Volume 9, Issue 3
From Glynn Marsh
Hot weather arrived early this year - with temperatures in the high 80s and low 90’s, even during the month of May. Couple that with one of the driest Springs on record, and you know that all of us (plants, animals and human beings) in this part of Ohio are under stress. I hope all of you are "keeping your cool" and using these hot days to stay inside and catch up on your reading. The historical society will be providing some good reading materials in August when we publish our history booklet entitled "Memories of the Dayton-Covington Pike. " The booklet will be very similar in format to the one we did last year recounting stories of old Route 40, only this time we are focusing on the D-C Pike, also known as Ohio Route 48 and Main Street, as it passed through our township. Beginning in the early 1800s, the Dayton-Covington Pike was the gateway into this part of Ohio, i.e., northern Montgomery County. Our earliest settlers, who were Quakers, came over this route when it was little more than an Indian trail. It wasn't until 1838 that the Brethren started their migration from Pennsylvania along the National Road. So really, to my way of thinking, the D-C Pike was more important in opening up our area for settlement than the National Road. Early plat maps of our area show land in upper Randolph Township deeded to individuals by 1802- 1810, and of course, the town of Union was platted in 1816. The pike took on renewed importance again, after the 1913 flood, when quite a few previous residents of the City of Dayton decided to move to higher ground in northern parts of the county.
During the 1920s-1930s, many bungalow-type houses were built along the D-C Pike from Westbrook Road and north into Englewood. Locations of some family homes and mom-and-pop businesses along this road have been mentioned in the Family Tree column on page 2, with information provided by members Marjorie Papp and Caroline Bergman. Maybe some of you reading this will remember these locations. If you have other memories to share, please send them to us along with any photos you might have taken of these spots in times gone by.
Finally, I must mention a very interesting and recent donation to the society. It is an 18 foot mural on wallpaper, that depicts the route of U.S. 40 across America. It was on the wall of Frisch's Restaurant (still located on Route 48 north of I- 70). During remodeling of the building in the 1980s, the wallpaper was being removed, and Pauline Watson, a Frisch's employee at the time, saved the strips. She kept the wallpaper strips for over twenty years and now has passed them to the Society for safe keeping. We hope to have some of them ready for display at the Englewood Festival on August 11-12.