Dayton Unknown Fall Scavenger Hunt

Dayton Unknown was recently featured in an article by the Dayton Daily News!

To celebrate, Dayton Unknown is hosting another photo scavenger hunt!

Wegerzyn Gardens, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave, Dayton 45414
October 15 at 2 PM

To answer a few questions we get every time:

A photo scavenger hunt is essentially a scavenger hunt that involves taking photos instead of finding objects. Every group or contestant will receive a list of photo challenges. The challenges will be designed to allow for creativity and exploration of the area. To participate in these challenges, contestants will meet us at the picnic area, where the Dayton Unknown Banner will be displayed. We will go over the challenges and answer any questions that you may have. Creativity is enthusiastically encouraged for all photo challenges we list, and there is no “wrong” answer for your submissions. To be considered for a prize, we ask that submissions be emailed to by noon on October 17th. Please make sure to label the picture with the corresponding clue.


The Day They Hung John McAfee

In 1825, a man by the name of John McAfee was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to death by hanging. Although he never made a formal confession, he was said to have written one out in rhyme:

Draw near young man and hear from me
my sad and mournful history.
And may you ne’er forgetful be
of all this day I fell to thee.

Before I reached my fifth year,
my father and my mother dear
were both laid in their silent grave
by Him who their being gave.

No more a mother’s love I shared,
no more a mother’s voice I heard,
no more was I a father’s joy –
I was a helpless orphan boy.

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Dayton Hero – David T. Chambers

The chain of events that started Dayton’s Great Flood started on March 21, 1913, with a rainstorm. Over the next few days, more rain came, ultimately weakening the levees and flooding the already oversaturated soil. Water rose quickly, and as gas lines were destroyed, a fire started downtown that destroyed most of a block.

As these events were happening, twenty four year old David T. Chambers of North Dayton could not stand by and watch without helping. From the safety of his home, which was located above the flood waters, he could see the damage being caused by the rising waters.

David climbed into his family boat and rowed out to help. He carried supplies to the safe area in Riverdale and saved over 150 people from where they were stranded by the rising waters. He was killed when a log struck the side of his boat and knocked him into the water. He was carried off by the current and his body was not found until several days later.

Losing her husband caused Stella Chambers substantial money problems. David was a machinist at NCR while Stella stayed at home with their three daughters, Lorna Elizabeth, Mary Adeline, and Dorothy Ruth. She had to make the difficult decision to place her daughters in an orphanage until she could recover financially. Luckily, Stella was later reunited with her daughters.

Visit the flood section of Woodland Cemetery and you will find a large flat marker on David’s grave, detailing the heroic acts leading to his death. Stand at the base of this marker and look to your left to see Chambers Street, named in tribute.

To read the full text of the marker, click here.

Dayton Firsts Part 5

First Newspaper – First regularly published newspaper was “The Repertory,” published by William McClure and George Smith, the initial issue appearing on Friday, September 18, 1808.

First Political Convention – Held on September 6, 1809.

First Drug Store – It was opened in 1809 by Dr. Wood in Reid’s Inn, then occupying a part of the present site of Loew’s theater.

First “Fourth” Celebration – Dayton’s first public celebration of the Fourth of July, with a parade and speeches, was held in 1809.

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