Wednesday, October 10, 2007

South Park Plats through 1870

A sort of real estate history of South Park and vicinity through 1870, when the neighborhood assumed its more or less final street pattern.

(note: For the maps and graphs, mouse over and click and they will enlage, if you want detail).

Starting out with the out lots as of 1828, just after Coopers Executor's platted their land.

By this time I think the out lots were just offered for speculation or at best some sort of market gardening. If I knew how to do title searches I could ID ownership from 1827 to the time the town lots were platted. But like all neighbohood history, where do you stop?

Tom Owen, Louisville alderman and historian/archivist by trade, said that with neighborhood history the more you did the more questions you raise.

Anyway, this is the framework. One now literally fills in the squares.

The 1829 Plats

The canal opens in 1829, and that year the fist plats appear. I will take a look a bit at the Oregon and the area between Main and Warren as a context, so show how South Park developed along with these areas.

Here we see the Brabham plats on Brabham Hill, mostly gone due to Cliburn Manor. And the start of Pulaski Street north of what is now Burns. The Brabham plat was really chopped up, and later replatted. The oldest house in South Park, the 1840 House, sits on this plat.

An early Oregon plat shows here , too: the start of Jones Street.

The 1830s...early Canal Era.

Much more plat activity in the 1830s. The Oregon is starting to form up as the out lots get platted. The first Buckeye Street plat appears, and Pulaski is extended north to the end of an out lot. J. Burns plats road frontage on Warren: in the 1850s his heirs will plat the rest of that out lot. David Pruden plats "Dock Street" along the canal.

Seelys Ditch was built in the early years of this decade, cutting through the Brabham plats, but generating extensive plats of its own. The 1832 Lodwick's Adminstrators plat , related to the ditch, extends wll beyond this map, to ecompass the Haymarket neighborhood and the areas north of 5th (Bainbridge Street). I don't know who Lodwick was but 5th Street was originally named for him. That this was platted by "administrators" might indicate that he might have went bankrupt and his land sold off?

We also see the familiar "Brown" name appear as partner in a plat south of Jones Street.

The 1840s

An active real estate era. Buckeye Street is finally completed via the 1845 Dodson's heirs plat, and what is now Lincoln Street completed via the Shartel plat.

The first parts of the South Park Historic District appear, with the Brown plats at the southern end of the study area, and the plat north of Hickory Street on Brabham Hill, east of Emerson School.

The T & RP Brown plat is part of a group of outrider plats on Main & Warren Streets. This was the decade that the Fair Grounds and Woodland Cemetary was established, so perhaps intensifying interest in real estate south of town, more down Warren and Main than on Wayne.

Note that we see the City Council getting involved, platting an outlot south of the Pruden plats. Pruden was probably the ancestor of the co-founder of the Sachs-Pruden brewrey, todays Hauer Music building.

The 1850s & Park Drive

The 1850s is a key decade is this is when we see some important plats. The 1851 Jones Plat of Bonner Street would eventually set a block module for the monster 1870 plat, and is a good case study street for building substitution and for a few examples of early Dayton workers cottages.

The big story here, though, is the appearance of Park Drive. I speculate that T.W. Prosser, as the first platter here, probably had something to do with the laying out of Park Drive, or that the blocks around were laid out by others, sold to speculators (like Prosser and his partner), and then subdivided. I speculate that this was when the watercourse was set down the middle of the drive. Wyoming Street appears at this time, and Oak is extended to Wayne.

Another new feature is the extension of Brown Street through the 1829 Brabham plats. This occured sometime between 1850 and 1862.

At the end of the decade three outlots get subdivided by Brady and Corwin. Two Bradys and Bradys' Executors appear on the plat record, so this was an active familiy in subdividing the south side.

The 1860s

The 1860s is not a particularly active decade due to the Civil War, but after the war platting starts up again. We see the finishing up of that big Brady & Corwin plat by Bradys executors', and one of the last large plats in the Park Drive area. The Wayne Avenue area gets a plat by S.N. Brown extending Clover from across Wayne.

The Council is also pretty active this decade platting bits and pieces of left-over out lots.

South Park in 1868-69. Decades of platting but not much construction (particularly on Park Drive).

A note on this map: although structures are shown on lots, they might not be the structure that is currently on the lot. Like Cincinnati and Over The Rhine, some of these older Dayton neighborhoods underwent a building substituton (though not as drastic as in OTR).

Plat Volume by Family and Year

Taking a look at who platted what. The numbers here come from the area bounded by Main, Wayne, Wyoming and, say, I-35, excluding the peripheral areas you see in the maps above.

