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Is Dayton a joke? Being founded in 1805 on April Fool's Day, is not an auspicious beginning. It is home to Ohio's official rock song, the American classic "Hang on Sloopy", by the McCoys who originated from Dayton. The town was named after a New Jersey Congressman, Johnathan Dayton (1760-1884) who was the youngest man to sign the US Constitution.
Sitting in the Miami Valley on a small bend of the Great Miami River with canals on the east and south, it is the 6th largest city in Ohio. Dayton is a center for manufacturing infrastructure with significant research and development in industrial fields, as well as aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Home to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as this was where the aviation pioneers, the Wright Brothers invented powered flight. Dayton's base economy is healthcare with Premier Health Partners contributing more than $2 billion annually. The city's layout of broad straight downtown streets heralds from its history as being a marketing and shipping center where wagons hauled by oxen teams had to get through. Some of the streets were even barge canals originally.
For the history buffs, stand on the steps of the neo-classical courthouse where Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech in 1859. There are 10 historical neighborhoods of houses and mansions to explore: Oregon District, Wright Dunbar, Dayton View, Grafton Hill, McPherson Town, Webster Station, Huffman, Kenilworth, St Anne's Hill and South Park. Think Neoclassical, English Gothic, Colonial Revival, Queen Anne and the list is never ending.
There is the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center that is home to the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Ballet where you can catch a Broadway show if you are lucky. Live concerts can be seen at the Victoria Theater or catch a play at the Dayton Playhouse. There are plenty of museums such as the National Museum of the United States Air Force and lush parks to take a peek at.
Don't forget to grab some chips from the oldest potato chip company in America at Mike-sells.
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