Photos can ‘speak’ volumes about our ancestors and their lives long before we knew them. You might not have a family collection of images but those with relatives from Dayton, Ohio can find a nice collection of photos online at the Dayton History at the Archive Center. Of course there won’t be photos from the area taken in 1810, but in general there is a good assortment that do cover the last 100 years, going back to the early 1900s.
The city of Dayton, Ohio dates back to 1796 when the region was the wilderness frontier of early America. Some of the early families to settle there were named: Newcom, Davis, Chenoweth, Thompson, Ferrell, Van Cleve, Grassmire, Goss, Dorough Gahagan, McClure and Hamer. To learn of these and other long-time Dayton families the online site provides some information.
Many of the images available come from the National Cash Register (NCR) Archives. As you explore the different sections in the collection you will find normal, ordinary portraits of life in Dayton. A classic example is the ‘Woolworth 5 & 10 Cent store with customers and merchandise in June 1926‘. A typical scene your grandmother may have experience decades ago can be displayed for you now.
Don’t be surprised to find a few other photos from other locations, like California in the collection since the NCR was a national company. The best selection is in the ‘Making Progress 1890 – 1929’ collection. Here is the life, work and times of the places and people in the Miami Valley spanning some 40 years.
Look over the ‘Who We Are: Dayton Neighborhoods Project’ where some thirty Dayton neighborhoods have photos, ethnic background, location history and interviews of long-time residents of those neighborhoods telling of their experiences there from the 1913 flood, to wars, and the Great Depression.