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St. Anne's Hill Historic Society Papers

Identifier: MS-400

Scope and Content

The St. Anne's Hill Historic Society collection includes administrative records for the Historic Society's Board of Trustees and General Membership; posters, bulletins and invitations for various events; the Society's monthly newsletter and other publications; scrapbooks on various subjects, photographs, news clippings and information on various topics of interest to the Society and residents of St. Anne's Hill, such as crime, nuisance properties, etc.

The records of the St. Anne's Hill Historic Society are divided into 9 distinct record groups or series, several of which contain subseries. These series are grouped by size. Inside the series, the subseries are grouped alphabetically and then chronologically. The entire collection encompasses approximately 150 years (1862-2009).

Series I: Administrative Records Due to the large quantity of records and the important information located within those records, Series I was divided into several subseries. Subseries IA, Board of Trustees Meetings, documents specifically the Board of Trustees meeting minutes from 1983 to 2007. Subseries IB, General Membership, includes General Membership meeting minutes (1990-2007) and also member lists, and applications for membership from 1975 through 2000. Subseries IC, Governmental, contains the constitution and subsequent amendments, by-laws, articles of incorporation and office procedures, and duties, for the Society. Years in this collection span from 1974 to 1987. Subseries ID, Studies and Surveys, relates to a variety of local government funded studies dealing with the St. Anne's Historical District (1968-2000) and also several surveys done by the Society for its members (1992-2000). Subseries IE, Other, is a miscellany of administrative records, including logos for the Society, web-site information, insurance records and neighborhood maps. Records in this collection span the years 1862-1999.

Series II: Correspondence This primarily consists of the SAHHS newsletters (1977-2009), and also one folder containing several letters of general correspondence.

Series III: Special Events Each of these folders contains all the information pertaining to a particular event, including financial information, publicity, artwork, news clippings, etc. There are three concentrations in this series relating to Christmas events, Home and Garden Tours, and Other Holidays and Events. The first contains all information on the Christmas events the Society has staged since 1979 and biennially through 2007. The next contains all information concerning the Home and Garden tours that, like the Christmas celebrations, have taken place since the late 1970s through 2006. The third, "Other Holidays and Events," (1977-2007) includes a variety of smaller folders on other seasonal celebrations and special events occurring in and around St. Anne's Hill. Series IV: Topics Series IV is broken up into concentrations consisting of People, Properties, and Issues. The People concentration primarily deals with two people in particular Alice Woodward who was a member of St. Anne's Hill Historical Society and owner of the famous Steamboat House, and also Lee Smithson, who was the Society's president for a number of years and a local inventor. In addition there is a small collection on other noteworthy people in the neighborhood. The concentration on property includes news clippings, documents, and any other information about the many properties in the St. Anne's Hill District. Also included in this concentration are inventories, property histories, and real estate information. This grouping dates from 1869 through 2000. The Issues section, is a collection of documents related primarily to issues of construction, crime, and neighborhood cleanup.

Series V: Financial Concentrations in this series include annual budgets and spending accounts from 1980 through 2000. Next in this series is Grants & Loan information from 1974 through 1996, and the series finishes with tax information (1994-1998) and a folder of miscellaneous undated financial information.

Series VI: Publicity Series VI includes news clippings dealing with general goings on around the neighborhood. Also included in this collection are announcements and publications published by the Society. This collection spans from 1960 to 1982 .

Series VII: Scrapbooks This collection consists of a series of scrapbooks chronicling the neighborhood throughout the last 150 years. There is also one book that came filled with nothing but slides of historic properties. Collection dates from 1862 through the1990s .

Series VIII: Audio Contains one undated cassette tape of an oral history with Alice Woodward.

Series IX: Oversize The oversize series is put together of documents taken from Series I through VI. The pieces are too large to fit in the folders with the rest of the corresponding series. In Series I through VI, a "Document Removed to Oversize" paper will be stored in the proper folder.


  • Creation: 1858-2011
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970-1989


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

History of St. Anne's Hill Historic Society

The area now known as St. Anne's Hill was originally part of the City of Dayton's "out-lots" first plotted in 1815. The name "St. Anne's Hill" appears as early as the 1830s in newspaper advertisements promoting products for a greenhouse/nursery in the area. Unfortunately no explanation on the origin of the name has been discovered.

