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History (Cont.)

The Great Flood of 1913, a disaster for the City of Dayton, started the area on an inevitable decline. During this flood, Oregon was covered by ten feet of water and after this many of the residents began to move out to higher ground. World War I and II accelerated the decline and nearly all of the old established families abandoned the area to absentee ownership.

By the 1960's, urban blight had become so intolerable that the city began to consider clearance and redevelopment as the only answer. In June of 1966, the Chicago firm of Bertrand Goldberg Associates was hired to do a site-plan and economic feasibility study. Their recommendations to save approximately 125 structures and to raze the reminder as part of an elaborate restoration scheme failed due to lack of funding. However, their study did focus attention on the area and served to reinforce the belief of some interested citizens that the area possessed something of intangible and irreplaceable value.

In 1972, the city created the Burns-Jackson Historic District to preserve the area. The name was later changed to the Oregon Historic District. Oregon was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The District today consists of twelve city blocks bounded on the north by Fifth Street, on the east by Wayne Avenue, on the south by the Route 35 Expressway and on the west by Patterson Boulevard, once the site of part of the Miami-Erie Canal. The construction of the expressway established the final definitive boundary of Dayton's oldest neighborhood as it exists today.

Dayton's history is here in the homes of some of its first residents. We hope the evidences of the rebirth of the area are as exciting to you as they are to those of us who are new to the District. We are proud of our efforts and welcome this opportunity to share them with you.

Beginning of story