Sunday, December 7, 2008

East Dayton before the 1880s: 19th Century Exurbia

East Dayton east of Tals Corner was mostly subdivided after 1875. Before that it was an early version of exurbia; large lot estates, land held in speculation, and farming for the city market.

The first map that has some detail on what was actually built on the land in East Dayton was the 1869 Titus map. Structures (mostly houses) and roads based on this map show a light scatter along the roads leading out of town (the six farmhouses featured in the previous threads are are shown in heavier outline).

The basics of the modern road system are already there, with 1st, 3rd, 5th, Smithville, Findlay, Irwin, Burkhart, Huffman, and Linden all in existence in one form or another.

The city limit was still at Tals Corner, but the Huffman and Craighead 1856 plat (in light orang) had already extended the street system and town lots past Linden.

The 1875 Combination Atlas map shows the early 1870s annexation eastward to roughly Findlay Street. The atlas also permits the mapping out of orchards, so one can see a concentration of orchards on Huffman Hill and the old Gillespie quarter-section north of Burkhart

Huffman Hill appears as a little cluster of farmhouses or suburban villas with intensive agriculture. The suprise here is a small cluster or settlement on Springfield Street, which is obscured today by subsequent plats and industrial development.

Drawing the property lines, the impression is that this area was more densely settled than it was, indicating perhaps early land speculation and absentee ownership, or that individuals owned multiple parcels.

In any case the land fragmentation along Huffman Avenue is quite apparent, as is the concentration of settlement. This was apparently a favored area, based on the relative density of houses on the land.

The pattern of property division would be the palimpsest for the post-1875 land development boom on the east side.

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