Thursday, March 27, 2008

An Invitation

Please join St. Anne's Hill Historic Society for our next meeting!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 7 p.m
Liederkranz Hall - Lower Level
Corner of Fifth and High Streets

This month we have invited a special guest:

Roane Smothers, Principal Planner
Department of Planning and Community Development

City of Dayton, Ohio

He is the City staff person responsible for providing "Certificate of Appropriateness" (COA) to property owners doing exterior renovations or repairs in historic districts. Mr. Smothers will give us a refresher on the City's guidelines for the COA process and answer any questions we might have for him.

The new fundraising stickers will be available for sale. As always, we'll also talk about some of our projects and upcoming activities for the neighborhood. Here's just a few to keep on your calendar:

  • April 14: "Mayor's Walk" with Mayor McLin and City administration;
  • May 6: Next general meeting
  • June 21: St. Anne's Hill Garden & Art Tour

If you'd like to become a member or join our mailing list, just write to or stop by the meeting.

See you there!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Creative Class

We have a lot of creative people in St. Anne's Hill.... musicians, singers, painters, and even some bloggers. Whether it's a full-time profession or just a hobby, there is no shortage of inspiration here. Perhaps then you've heard of the "Creative Class" initiative. Just in case you haven't, here is a quick overview.

The term "Creative Class" comes from Professor
Richard Florida, who has become internationally known as a leading thinker and researcher for the new economy of the 21st century. Basically, his main idea is that the successful cities of the future will be the ones who attract the creative class - that is, anyone who uses their brainpower to improve society.

So be it a graphic artist, computer programmer, scientist, or architect, these creative people will be the key to a successful regional economy. Simple enough? Ok, maybe not!

Anyway, here in Dayton there is a new initiative to build on Florida's work and get our own Creative Class mobilized in Dayton. This is a new grassroots effort, so there are plenty of ways to get involved.

For more information, check out
this post and then this post on about the program and how to participate. Here is another good page with lots of links.

For a concrete example of what the creative class is doing in Dayton, check out the Dayton Circus and look for their upcoming events around downtown.

Be Creative, Dayton!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Doebler's to Close

Some bad news for the neighborhood today...

High prices force bakery to close
By Tim Tresslar, Staff Writer
Dayton Daily News
Saturday, March 22, 2008

DAYTON — Few would envy the choice Holly Wabler faced earlier this month. Wabler, the owner of Doebler's Bakery, decided that she will close her specialty cake shop on April 19, ending its run of nearly 46 years.

The bakery's profits have declined, gnawed away by skyrocketing costs for flour and other ingredients, Wabler said. Combine that with the effort it takes to run a business, and Wabler said she realized it was time to close the 510 Xenia Ave. bakery.

"It was very difficult," she said.

Others in the industry also find themselves saddled with soaring overhead. The cost of flour, eggs and milk as well as crude oil and natural gas are buffeting the country's bakers, said Lee Sanders, a spokeswoman with the American Bakers Association. For example, flour prices have climbed 50 percent since January and 150 percent since May 2007, she said.

In Wabler's case, she has spent most of her life working at the bakery founded in 1962 by her parents, Robert and Geraldine Doebler.

"They say I was icing cupcakes when I was 4 years old, standing on a bucket," she said. Later, as a student at Wright State University, she'd arrive before dawn and work for hours before going to class. In 1983, she bought the business from her parents.

She continued to operate it as a full-service bakery until 1997 when she switched to baking cakes. This allowed her to start her day later and to cut back her hours, freeing her to take care of her ailing mother and her eldest daughter.

My wife and I bought our wedding cake there, and it was wonderful.... what little of it we had, anyway.

Predator Loses House

Recently, there has been some discussion about what we as a community could do if a sexual predator was living in the neighborhood. According to the Dayton Daily News, this could happen:
Court takes sex predator's home
By Doug Page, Staff Writer
Thursday, March 20, 2008

ENGLEWOOD — Chances are sexual predator Brian R. Gillingham won't be returning to Englewood after serving his 11-year sentence for gross sexual imposition of a 6-year-old boy. Last month, the U.S. District Court approved the forfeiture of Gillingham's house to the federal government.

"I believe this was the proper outcome," assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Stanek said.

"We frequently use the federal forfeiture laws in child pornography cases to take the instruments of the crime — computers, printers, video cameras," she said. "But this is the first time we've taken a house."

Gillingham, 41, was convicted in 2004 of the sex charge, plus seven counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor and one of possession of criminal tools — the computer.

"He can't come back to our neighborhood," said Mark Brownfield, the city's police chief.

Score one for the good guys on this one. Maybe this will be a new trend.

Sadly, even the suburbs are not safe from predators.
Just ask "Dateline NBC."

Liederkranz Events

Just got an email from the Dayton Liederkranz on High Street.
Here are their upcoming events:

March 22: Genealogy Group (1 p.m.)
March 29: Wine Tasting
April 1: St. Anne's Hill Neighborhood Meeting
April 2: GermanFest Planning Meeting
April 12: Progressive Dinner
April 27: Spring Dinner

They are kind enough to host our monthly neighborhood meetings in their Hall, so please give them your support if you are interested in German heritage! We'll see you there on April 1st.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Highway to Henry

I thought this might be interesting for some folks...

Last year we saw a really great
presentation about the history of the 5th Street corridor in St. Anne's Hill. So I was looking at the old Sanborn Maps (available from our local library) and noticing some of the ways the neighborhood has changed over the last hundred years.

For example, take a look at the block between McClure and Henry Street, circa 1896:

And take a look at it today, where the former Richard Street is now Josie Street:

As you can see, I added lines to show that this block of Henry Street was actually 25% longer before the highway was constructed. I would not be surprised to learn that they shaved off these blocks in order to spare Ruskin School on the other side of the highway, but I don't know that for sure.

The same thing happened on the surrounding blocks on the South side of the neighborhood. So you might imagine how different things might be if we had another 20-30 houses in St. Anne's Hill. Do you think the neighborhood be better off with those additional houses, or would there be too many? We'll never know...

P.S. Don't forget our regular meeting on April 1st!

Monday, March 17, 2008


The folks at SAH enjoyed the annual Lasagna Cookoff this saturday. The wine was chilled and the house was warm for all the neighbors who made their way to 4th Street. My thanks to Toby and Riley (the dog) for hosting the party.

There were 6 delicious lasagna dishes delighting the denizens of the Hill. Only one was crowned the winner, so if you weren't at the party, stop by our next meeting on April 1, 2008 to find out who won!

I noticed a few special guests, including songwriter Maery Lanahan, who was in town to visit Pat & Jim. We also saw a few new neighbors like Steve & Heather from McClure Street (with baby in tow) , and the two Iraqi refugees who have moved in on 5th Street. I think everyone made them all feel welcome.

If you think you have the best lasagna in town, come back next year and see if you have what it takes to compete!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Garden Tour

It's on the website, so it must be official! St. Anne's Hill will be hosting the first "Garden & Art Tour" on Saturday, June 21. We will have more information in the coming weeks, but for now let's say that this will be a huge expansion over previous Garden Tours in SAH.

As we gear up for the big day, we also had this announcement today:

The St. Anne's Hill Garden and Art Tour is having a poster contest! All children, grades K-5 in public, private, parochial or home school, who live or attend school in the City of Dayton are eligible. "What does home and garden mean to you?"

First prize: $100 savings bond
Second prize: $50 savings bond

All entries will be on display during the Garden and Art Tour on Saturday, June 21st from 10 am - 4 pm. All entrants will receive a ribbon!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Leah Turnbull, Co-chair
SAH Garden & Art Tour 2008

For a sneak preview of what to expect, take a look at these pictures from the 2006 Garden Tour. It should be a lot of fun, and there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to volunteer. So put on your gloves and plant those tulips, because spring is here!

P.S. If you are first time visitor to the blog, please make sure to get on our email list by contacting and get all the latest information. For only $6 per year, you can become a member of the St. Anne's Hill Historic Society and get our newsletter mailed to you every month as well.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


St. Anne's Hill is now selling stickers! They are black on white and made of high-quality vinyl, so they will last a long time on your car, baby stroller, or guitar case. Here is the design:

Stickers will be available at upcoming meetings and events for $1 each, or 3 for $2, while supplies last.

Also, we are now taking orders for T-shirts. Long and short-sleeve tees are available with the same logo as the stickers. Contact Leah via to order your shirts.

Now you have two great ways to show your support for St. Anne's Hill!