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Historic South Park, Incorporated Records

Identifier: MS-443

Scope and Content

The Historic South Park, Incorporated Records document the organization's actions to regulate, govern and improve the South Park Historic District. Researchers will gain insight into issues facing the District, as well as the group's attempts at keeping it beautiful. Records are incomplete, as fire destroyed nearly all records prior to 1980.

Series I, Administrative Papers, documents the weekly dealings of the organization. This series consists mainly of Executive Council and General Assembly meeting minutes, as well as minutes of various other committees. Included as well are the organization's founding Constitution and Bylaws, membership lists, financial documents and incoming and outgoing correspondence. Correspondence is divided into incoming and outgoing, to keep original order of collection.

Series II, Marketing and Events, consists of newsletters produced by South Park and the city of Dayton, newspaper articles and other documents. The majority of this series contains information on South Park's many events, namely their themed Home Tours, Rehabarama and Summerfest events.

Series III, Architecture and Infrastructure, includes files on numerous residences, businesses and landscape initiatives within South Park. It is split into two Subseries, Architecture and Infrastructure, and Organizational Grants. Subseries IIIA contains files on numerous residences, businesses and landscape features (photos and files mostly relating to restoration), Parks Committee meeting minutes, Public Events Committees meeting minutes, and zoning documents along with a wide variety of architecture and landscape planning and documentation. Numerous photos and files of individual residences are contained in this Subseries. Subseries IIIB contains a multitude of organizational grant proposals and paperwork, including grants responsible for the improvement of Blommel Park, the creation of the Tot Lot, and installation of the District's wooden boundary signs. Nearly every community improvement project were funded through these grants.

Series IV, Community Affairs, contains newspaper articles, documents and files relating to the South Park community and Dayton as a whole. This series covers controversies relating to historic architecture guidelines, class conflict issues, and zoning issues. Series IV also provides several historical sketches of South Park, contains the files of the South Park Preservation Works, and several University of Dayton student projects focused on the South Park community.

Series V, Audiovisual and Memorabilia contains numerous pieces of memorabilia containing either HSPI's name or South Park's logo. Media items include a VHS tape, South Park Soliloquy, a DVD copy of South Park's annual "Shakespeare in the Park" theatre show, and a data disc containing scans of two photo albums. Fragile items are separated into a separate box (Box 12).


  • Creation: 1977-2009
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1984-1998


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in 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 Historic South Park, Incorporated

The South Park District of Dayton has a long and storied history, nearly as long as Dayton itself. Originally woodlands and hunting grounds, its land was first settled in 1796. Colonel Robert Patterson was one of the first to buy land, eventually buying 2,400 acres for a farm named Rubicon. During the War of 1812, South Park was a campground for American troops. When the Miami and Erie Canals were constructed, South Park was home to five boat docks. During most of the 1800s, the South Park area was known as Slidertown, which was nothing more than shacks and ramshackle houses in open areas. In the mid-1880s, John Patterson founded the National Cash Register Company, and built its factory on the Rubicon lands. He ordered the surrounding grounds beautified, followed by the rest of the neighborhood. Patterson suggested the renaming of Slidertown to South Park, which soon became home to thousands of N.C.R. employees. The neighborhood became a pleasant and desirable place to live. Residents built houses in multiple architectural styles, lending to South Park's uniqueness as a Dayton community. Examples of Queen Anne, High Victorian Italianate, Eastlake, and Cottage styles still exist to this day.

The South Park Improvement Council (SPIC) was founded in the 1950s to protect these architectural examples and to provide guidance for new residents. The group successfully applied for Historical District status in the early 1980s. SPIC was renamed as the Historic South Park, Incorporated in the early 1990s, and exists to provide guidelines for construction as well as protection of its historical designation.


4.85 linear feet

Language of Materials



The Historic South Park, Incorporated Records includes organizational documents, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs and physical memorabilia related to the South Park Historic District of Dayton, Ohio, and the group responsible for managing it, Historic South Park, Incorporated, formerly the South Park Improvement Council. The collection documents the organization's actions to regulate, govern and improve the South Park Historic District. Researchers will gain insight into issues facing the District, as well as the group's attempts at keeping it beautiful. Records are incomplete, as fire destroyed nearly all records prior to 1980.

Statement of Arrangement

The Historic South Park, Incorporated Records are arranged into five series and two subseries:

  1. Series I: Administrative Papers
  2. Series II: Marketing and Events
  3. Series III: Architecture, Infrastructure and Grants
  4. Subseries IIIA: Architecture and Infrastructure
  5. Subseries IIIB: Organizational Grants
  6. Series IV:Community Affairs
  7. Series V: Audiovisual and Memorabilia

Technical Requirements

Some VHS tapes and DVD videos are included in the collection, and will need appropriate technology to view.

Acquisition Information

The Historic South Park, Incorporated Records were donated to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives by Galen R. Wilson on behalf of the organization, in February of 2010. The donor was acting Treasurer of HSPI, and a long-time member. Additional materials were donated October of 2010.

Related Material

MS-400, St. Anne's Hill Historical Society Collection

Guide to the Historic South Park, Incorporated Records (MS-443)
Finding aid prepared by Adam Greaser, March 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

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