Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Germany

Before there was a Colonel Glenn Highway there was "Germany". Later "New Germany"

From the 1918 history of Greene County:

The village of New Germany is a small cluster of houses in the extreme northwestern corner of Beavercreek township situated in the northwest quarter of section 5 township 2 range 7 on the Harshmanville road The records do not reveal when the site of this village was first settled Apparently the first residents of the little village were of Teutonic origin because the name applied to the settlement is New Germany The village is not situated on a railroad

The 1881 history of Greene County has this very brief mention:

Germany is a small collection of houses in the extreme northwestern part. of the township, on the Harshmanville road, and at present, has a school-house, grocery, and blacksmith shop.

The above early map (early 20th century) notes the village. Incidentally this was not a platted village, like Bryon or Alpha, but just a locality, a sort of crossroads place.

New Germany was close enough to Dayton to see some very small suburban growth when the automobile use became widespread in the 1920s & 30s. The village was fairly close to Dayton, just across the county line.

The earliest road was one of the routes to Yellow Springs, from the Springfield Pike at Harshmanville to the Dayton-Yellow Springs Road at Five Points area in what is now Fairborn. But other roads junctioned here, like the New Germany/Trebein Road and Grange Hall Road, before heading down the long slope or hill into the Mad River valley.

Int the 1920s an alternative route appeared via the Third Street Extension. This and the old Yellow Springs road disappered in the 1940s when Wright Field expanded, breaking a direct road connection with Harshmanville. Instead Airway Road replaced the Third Street Extention as the route into Dayton, as a main commuter route to the base prior to I-675.

Roads to "New Germany" today:

...the big impact being various moves to support I-675.

From a 1930s-era county engineers map, land holdings in New Germany look fragmented, but these were mostly just small farms with, perhaps, tenant houses. Some late 30s/early 40s subdivision action happens later, not on this map. One can't ascertain stores or if there is still a school here, either.

Only one plat shows on the 1930s map, the "Zink Addition". During WWII houses appear on some of the leftover land (from base expansion) to the east (right) of the Zink Addition. As one can tell the Zinks were the major landholders here.

One can also see the property labled "New Liberty Welfare Association". This extended north along National Road into Bath Township. One wonders if "New Liberty" was a patriotic attempt to rename New Germany during WWI? And what was the nature of that welfare association?

New Germany today, from the Greene County auditor website. One can see how the land has become quite parcellated, yet the some of the old 1930s land lines are still visible in outline.

Next, a look at what's left and some analyses one how this early form of ribbon residential development (which is found elsewhere in Beavercreek) was recycled into commercial use.

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