Author Topic: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.  (Read 10412 times)

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Offline Jeff

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Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« on: December 03, 2005, 11:10:48 PM »
...back when Kettering was known as Van Buren Township. 

Not too much of the old rural 19th Century Van Buren Township remains.  A few farmhouses.  At least one church.  The rural villiage of Beaverton is mostly overwhelmend by the widening of Wilmington Pike, though a few old houses remain.

Possibly an old farmhouse on Stroop...



And Polen Farm on Bigger Road...originally built around the time of the Civil War by the Bigger family, it was bough by a buisness associate of Charles Kettering, expanded, and turned into a country estate/hobby farm....an example of the 1920s--30s "estate era", where working farms in Van Buren Twp and Washington Twp where turned into estates/hobby farms.  Now its owned by Kettering and can be rented for things like weddings.





And Davids Church and cemetary ("for all faiths", as it says on the sign) ....not named for the biblical David, but an early minister....David Winters, a Reformed Church minister....(his brother, Valentine, founded the Winters bank, and the comedian Jonathan Winters is a distant relative)

(from The Land Between the Miamis, by Virginia and Bruce Ronald[/u]

...in 1833 he organized the First Reformed Church on Ludlow Street, where he preached in German and English on alternating Sundays. Meanwhile he continued his fathers practice of serving outlying communities, among them the "Creager Neighborhood" on the Lebanon Pike, where a group of farmers appealed to him to found an English-only church. An Evangelical Lutheran congregation in the neighborhood also lacked a church and the two denominations joined togther...they erected a two story log church in 1830 naming it in David's Church in Winters' honor. Davind Cemetary was begun at the same time. David's Church and the cemetery where seperated in 1890.  The cemetery has always been open to all faiths.





...this church and cemetary is a local landmark in Kettering.

The first suburban developement in Van Buren Township was Oakwood, which was a real estate speculation associated with a horsecar line extending south from Dayton.  Platted in 1871 not much happened in Oakwood for the duration of the 19th Century....like a lot of Ketterings early suburban developement it was a "plat too far".

Oakwood didnt really take off until the arrival of the electric streetcar and the electrification of the Oakwood Street Railway comibined with the growth of National Cash Register in the very late 19th century, which led to a boom in Oakwood.  The relocation of the country club also helped make the place fashionable with the local buisness elite, or some of them.
 
On the the north and east side of Van Buren township, the Dayton-Xenia interurban line built through the area.  The D-X also operated a  local streetcar service in Dayton. The streetcar service had  an end-of-line loop for this service off of Waterveliet.  The D-X led to a real estate boom and the developement of what became the Belmont neighborhood in Dayton. 

The D-X built or aquired a branch line down Wilmington Pike to Bellbrook, and the Cincinnati, Lebanon, and Dayton "steam road" also provided passenger service through the area.  This new acessibiltiy led to a small subdivision boom along Wilimington Pike, with the developement of the "Oakwood Extension"(but quite distant from Oakwood proper), Pasadena, and Oakdale.



By the end of WWI, on the eve of the Roaring 20s, the southward trend was evident.  By this time the D-X had abandonded its branch down Wilmington, but the Oakwood Street Railroad had extended down Far Hills deeper into Oakwood, which became, along with Belmont, the hot new suburban areas of the 1920s.  Interesitng enough it was still possible to commute from by conventional railroad via the station at Pasadena.
 


At the start of the Great Depression the template for suburban growth south was set...large areas had been platted during the 1920s, but much had not been built upon yet.  Also during the 1920s bus service became availble through the area via the "Dayton Suburban Bus Company' and also via long distance bus service to Bellbrook and and Lebanon.  However, i think by this time the automobile became the preferred choice of travel...thus this area became the first auto suburbs...



Van Buren Township experienced a boom at the end of the 1930s and early 1940s as military spending began to stimulate the economy.  Land that was vacant since the 1920s was built on, and some small new plats appeared.  Developement continued through the WWII era.  WWII developments include the partially Communist-influenced "Greenmont Viilliage" co-op housing complex & Gentile Air Force Station, as well as infill via small "emergency housing".  The very early postwar plats included Bromfield Drive off of Far Hills, and a plat east of Shroyer at Stroop.



The immediate postwar era was really one of infill of land that was originally subdivided in the 1920s..so great was the overplatting during that era.  However, after 1950, new subdivisions appeared, laid out in the familiar curvy street/cul-de-sac pattern we have come to associate with suburbia.  The postwar era also saw the first shopping center at Town & Country and large new industrial complex at Delco.



This thread will look more at the  prewar era,  the era of 1920s subdivisions as shown in this map



The Far Hills corridor had been subdivided as far as Stroop Road, but most of the areas south of Dorothy Lane had not been devleoped yet (in fact Dorothy Lane wasn't fully developed either).  The interesting thing is that these little subdivisions all had their own names and idenity.  In some other places, such as Louisville or northern Kentucky, they would have incorporated as small suburban cities.  This didnt happen in Dayton, which made it easier for the whole area to incoroporate as a single town...somewhat easier, as Kettering almost didn't make it as there where three "de-attachment" referendums after the initial vote to incorporate.  Castle Hills and adjacent areas and eastern Van Buren Twp wanted to seceed from "Kettering".   



...one of the interesting plats was Lincoln Park, which was connected to Far Hills Avenue via a narrow strip, Lincoln Park Bouelevard.  Only one house remains from this subdivision.  A dark side of this era of suburban developement was that all of this suburbia was "restricted"; only whites and gentiles could buy in the area due to restrictive convenants on deeds, and the promotions for these suburbs were explicit about this, too.

Some housing in this area, including Art Deco apartments.




The Wilmington Pike corridor was less upscale.  More of a continuation of "Belmont".  The subdivisions in this area clustered around the old 19th century Beaverton settlement, and includes what is probably Daytons only true "railroad suburb", Pasadena.





So. Starting with the oldest "Kettering" suburban area first, a few from Pasadena/Oakdale:



Pasadena

Pasadena depot








Oakdale













Beavertown

And, since we are in the area, whats left of Beavertown, 19th century villiage mostly obliterated by the widening of Wilmington Pike in the early 1960s.









Oakwood Extension

North of Dorothy Lane, West of Wilmington Pike, is the "Oakwood Extension"...which really isn't as it's not in any way next to Oakwood.  I'm thinking this was platted in response to the D-X branch line coming down Wilmington Pike, but never really took off until WWII, when some emergency housing went in. Then the place was built out in the late 1940s and 50s.   In some ways this is sort of a 'better Drexel'.....

Yet, there is a scattering of 'teens & 'twentys housing in this area.  Interestingly it was laid out in part w. curvy streets around creeks that cut through the property.  So, perhaps this is a good example of the transition from 'streetcar" to "auto" suburb.....

wartime housing?....



older











Wilmington Pike..though what we've seen so far is pretty old, the main drag through the area is, in look & feel, "postwar auto suburbia"..the suburban strip...



WWII emergency housing, which you will find alot of in Fairborn and Riverside, too....



Pre WWI..very early housing in this subdivision...







This plat actually has alleys...



Streetscape...



watercourse cutting through the plat, with a little footbridge.



Dorothy Lane, at the southern edge of the plat...
















...from 1916......



Nice bungalow...





and, believe it or not, this neighborhood is being redeveloped in parts....






Your 1930s dollhouse in Kettering, compelte with permastone veneer, snazzy glass block, and massive evergreen hedges...


















...and type of house ive seen a lot of in Dayton....



Oak Park

Staying north Dorothy Lane, a large area west of Shroyer was sudivided in the 1920s.  The pattern seems to be that the streets closer to Shroyer where built on first....the further east the newer the houses.  A mix of plats, but the largest was called "Oak Park".














..big dormers!




Your "Hansel & Gretl Cottage" in Kettering.....(or a suburban hobbit hole?)




















Included in this area is this street of art deco apartments.....








hokey tacked-on porch. ...







East Oakwood

South of Dorothy Lane, off of Far Hills....

Platted during the 1920s, this is good area to see the transition from 1920s to 1930s/40s styles...from the bungalows, foursquares, and a sort of "Dutch Colonial" style to the "olde englishe cottage"...the first houses went up in the 1920s, then nothing until the prewar construction boom.  Though we've seen a few  "Oaks" .."Oakwood extension", "Oakdale", "Oakwood", etc, this area really is a continuation of Oakwood in its housing styles.....
















good contrast between 1920s and 1940s housing..the last of the foursquares next to a 1940s cottage.







dutch gable and big dormer...you will see this style in Oakwood east of Far Hills, too....





budget version of a West-of-Far-Hills tudor revival estate



Time Travel on Rockhill Avenue....from the 1920s to WWII...foursquares and bungalows, to the olde english cottage, to bare bones WWII housing...



















WWII wartime housing.....











Various

South of Dorthoy Lane, still....some "Pearl Harbor Suburbia", Chatham, west of Far Hills, was all built in the 1940s, probably just before Pearl Harbor....(for the Daytonians reading this, this was, believe it or not, an early Huber developement)..West of Far Hills, the houses & lots are larger....




 








Another example (of which i don't have pix of) of "Pearl Harbor Suburbia" is Oakview, at the intersecton of Stroop and Far Hills. The other plat at this intersection, Castle Hills, wasnt built on until after WWII.

Lincoln Park...apparently a dead plat.  It was eventually redeveloped as the Kettering Civic Center, Fraze Pavilion and surrounding apartments and such.  Only one pre WWII house remains, this somewhat quirky bungalow one on Lincoln Park Blvd....



The outliers of prewar suburbia south of Stroop....off of Marshall, Rubicon Heights was an Olmstead Brothers desgin, but it wasnt built out until WWII and after..in fact it was barely built on at all...two of the houses from the 1920s....







Off of Far Hills, was Colonial Lane...again, apparently an early developement that wasn't really built out until after WWII.







...then, nothing until Centerville., which was also undergoing some minor suburban development in the 1920s and 40s....the area between was really still a mix working farms and country estates until the 1950s....with the occasional suburban house being built in the 40s...like this one....




This early suburbia is sort of a forgotten era, but for me its interesting as its a transitional era between "suburbia" and "the city"....if one can make such a distinction.  Dayton has a number of transitional areas like this, perhaps the others are better examples or maybe more interesting to explore the change from city to suburb as there are more commercial examples (we didnt see any on this thread)......North Main Street, perhaps, or Salem Avenue.  Then there are some good places to explore the "interurban suburb"...Ketterings Southern Hills, Moraine, but also Drexel, and North Dixie Drive. ..the change from transit-driven suburb to auto suburb.

Another aspect thats interesting or hidden is the diversity of this early suburbia...the different history and character of the various subdivisions.  Kettering as a political entity sort of obscures the diversity of the diffent types of developement that happened before 1950.  Nowadays people think sometimes of Kettering as sort of uniform, stereotypical suburrbia, but it is really not that way at all.


 



















































 

Offline Robert Pence

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2005, 07:46:30 AM »
Interesting and beautifully-documented tour, as usual!

When I read "Dorothy Lane," I conjure up an image of a cozy street in a gay neighborhood of quaint cottages with picket fences and meticulously-tended flower beds. :wink:
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Offline PigBoy

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2005, 09:30:07 AM »
Speaking of Dorothy Lane, do you know where that name comes from, Jeff?

Anyway, excellent work here as always.  You're right in that last statement... Kettering really is diverse in its style of suburbia, and your threads definitely prove it.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2005, 11:23:31 AM »
I read somewhere that Dorothy Lane was named after John Pattersons daughter.  Originally, it was only called that west of Far Hills (perhaps as a lane or park road in Hills & Dales Park).

Offline dfly

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2005, 05:21:19 PM »
Great tour.  It was good to see some of these neighborhoods.  When I interned for the City of Kettering, our department was doing quite a bit of work in some of these older neighborhoods.  The city would buy and fix up houses in these areas with CDBG money and then sell them to first time home buyers.
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Offline ColDayMan

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2005, 01:33:07 AM »
I'd be interested on a series on West Carrollton, as it has an interesting history, some quirky gems, the best Mexican restaurant in the state, and well...nobody talks about it. 
I love it when people come into a message board and immediately begin to mix it up.  I mean, Jesus, at least say hello!  Do you walk into a room full of strangers, pick a random woman, and tell her she's fat? - buildingcincinnati

Offline mrnyc

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2005, 05:35:30 PM »
so now el meson is the best in the state, eh? oh please -- folks beware restaurant advice from a well known cheeseball factory fan!  :laugh:
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Offline ColDayMan

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2005, 05:45:28 PM »
A). I don't go to the Cheesecake Factory anylonger as I've found a new love for a chain...(and it's only in Springdale)
B). Correct me if I'm wrong but was it YOU that said Popeye's Spicy beats Lee's crispy.  Pathetic and downright silly.
C). Name one better than El Mason.  Puerto Ricans in Lorain can't even cook a bistec.
D). Back off or you will PAY!
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Offline ink

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2005, 05:49:10 PM »
^Springdale? Hum...Carlo's?

Offline PigBoy

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2005, 06:34:19 PM »
Hang on, El Meson is not just a Mexican restaurant.

Offline ColDayMan

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2005, 01:37:23 AM »
^Springdale? Hum...Carlo's?

No.  Pappadeaux's :D
I love it when people come into a message board and immediately begin to mix it up.  I mean, Jesus, at least say hello!  Do you walk into a room full of strangers, pick a random woman, and tell her she's fat? - buildingcincinnati

Offline New Orleans Lady

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2005, 01:27:17 PM »
To ColDayMan - Hmm, El Mason is a great Mexican restaurant eh?  I will have to check that out.   I haven't enjoyed any Mexican cuisine here yet.  Everyone keeps talking about Chipoltle but I have never been to those yet either.  I actually enjoyed a damn good Cuban sandwich and Sangria soda at the 2nd Street Public Market today after I went on yes, another interview, in downtown Dayton.  It was my first visit to the market.  It was quaint and cozy and I did find a unique Christmas gift for a family member in Louisiana so it was a worthwhile trip.

To Jeff - great tour.  I have driven through some of the places pictured and I agree that Kettering is a neat, unique town.  I love the different style homes that they have.  Even its condos/town homes look so cozy and inviting.  Where is that Hansel and Gretle house?  I'd like to ride by and see that first hand.  I was invited to go to that David Church when I was talking to a lady at Dorothy Lane Market.  It's good to know it's "all faiths."  I find that people here are very church-friendly, meaning that everyone new I meet invites me to attend their church.  That is very new to me.  As religious (and sinful) as New Orleans is, you just never really hear of people inviting you to attend church and join in on worship service. 

It's very interesting to see the mix of urban and suburbia, and old and new put in together.  I personally enjoy house watching and like you, drive around and admire the homes and shops here.  I just don't get out my car and take photos like you do, especially on a day like today.... BRRRRRR!  :)


Offline Jeff

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2005, 05:34:29 AM »
Quote
Where is that Hansel and Gretle house?  I'd like to ride by and see that first hand.  I was invited to go to that David Church when I was talking to a lady at Dorothy Lane Market.  It's good to know it's "all faiths." 

  I'm not sure what street that Hansel & Gretl cottage is on...when I was taking pix in the area, in that case, I was in the car, taking pix out the window.   I do know It is on a east-west street off of Shroyer, east of Shroyer, north of Dorothy Lane..Peach Orchard, Broad Blvd, one of those streets....

David's Church is actually, nowadays, affiliated with the United Church of Christ..the old Congregational Church.  It is the cemetary, not the church, that is non-denominational...


Offline buildingcincinnati

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2005, 09:35:11 PM »
It's about time I got around to this.  Great work as usual, Jeff.  I'm learning a lot of things I didn't know about Dayton's environs through your series.  Thanks.
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Offline Clevelumbus

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2005, 12:36:18 AM »
Yes, great tour, thanks!!
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Offline ForeverGlow

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2007, 11:46:20 AM »
I know I'm 2 years late but that rocked. I like charming little houses like many of those.

Offline ForeverGlow

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2007, 11:46:51 AM »
Oh and Elsa's is the best.

Offline Jeffrey

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Re: Pre WWII Kettering..A Plat Too Far.
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2007, 02:52:57 PM »
Heh, using my blog to fluff old threads...Mwhahahaha!  ;-)

I have to say that this thread is inaccurate!

Subsequent research forces a correction.....

I was WRONG....the D-X interurban branch to Bellbrook left the D-X mainline at Smithville Road in "downtown Belmont", following Smithville out, not at Wilmington Pike, like this thread shows.

This is a key bit of urban geography, as it explains the early platting of subdivisions down Smithville, which is also notceable in the housing styles on S-ville and nearby sidestreets.

 
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