Part 1 |Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | National Historic Register Documents

Part One: The Beginnings

William P. Huffman had a vision of an economically diverse, tightly knit community, one in which social luminaries and city leaders would walk the same streets with factory workers and artisans. He built that community in the late 1800s on rural land he owned just outside of the Dayton city limits.

Wm. P. Huffman

The heart of that area is known today as the Huffman Historic Area, a community listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Mr. Huffman started his community by building homes in a remarkable collection of styles that is a cross section of the late 1800s -- everything from the most ornate Victorian and Queen Anne mansions to smaller homes of simple, classic design.

What the Oregon District is to the mid-1800s, the Huffman Historic Area is to the late 1800s.

Linden Ave., Circa 1900

Huffy Bicycle Company

Next, Mr. Huffman offered those homes to employees of his company, the Davis Sewing Machine Company (the forebear of today's Huffy Bicycle Company). To provide easy access to downtown, he built a trolley. (Incidentally, the Wright Brothers rode over that same trolley line every day to their hanger at Huffman Prairie.)

J Wagner Groceries, corner Third, Linden & Springfield, Circa 1890

Thanks to vigorous efforts to protect the homes in the Huffman Historic Area, you can enjoy a taste of the vigor and excitement of Dayton in the late 1800s.



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