The Yellow Spring

What exactly causes the Yellow Spring to be yellow? In a nutshell, iron.

A spring is defined as water overflowing from an aquifer. In this particular spring, the water underground is clear, but turns yellow when it hits the air. The iron in the water becomes rust when exposed to air, and turns into the well-known yellowish orange color that gave Yellow Springs its name. Experts theorize the water may run through an iron deposit underground (called a vugg) or the geology of the area could just contain excess iron.

Read More »

Advertisements

Liberty Tower

After the flood of 1913, Second Street faced a new frontier. As it had previously been occupied by mansions and apartment buildings, the flood pushed residents away from downtown, moving them to Salem Avenue and Far Hills Avenue. This created the prime opportunity for development.

Planning for the Liberty Tower started in 1929, and construction started the next year. It took 11 months to create what was Dayton’s tallest building at that time. Liberty Tower was the tallest building in Dayton from 1931 until the construction of the Kettering Tower in 1969. The Mutual Home Building, as it was known then, was built out of concrete and steel and 23 stories tall. Attendants manned the garages and state-of-the-art elevators, giving an air of elegance.

Read More »

Interesting Street Names

  • Cline Street – Once known as Zigzag Street because it ran along an open ditch, called Seely’s ditch, but has long since been straightened.
  • Hoover Avenue – Not named for the president, but for local residents and the Hoover Park plat developed in 1917.
  • Demphle Avenue – named for Sebastion Demphle, a local stove dealer.
  • Babbitt Street – A T.S. Babbitt lived at First Street and Bridge Street, later Stratford Lane.
  • Kiefaber Street – named after Warner Harshman Kiefaber Sr, who graduated from St Mary’s Institute class of 1905 and later founded the W.H Kiefaber Company on Keowee Street and Monument Avenue in 1920.
  • Oxford Avenue, Yale Avenue, Harvard Boulevard, Otterbein Avenue, and Wittenberg Avenue – Named for colleges.
  • Shaw Avenue – named for George Shaw, and early settler of Dayton
  • Best Street – named for Ed Best, a local jeweler.

Water you doing, Dayton?

In the late 1800s, sinks had 3 faucets. Far left was hot rainwater, far right was cold, and the middle was Holly Water. Also known as drinking water, Holly Water got its name because the first city waterworks used Holly’s Patent Elliptical Rotary Pumps to get water from two wells. The rainwater came from cisterns in people’s yards, collected from roof runoff and brought into the house via pumps.

Before Holly Water, residents drank well water, benefiting from the filtering effects of the porous sub-soil. By the 1860s as more and more people moved into Dayton, those water sources became compromised, with an increasing amount of cesspools infringing on the borders of these wells. This led to the first Board of Health being created in 1868. A Committee was formed to address the issues, ultimately choosing the “Holly System.”

Read More »