“I built a fire to welcome her
And my voice sighed
Aloud her name. To be with her
This night, I would have died…”
Natalie Clifford Barney was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1876, to an affluent family. By age twelve, Natalie knew she was a lesbian. Although society in the late 1800’s was very conservative, Natalie knew she would “Live openly, without hiding anything.”
Natalie developed an interest in the French language as a child. Her governess often read Jules Vern stores aloud to her in French, and she had to learn the language quickly to understand the stories. In adulthood, Natalie was fluent in French, and published most of her work in French.
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Tired of the same exercise routine? Try visiting some of Dayton’s notable spots while you exercise!
Enjoy fresh air and history as you experience the Dayton Inventors River Walk.
Starting with a brick medallion at the corner of Monument Avenue and Main Street, the Inventors Walk continues around Riverscape with informative tiles in the pavement, leading to the Automobile Self Starter, the first of 7 invention stations. Continue toward North Patterson Boulevard, visiting the Cash Register and Ice Cube sculptures. Cross the bridge on Patterson Boulevard to continue reading the tiles. Approximate distance is 1 mile (see map below).
- Automobile Self Starter
- Hydraulic Jump Fountain
- Search Engine
- Wright Flyer
- Pop-Top Can
- Cash Register
- Ice Cube Trays
“Find the need and endeavor to meet it.” – David Ainslie Sinclair
Although his tombstone in Woodland simply states “Secretary of the YMCA”, David Sinclair did much more for Dayton and its residents.
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…a bike ride.” – John F. Kennedy
Just before the Wright Brothers opened their shop in the spring of 1893, George P. Huffman purchased the Davis Sewing Machine Company and moved the factory to Dayton. By 1892, the first Huffy bicycle was built. Years later in 1924, George’s son Horace founded the Huffman Manufacturing Company and continued to manufacture and sell bicycles under the now well-known name of Huffy.
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“When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”
From her youth, Erma loved to read and write. At Christmas, when kids her age asked for toys and dolls for Christmas, Erma asked her parents for what she cherished most: books.
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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.