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5 Strange Historical Facts About Dayton, Ohio

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1. Dayton was Founded on April Fool's Day

I couldn't make this fact up. The next time you're sitting in traffic thinking that Dayton is a joke, keep this fact in mind. On April 1st, 1796, Benjamin Van Cleve and 11 other settlers traveled up the Great Miami River to 'discover' the Miami Valley. There were already a few camps of Fort Ancient Native Americans inhabiting the area.

2. Dayton is the Home of Ohio's Official Rock Song

Rumored to be written about a Steubenville singer, Hang on Sloopy by The McCoys is an American Classic and the unofficial fight song of Ohio State University. But, did you know that The McCoys originated from Dayton? The McCoys gained a following while playing the Forest Park Plaza in Dayton. Hang on Sloopy was designated as the official song of Ohio on November 20th, 1985, 20 years after it first topped the charts.

3. In Dayton You Can be Transported Back in Time... by Beer!

At historic Carillon Park, you can visit the new Carillon Brewing Company for brews and food... old fashioned style. Half of the building is occupied by a huge hearth that dominates the atmosphere, offering both a smokey smell and your dinner show. Brewers in authentic 1800's garb here will prepare batches of beer, from mash all the way through the fermenting process. This is the only place in the United States that makes beer as in the 1800's.

4. Dayton Came Before Ohio

Dayton was actually founded in 1805, just 7 years before Ohio was officially a state.

5. Dayton was Named after a New Jersey Congressman

Johnathan Dayton (1760-1884) gave money to Aaron Burr for an initiative to conquer the Southern U.S. and never set foot in Ohio, much less the Miami Valley. The city seems to be named after Dayton because he was the youngest man to sign the U.S. Constitution and, with other wealthy lawyers at the time, owned 250,000 acres in the Miami Valley area.

Dayton was accused of treason for his involvement with Aaron Burr. Burr shot and killed his political rival, Alexander Hamilton, in a famous duel, and tried to take the southern part of the country from the U.S. While Dayton did not have to face a trial for the funds he gave Burr, the incident damaged his political career beyond repair.

Upon his death, Dayton was placed in an unmarked grave in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

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