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Dayton: The Senior-Friendly Ohio Town

The Dayton-Kettering area is rich in history that reaches back thousands of years. From ancient civilizations to the modern culturally rich place it is today, the Dayton – Kettering area has earned a reputation for being a senior-friendly town because it has so much to offer active seniors who want a retirement lifestyle that is carefree and fun but stimulating too.

The area’s early history

The history of the United States is relatively brief but the Dayton-Kettering area has been home to people for thousands of years. As noted in our blog, “Retirement in Dayton: A Look at What’s Going On!”  native cultures thrived in the Dayton-Kettering area and left behind artifacts that continue to intrigue and educate the curious at two local sites: Sunwatch Indian Village / Archaeological Park which dates to the 13th century and Miamisburg Mound Park thought to be from about 800 B.C.

More recently, the area was home to the Native American Miami Indians when, according to the article, “The Forgotten History of Ohio’s Indigenous Peoples,” in the late 1700s, Ohio was considered “Indian territory.” The first settlers arrived in 1796 and the village was incorporated in 1805 and named for Jonathan Dayton, a major landowner, lawyer, politician, and the youngest person to sign the U.S. Constitution. A relic of the time is the Newcom Tavern, the oldest standing building in Dayton, which dates to 1796 when it served as a jail, church, county courthouse, and general store.

The 1800s were a time of great growth and development in the Dayton-Kettering area. The state of Ohio was admitted to the Union in 1803, and according to the document “Historic Context,” the construction of the National Road and the Miami Canal in the 1820s helped to spur economic growth and expansion. At the same time, the population grew steadily from just 383 in 1810 to 10,977 in 1850 then exploded from 39,000 in 1880 to more than 116,000 by 1910.

A history of innovation and invention

The Dayton-Kettering area has a number of notable native sons and daughters with perhaps the most renowned being aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, who blessed Dayton with the moniker “The birthplace of aviation.” Others include Charles F. Kettering, namesake of the city of Kettering and the inventor of the automotive electric ignition system and the first electronic cash register, and Paul Laurence Dunbar the celebrated African-American writer of novels, plays, poetry and short stories.

Women from Dayton also made names for themselves, including experimental engineer Margaret J. Andrew who twice showed her male counterparts at Frigidaire how to design a better dishwasher rack (and holds two patents), and Annae Barney Gorman founder of today’s Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The last 100 years

According to the article, “How Dayton Changed the World” at the start of the 20th century Dayton had more patents per capita than any other U.S. city, which helped spur business and manufacturing across a range of industries. In line with the growth in jobs, the population ballooned making Dayton the 40th largest city in the United States in 1940. Like many industrialized mid-west cities, however, the Dayton-Kettering area experienced changes as the suburbs shrank the city center and industrialization declined. Cities like Kettering, which was named a city in 1955, began to grow and develop their own unique lifestyles which impacted the population of the metropolitan area.

Today, the Dayton-Kettering area is bouncing back with vigor and combines the best of the past with a bright, modern and vibrant future. Revitalization can be seen throughout the area including 13 designated historic districts, numerous downtown projects providing new residential and mixed-use spaces and exciting new businesses and eateries.

For example, the massive 515,000 square-foot Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco) plant built in 1915 is undergoing complete rehabilitation and will become The Delco, a combination of apartments, offices and commercial space for stores and restaurants. Also on the agenda is the city’s Downtown Riverfront Plan which addresses flood control for the four rivers in the city while developing recreational projects to benefit citizens and visitors alike.

Retirement in Dayton

As the Dayton-Kettering area reinvents itself, it is fast becoming a preferred place to retire. Seniors can choose from the many historic sites, the beautiful parks and recreational areas, and great shopping and dining so there is something new to see and do every day. Also important to seniors is the abundance of outstanding healthcare providers, festivals throughout the year to enjoy with family and friends, and arts and cultural venues featuring live performances and works of art from around the world. For seniors who want to experience the past while looking forward to the future, the Dayton-Kettering area is an excellent choice!

At One Lincoln Park, our independent living residents enjoy all the amenities of the community as well as the many benefits of living in the Dayton-Kettering area. Contact us to learn more and schedule a tour.

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