornbeak