Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site

Photo By Chris Light at English Wikipedia

219 N Paul Laurence Dunbar St,
Dayton, OH 45402

https://www.nps.gov/daav/planyourvisit/paul-laurence-dunbar-house-historic-site.htm

Some places in Ohio are run by local history groups. Some places in Ohio are important enough for the Ohio History Connection to get involved. A select number of places in Ohio have even gotten the National Parks service to recognize them. One place in Ohio is run by the local, state, and national historical systems, The Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site.

Paul Laurence Dunbar was an African American poet at the turn of the 20th century. He wrote in both dialect and standard English. Dunbar became famous as a poet after self publishing Oak and Ivy, his first book, in 1892. After the popularity of the book he began to tour around the state, then then the nation, and finally England.  At the height of his career in 1902 Dunbar bought a house in Dayton for his mother. After he started to suffer medical issues he moved in to the house with his mother. On February 9, 1906 in the house he had bought for his mother Paul Laurence Dunbar died of tuberculosis.

The House was bought by the state in 1936 and turned into the first state memorial to an African American. It was later in the century that people started to notice his works effect on the larger literary world. Maya Angelou even named her first book after a line in Dunbar’s poem “Sympathy.” In 1962 the house became a National Historic Landmark. 30 years later it was incorporated in to larger Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park when the park was created.

The Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site is a small location with just the house and accompanying visitor center. The center contains a short film on the life of Dunbar, a few of his artifacts, and information about the history of the house. The House itself is a small 2 story building common of the area. Together the entire site can be visited in 1.5 hours.

While that may seem to small for a journey to the area, the House is only .5 miles from the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park’s Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center. The center contains more information on the life of the printers of Dunbar’s first Newspaper, Orville and Wilbur Wright. One could easily spend an entire morning visiting both the Paul Laurence Dunbar House and Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center, grab lunch at one of the areas great restaurants, and spend the heat of the afternoon walking around Woodland Cemetery where both the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar are buried. With the Carillon Historical Park, National Museum of United States Air Force, and the rest of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park one could make a long weekend in Dayton. Even being rewarded if they go to enough places.

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Woodland Cemetery – Dayton Ohio

118 Woodland Avenue, Dayton, OH 45409-2892

http://www.woodlandcemetery.org
This is a review of a cemetery. As with all cemeteries respect for the past, present, and future is required.

Woodland Cemetery is one of the most historic cemeteries in the state of Ohio.With hillside paths winding through the namesake woods and a large lake in the back Woodland is not just historic but one of the prettiest place in the city too.

Opened in 1842 and with over 170 years of history to it’s name. Woodland Cemetery is one of the most historic places in the city of Dayton. Most of the buildings are on the National Registry of Historic Places. The history also flows on to the grounds with it’s century old tress and large list of famous people laid to rest there.

100_2541Quite a few nationally known people are buried there. Orville and Wilbur Wright, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Erma Bombeck ,  Charles Kettering to name a few. The list of local celebrities buried in the cemetery is even bigger. Former mayors, sports figure, inventors, actors, gypsies, and others are all interned there. Most of the major streets in the Dayton are named after a person in the cemetery. John Patterson has a hillside plot. James Ritty, the man who’s invention made Patterson famous, is just on the other side. Almost every location in the cemetery has a view of one famous person or another.

The natural beauty of the place is another reason it is so famous. More than 3,000 trees grace the cemetery. 9 of them being Ohio Champions. They are big and beautiful through out the entire property. In the fall they give one of the best glimpses of Ohio foliage in the city. The large hills provide excellent views of surrounding area. Woodland Cemetery houses the highest point in the city of Dayton. The hill has been turned into Lookout Terrace. The terrace is a great place to get a view of the city or of the grounds. As with most of the cemetery grounds the walk is quite strenuous with roads going up and down in both directions. There is a road that leads to the top of the hill for cars to drive, but parking can be a problem.

Tours are offered quite often. There are a lot of tour options available. Tours of the nature of the cemetery, Tours of the famous people, Tours of the Historic landmarks, and many more are offered. Some are self guided, with plenty of brochures and maps available.  Some are guided by a tour guide. The guided tours often fill up fast, especially in the fall.

If in the Dayton Area and looking for a good walk through the history of not just Dayton but the world, visit Woodland cemetery. This should be on everybody’s Dayton must do list.