Early on, the neighborhood became home to several prominent businessmen, like Swiss immigrant and botanist, Eugene Dutoit, who erected the area's first residence, a farm and mansion, just north of Fifth Street in 1838. This beautifully restored home, one of the oldest residential structures in the city of Dayton, still stands at 222 S. Dutoit Street.

Another early resident of St. Anne's during the 19th century was William Bomberger, a German immigrant and Dayton businessman, who built his estate across 5th avenue from Dutoit. It was demolished in 1908 to make way for the Romanesque Revival style Bomberger Park which became Ohio's first public recreation center. It is still in use today.

Throughout the late 19th century, housing need substantially increased with the influx of immigrants primarily of German origin. These working-class homes were constructed to serve the demands of the ever-increasing immigrant population coming to serve Dayton's industries and the domestic needs of the large estate homes on "the Hill". The homes also reflected improvement in the social and economic stature of some parts of the neighborhood during those years. In the waning decades of the 19th century, as German tradesman and workers experienced financial successes, the homes they built became increasingly architecturally detailed, ornate, and more costly.

St. Anne's Hill flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and soon developed numerous civic institutions required for its growing numbers of families, including churches, clubs, societies and schools. Stivers High School, built in 1914, became Ohio's first vocational high school.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II a decade later, St. Anne's became densely populated and many of the prominent homes were divided into rental units. Properties suffered from over-use during the post-war housing shortage. In the late 1950s and 1960s suburban flight began as increasing numbers of residents flocked to the suburbs. Growing absentee landlord rates left many residents without the resources or motivation for property maintenance.

By the 1970s, St. Anne's Hill had lost many architecturally significant structures and this roused the attention of some long-term residents. A small group of neighborhood preservationists soon formed and petitioned the city for a local historic designation for the neighborhood. St. Anne's Hill, the eleven square block neighborhood in southeast Dayton, became the city's second designated historic district in 1974.

Shortly thereafter the St Anne's Hill Historic Society was formed and has since functioned as one of Dayton's strongest and most active historical societies. It has as one of its constitutional purposes to "unite" those who live in St. Anne's Hill "in the preservation, restoration and improvement" of the neighborhood. Since the mid-1970s it has continued to make revitalization its number one priority.

The SAHHS's work paid off in 1986 when St. Anne's Hill was entered into the National Register of Historic Places. Today, restored homes line shady streets and exhibit some of the finest vernacular architecture and flower gardens in the city of Dayton. Since the mid-1970s, the St. Anne's Hill Historic Society has sponsored and developed many community events, including Christmas, home and garden tours and monthly and seasonal social events such as Porch, Patio, and Deck parties, Fourth of July celebrations and Oktoberfest at the Liederkranz German Club.

In addition it also holds neighborhood meetings monthly to share information on issues with its members. Improvements in the district continue non-stop, making St. Anne's Hill and its historic society a shining example of urban renewal and historic preservation.


26 linear feet

Language of Materials



The collection includes administrative records for the Historic Society's Board of Trustees and General Membership; posters, bulletins and invitations for various events; the Society's monthly newsletter and other publications; scrapbooks on various subjects, photographs, news clippings and information on various topics of interest to the Society and residents of St. Anne's Hill, such as crime, nuisance properties, etc.

Statement of Arrangement

The St. Anne's Hill Historic Society Papers are organized into 9 series:

  1. Series I: Administrative
  2. Subseries I: Governmental
  3. Subseries II: Board of Trustees
  4. Subseries III: General Membership
  5. Subseries IV: Studies & Surveys
  6. Subseries V: Other
  7. Series II: Correspondence
  8. Series III: Special Events
  9. Series IV: Topics
  10. Series V: Financial
  11. Series VI: Publicity
  12. Series VII: Scrapbooks
  13. Series VIII: Audio
  14. Series IX: Oversize Materials
Guide to the St. Anne's Hill Historic Society Papers
Finding aid prepared by Gino Pasi, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • Aug. and Dec. 2013: Additions processed by Ximena Chrisagis
  • May-June 2014: Additions processed by Ximena Chrisagis

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA