7 one-of-a-kind places that have made fond memories for generations

The Dayton and southwest Ohio are filled with locations that residents have visited for generations to develop some of their fondest memories.

Here are seven of them:

Miamisburg Mound (video above)

Miamisburg is home to one of the largest remaining native American burial mounds east of the Mississippi River. The mound is located on a high hill in Miamisburg and was marveled at by early Ohio settlers.

The mound is still revered as a connection to Native Americans and has seen many school field trips, family outings and visitors since becoming a park in 1920, when Charles F. Kettering purchased it. Kettering subsequently gave the land to the Ohio Historical Society in 1929.

» MORE ON THE MOUND: What you should know

Caesar Ford Park (Blue Jacket) 

The final production of the play Blue Jacket in 2007 left the Caesar’s Ford Park Amphitheater standing untouched for more than 10 years. While outdoor theater fans have had a decade to mourn, Greene County Parks & Trails has ideas for the park after the faux rock-covered stage and light tower are removed. Horse riding trials and a bike trail connector to the Xenia-Jamestown Connector are being considered.

» READ MORE: What’s next for Blue Jacket?

Island Park 

Filled with huge mature trees and plenty of paved paths, the park has playground equipment and picnic shelters. For bicyclists, the Great Miami Bikeway runs north through the park, crosses the Great Miami River on the Gayle B. Price Jr. Bridge to Triangle Park and becomes the Stillwater River Trail, which goes to Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark.

The icon of the park is the Band shell. Built in 1940 when canoeing, picnicking and playing in the park were very popular, the Band shell hosted shows that entertained thousands every year and reached 80,000 total attendance in 1943, according to Five River MetroParks.

» READ MORE: The outdoor charm at Dayton’s island park you didn’t know about

Dayton Arcade 

Anyone who has ever been to the Dayton Arcade has perceptions of what the Dayton Arcade is. There is the ornate and patina-green main entrance on West Third Street, the stately-looking shop fronts and apartments on the West Fourth Street side, the tall apartment building on the corner of Fourth and Ludlow and the arched windows and white brick of the South Ludlow Street side.

And all of this is tied together by the 198-by 200-foot market area under the domed rotunda that is ornately decorated with symbols of food prosperity (turkeys, rams heads, cornucopia-like fruit sculptures). Ohio recently granted $5 million in historic tax credits to allow developers to move forward with renovation plans. The Dayton arcade has been sitting empty since 1991.

» MUST-SEE: Views of the Dayton Arcade like you’ve never seen it before

Fort Ancient State Memorial 

The Fort Ancient State Memorial is located on a wooded plateau about 260 feet above the east bank of the Little Miami River in Washington Twp., Warren County.

The Native American Hopewell people built an earthworks embankment wall that surrounds approximately 125 acres of the plateau during their presence between the 1st century BC and the 6th century AD.

The land on which Fort Ancient exists was purchased by the State of Ohio in 1891 to become the first state park.

» READ MORE: How researchers know this was built as a ceremonial space


SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park is located south of Dayton along the Great Miami River. The park is a partially reconstructed, Fort Ancient-period American Indian Village that covers about three acres and is named for the astrologically aligned poles in the center of the village.

The park, complete with recreated lath and daub houses with thatch roofs, opened in 1988 after 17 years of archaeological excavation. Because of its archaeological and historical significance SunWatch was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1990.

» READ MORE: What you should know about SunWatch

Woodland Cemetery

While this is a more somber location than the others, Woodland Cemetery has been a Dayton institution since 1841 and includes some of the most beautiful views of the city.

It also hosts creative and unique memorials honoring those at rest there.

» WHAT TO SEE: 5 unique memorials at historic Woodland Cemetery

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