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A piece of history found at the Dille House

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Anyone that travels through the intersection of Wilmington Pike and Feedwire Rd. feels a sense of loss with the Dille House long gone. The once lush, shady corner that embraced the Dille Mansion now consists of acres of dirt mounds with the future of retail stores and parking lots. Even though a piece of history seems to have been ripped away, during the excavation of the property, a time capsule was found behind the cornerstone that was given to the late Charles Dille's daughter, Carole Dille. With the family’s permission, the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Historical Society will open the capsule during their next meeting on September 8 at 7 p.m. in the Bellbrook Presbyterian Church on Franklin St.

“The contents may reveal some information about Robert Patterson or conditions in the area in 1937,” Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Historical Society member, Alice Wiseman said. “The time capsule measures 12” x 12” x 2” and was put there when the house was built in 1937.”

The mansion was designed by the nationally renowned architect, Ellason Smith of Schenck and Williams Architect Company. He was known for his Tudor designs, which are also known in the Oakwood area. The mansion was built for Robert Patterson, the grand-nephew of NCR’s founder, John H. Patterson. Robert Patterson also became a senior executive for NCR, helped bring the local Boy Scouts to the area, was one of the founders of the Dayton Rotary Club and was active in the Chamber of Commerce.

“Dr. Charles Dille purchased the residence in the 1950’s and their children went to school here [Bellbrook]. Two of them later taught in the school district,” Wiseman said. “Doctor Dille operated the Dille Laboratory on Far Hills in Oakwood for a number of years.”

Dr. Dille and his wife occupied the mansion with their eight children. The 6,202 square foot house had a three car garage, a pool, barns and over 7- acres of woods. The Tutor style house also consisted of 6-8 inch limestone, which added character to the mansion. The mansion became vacant after Dr. Dille’s death in 1999.

“The property, known as the Sweet Arrow Farm, was a land mark in Sugarcreek Township,” Wiseman continued. “Many admired the stone manor house and wooded grounds.”

After Dr. Dille’s death, the house was placed in a trust for his eight children. Because of the location, the fate of the house was sought after by developers. After a long battle with the courts, Oberer Companies purchased the property and have cleared the area for retail stores. Cosco Wholesale is expected to open in the fall.

Members of the Dille family are expected to attend the opening of the time capsule and a history of the property will be presented by the historical society.

“It has not been determined what Carol Dille will do with the time capsule and contents once it has been opened,” Wiseman said.

For more information regarding the opening of the time capsule, contact the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Historical Society at (937) 427-9356.

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