WYSO

"Lost Dayton" Recounts Neighborhoods And Buildings Of City's Past

Jul 1, 2018

Andrew Walsh has only lived in Dayton for about five years but soon after he arrived here, he became interested in the history of the city - in particular, the old neighborhoods of early Dayton, like the Oregon District, and the long-gone Haymarket area.

“Since I moved to Dayton, I just became very kind of caught up in revitalization of downtown,” Walsh says. “I quickly moved just outside the Oregon District and was very into the spirit I saw from a lot of people and that kind of lead to appreciating Dayton’s History.”

“And then specifically, what kind of took me to the theme of lost, was the actual area I lived in. So I was kind of right in between the Oregon District and St. Anne’s Hill are, I was in the Dayton Towers apartments. So I was wondering why there was this area in between these two very old and historic, dense neighborhoods that was basically all just kind of a green space and modern apartment towers. Actually, the first chapter is on what was formerly the Haymarket neighborhood, which was basically completely bulldozed in the 1960s due to urban renewal.”

Walsh's work as a librarian at Sinclair College allowed him to research some of that history and it’s lead him to publish his first book titled Lost Dayton. It details many of the city’s lost neighborhoods and buildings that defined the city of invention and innovation.

The young author says Dayton’s history was somewhat already known to his family before moving to the area from Wisconsin.

“So I’ve always been pretty interested in writing, it’s kind of in the family. My father writes poetry and short stories. And then his father, my grandfather was a pretty prolific writer of nonfiction. He published well over 20 different books of different biographies - one of his books was on the Wright Brothers in the 70s, so he immersed himself in the history of flight, so that was before we really had any family connection to Ohio or Dayton so it was kind of funny to end up here myself after all those years.”

Lost Dayton is available from The History Press.