Historical marker project targets Oakwood beginnings

This is one example of the types of historical markers the Oakwood Historical Society is seeking to erect starting next year, the 150th anniversary of the Town of Oakwood. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
This is one example of the types of historical markers the Oakwood Historical Society is seeking to erect starting next year, the 150th anniversary of the Town of Oakwood. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Oakwood incorporated in 1908, but its beginnings were rooted decades before – and the Oakwood Historical Society is looking to commemorate those early days.

The OHS has started a fundraising project to install markers at several sites in the city with the goal of having the first erected by next year, the 150th anniversary of the platting of the Town of Oakwood.

“We have a lot of interesting historic sites or places here,” said Debra Edwards, preservation chair for the historical society.

This is one example of the types of historical markers the Oakwood Historical Society is seeking to erect starting next year, the 150th anniversary of the Town of Oakwood. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
This is one example of the types of historical markers the Oakwood Historical Society is seeking to erect starting next year, the 150th anniversary of the Town of Oakwood. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

“It’s just something we would like to preserve for our current residents and future generations,” she added.

For example, Hawthorn Hill, the former home of aviation pioneer Orville Wright, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But what is lesser known is how some roads around the mansion — Dixon and Harman avenues — got their names.

William Dixon and Gabriel Harman worked with tanners Isaac Haas and Patterson Mitchell to plat Oakwood in 1872 after the four bought more than 70 acres just south of Dayton, not far from where Wright would build his home some four decades later, records show.

The historical society is seeking donations to erect markers that help explain the platting and about 10 business and other locations significant to Oakwood’s past.

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Among them is the Kramer Pleasure Gardens. Kramer Road was the location of the original home to William Kramer’s Winery and Pleasure Gardens in the 1880s and near the current site of the Dayton Country Club, according to OHS records.

OHS members have worked with Springboro officials in researching markers, Edwards said. They would vary in cost, depending on size and style, with estimates at the first one being around $2,500, she said.

“In order to have continuity for all of the markers we would like to see someday in Oakwood, we are proposing that we have our own design – one that would be unique and special to our community,” Edwards told Oakwood City Council.

The organization’s goal is erect one marker per year. To date, it has received one donation and it is not enough to cover the cost of the first marker, which the OHS would like to place near the city building, Edwards said.

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OAKWOOD HISTORY

The list of sites the Oakwood Historical Society would like to create markers for includes:

•Town of Oakwood,

•The Kramer Pleasure Gardens

•Four Mile Tavern

•Schantz Grove/Lookout Tower

•Schantz Historic District

•Katharine Wright Park

•The Woodlands Indian Mound

•First School

•First Library

•Long-Romspert Homestead

•Hawthorne Hill

Source: Oakwood Historical Society.

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