The Great Flood of 1913, a disaster for the City of Dayton, started the
area on an inevitable decline. During this flood, Oregon was covered by
ten feet of water and after this many of the residents began to move out
to higher ground. World War I and II accelerated the decline and nearly
all of the old established families abandoned the area to absentee
By the 1960's, urban blight had become so intolerable that the city
began to consider clearance and redevelopment as the only answer. In June
of 1966, the Chicago firm of Bertrand Goldberg Associates was hired to do
a site-plan and economic feasibility study. Their recommendations to save
approximately 125 structures and to raze the reminder as part of an
elaborate restoration scheme failed due to lack of funding. However, their
study did focus attention on the area and served to reinforce the belief
of some interested citizens that the area possessed something of
intangible and irreplaceable value.
In 1972, the city created the Burns-Jackson Historic District to
preserve the area. The name was later changed to the Oregon Historic
District. Oregon was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in
1974. The District today consists of twelve city blocks bounded on the
north by Fifth Street, on the east by Wayne Avenue, on the south by the
Route 35 Expressway and on the west by Patterson Boulevard, once the site
of part of the Miami-Erie Canal. The construction of the expressway
established the final definitive boundary of Dayton's oldest neighborhood
as it exists today.
Dayton's history is here in the homes of some of its first residents.
We hope the evidences of the rebirth of the area are as exciting to you as
they are to those of us who are new to the District. We are proud of
our efforts and welcome this opportunity to share them with you.
Beginning of story