Dayton project aims to show obscure sides of city

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A local project aims to show the obscure parts of the Miami Valley’s past and present.

Dayton Unknown, a photo series and blog, was founded by local residents Sara McDaniel and Bethany Kmeid. The two best friends said the project’s inception happened about two years ago as a way to celebrate the city.

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Kmeid said a big part of their motivation is to spark excitement about the city’s significant contributions to society. The duo took a short break from updating the project, but are now back and ready to share more history and even more unique perspective.

How did the Dayton Unknown project get started?

We started the Dayton Unknown blog in January 2014 to change the perception of Dayton — as having both a fascinating past and a promising future. Through our Instagram and the blog, we answer questions you never thought to ask.

How does the project shift the perception of the city?

We think that many people — natives and outsiders alike — do not realize how interesting and historically relevant Dayton is. Our blog gives insight into Dayton’s past and our Instagram shares highlights of the city today.

What are some of the best hidden or unknown spots in Dayton?

• Pondview Park in Kettering

• Hills and Dales Lookout Tower in Kettering

• Inventors Walk at Riverscape

• Wright Library in Oakwood

• Library Park in Miamisburg

What’s an interesting historical fact about Dayton?

Kentucky-born Daytonian Franklin Sousley was one of the six men who helped raise the flag in the iconic Iwo Jima photo.

How does Dayton Inspire you?

“The driving force behind my research and writing for Dayton Unknown is knowing the history,” McDaniel said. “I can walk through the different neighborhoods and picture the events that took place on that very spot over 100 years ago.”

“I love being able to stand in spots in Dayton and think to myself, ‘This is what people looked at 100 years ago.’ I capture the images in my photography,and I then share on the Dayton Unknown Instagram account,” Kmeid said.

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