The house where famous Dayton poet lived and wrote before his untimely death

Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and his mother, Matilda, purchased this home on Summit Street in 1904. 

Dunbar, one of the first internationally known African-American writers, had been diagnosed with tuberculosis and bought the house to ensure his mother would be secure.

»RELATED: Just as he left it, Dunbar house a frozen view of poet’s treasures

The Paul Laurence Dunbar House is the subject of this week's update to the popular Then & Now photo feature, which explores past and present views of notable Dayton locations. 

THEN

Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and his mother, Matilda, purchased this home on Summit Street in Dayton in 1904. In 1936 the house became the first state memorial to honor an African American. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OHIO HISTORY CONNECTION

NOW

The Paul Laurence Dunbar House, located at 219 Paul Laurence Dunbar St. in Dayton, is a museum to the poet. Dunbar, one of America's greatest poets, gained international acclaim duirng his career. The state memorial houses many of his personal belongings. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Though ill, Dunbar wrote prolifically while living in the house, publishing many written works including “The Heart of Happy Hallow,” “Li’l Gal” and “Howdy, Honey, Howdy.”

Dunbar died at home on Feb. 9, 1906. His mother lived there until her death in 1934.

In 1936, the house became the first state memorial to honor an African-American.

>>RELATED: Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar were high school buddies

Today the home appears much the same as it did at the time of his death and is a museum to the internationally acclaimed writer.

WANT TO GO?

What: The Paul Laurence Dunbar House

Where: 219 N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St. in Dayton. Start your visit at the visitor center entrance located on Edison Street (just around the corner from the Dunbar house) where you can view a movie and see artifacts and exhibits dedicated to the life of Dunbar.

Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last tour at 3:30 p.m.

Cost: Admission is free

More info: 937-225-7705, ext. 224 | Website

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