When I say "family" here, I mean groups of people by the same name, or their heirs and exectors. One can see a host of smaller players, but then a cluster of larger landowners/speculators, subdividing the larger outlots.

Then looking at the volume of plats through time, to 1869. I put in some local things that might impact real estate activity, and then lay-in two financial panics and the Civil War as national events that could affect things. Not much of an affect other than the Civil War and maybe the 1857 crisis.

The Big 1870 Plat

Finishing up with the huge 1870 plat. This area, and Park Drive, is what we think about when we think about South Park. This plat came at around the right time as horescars where extended down Wayne in the early 1870s (and on Brown). making this area more accessible.

I also show a small 1873 Brown plat finishing up that corner of South Park.

There is probably a lot to say about this plat, in how it extends streets, alleys, and block dimensions from the surrounding plats, making the plat integral with its surrounding development. And the solid block fronts on Wayne for, perhaps, buisiness use. New street names are probably from the platters (Perrine, Bradford, etc).

This was not the end of platting as there was smaller lot splits and internal subdivisions. But 1870 pretty much marks the last big plat for the South Park.

Next, a closer look at the buildings of South Park, first at corner stores, then some of the houses when I go to Rehabarma.


kevin said...

Amazing, Jeff.

Do the sources give any first names, Jeff? I would like to capture and periphrasis some of this information for wikipedia and for South Park's website. What are your thoughts, since you obviously did all the hard part?

I'm also looking for a topographical map to support your waterway west of Park Drive. My guess that the sewer part simply t-boned into something buried on Brown/Warren instead of wrapping around north of Fairground Hill.

Do think the executors Brady & Corwin were in direct inheritance of the Cooper Plats by default?


Jefferey said...

Sure, feel free to use what you want for the SP website & wiki

As for the names, in most cases all I have are the initials. As you can see a working knowleage of local geneology would be helpful in some of this. The other source would be go to the city directories to look up the surnames and first names to see if any match.


My guess on the original route of that watercourse was based in part on the dip in Alberta street in the block north of Oak, and the dip in the alley paralleling Alberta just west of Alberta. I figured that might be a likley route of a watercourse.

A 1 foot interval or at least a 3 or 5 foot interval contour map would probably tell a lot, but I'd be suprised if they exist for Dayton. Lexington, Ky, has them (the city was mapped at fine scale via a Federal grant in the 1970s), and they are remarkably revealing.

I think when the 1840s plats were made the stream was put into some sort of pipe or culvert, but I figure it went downhill somehow to Seelys ditch.

Assumption being that it might have followed Warren, as Warren would be following the route of least resistence up that bluff, which would be any dip or gully.

Yet, who knows how much cutting and filling has been going on over the years, obscuring the original lay of the land


Brady & Corwin was some sort of partnership. I assume that after Brady died he still owned property in the plat, which was platted by the executors of his will.

Corwin could have been Thomas Corwin, the whig politican (from Lebanon)? Or one of his relatives? That would be interesting to know as it would tie South Park to a figure in Ohio and US history:

Those out lots was platted in 1827 by Cooper's Executors (I think one was named Phillips), and Brady & Corwin platted the town lots in 1849. That leaves 22 years for the land to change hands in sales and resales.

Anyway, that Corwin connection is really intriguing.

kevin said...

Oh, boy. A quick search may give your theory a little push: In the introduction. Thomas apparently had some stake in the gem city. But the name is still quite common and as you pointed out, it could also be a relative.

What Tom Owen said.

Betsy said...

I happen to know this because this is where my house is. The Brady and Corwin property was originally purchased from Daniel Cooper by Luther Bruen, and inherited by Bruen's daughters, Priscilla Bruen (Mrs. Samuel) Brady and Eliza Bruen (Mrs. Robert G.) Corwin, and platted by their husbands.

It is particularly interesting because Luther Bruen and Samuel Brady were both active in the abolitionists and worked on the Underground Railroad. Luther's role is written about in one of the Dayton or county histories (don't have the citation at hand, but I could look it up).

After Samuel Brady's death there was a fascinating Memorial published in the Dayton Journal (May 15, 1880) by the African-American community saying he "was a friend of the colored man in the days when it required courage and was sometimes involved personal sacrifice to befriend him. He was an Abolitionist long before the war, and one of the workers of the "Underground Railway" and was instrumental in aiding many a slave to reach the promised land of Canada."

Well, that's enough for now. . .