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Tucked into a corner of the horseshoe area formed by a bend in the Great Miami River, McPherson Town was founded on February 1, 1845. On this date, an Irishman named Samuel McPherson filed a plat consisting of 34 swampy, wooded lots on both sides of Dayton and Covington Turnpike. The center of this plat was located at the present day North Main St. and McPherson St.
McPherson Town, and much of Dayton was devastated by the flood of 1897 and the Great Dayton Flood of 1913. Many homes were destroyed or badly damaged. Current residents still find pounds of flood mud in walls and ceilings during renovation projects.
In the years following World War II, Dayton citizens began their head-long flight to the suburbs, leaving an aging and declining inner-city, including McPherson Town. After years of neglect, the area was slated for bulldozing and urban renewal. Residential property was purchased for speculative purposes, including commercial development, highrise condominiums and an interstate highway. But in the early 1970’s, a few key private investors recognized the unique historical significance of the neighborhood and began to renovate several old homes. With this, a move to obtain historic district status began.
In August, 1977 Dayton declared McPherson Town its third historic neighborhood and structures were protected from future urban renewal efforts. In 1988, McPherson Town was registered on the National Register of Historic Places, bounded by Main St., Great Miami River, and I-75 and Downtown Dayton.
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