SALEM AND RIVERVIEW PIKES
By Charles F. Sullivan
In January 1819, the Bridge street Bridge was opened for public use, with a toll gate at the north end of it. The rates for its use, were for a two horse load, 12½ c, empty wagon 6 ½ c, two wheeled carriage 6 ½ c, man & horse 3 c pedestrian 2 c.
From this I infer that a two wheeled carriage was common, but in my recollection there was only one two wheeled vehicle that was common in my boyhood days and it was a two wheeled dray, which was very handy for hauling merchandise from the railroad to the stores.
After crossing this bridge, and turning to the west, on the river side, was a two story brick apartment house, to accommodate about ten families and beyond that, Adam Schantz had a brick slaughter house on the river bank, and he was considered a very prosperous butcher. September 1876, early in the evening before dark, it took fire and burned completely down. The sparks from this fire, flew across the river and settling upon the houses over there made quite a fire scare. Every one was upon their roof to brush off the sparks and nothing occurred. When this was rebuilt, he made it into a brewery.
On the north side of River street, now called Riverview, between Central and Salem, were two residences, set way back from the street and fine lawns in front of them. This was then a fine suburb of Dayton.
Across Salem on Riverview, Winegartner had a brick residence and close to it on the west, he operated a slaughter house and the smell from it was anything else than pleasant. Upon the opposite side of the street C Schwind owned a brewery, about four stories high and very few windows in it.
There was a ford from W First street crossed the river, never any too safe to ford, and the road from it is now called Chicago Ave, and this joined Riverview about two squares from Salem.
North Williams crossed Wolf creek with a one lane wooden bridge located in front of what is now the U. S. postoffice Station B.
This bridge was washed away in the flood of May 1886, and the city moved the creek to its present location.
There were very few houses along there until coming to Broadway which was not yet cut through. West of Broadway on the north corner was a large brick house with a fine lawn. Across the street backing up to the creek were several houses, one used by J. W. Allison a pattern maker for the Columbia Bridge Co and another used by Harvey Hanlon a carpenter. Beyond this, there was quite a sharp down hill and on the north side of the street was a brick house back from the road and a truck garden filling all the space between it and the road. Then the railroad came close by, paralelling the pike, it was only single track and running many miles absolutely in a straight line. At Rosewood ave where the bridge now stands, Mr. J. H. Krug had a dairy up on quite a hill. Beyond this was one more brick house and the farms along there were rented. The road then made an S curve to Wolf creek which it probably crossed by a ford, but a steel bridge was erected there when I was quite small. Here it joined Western Ave called the Wolf creek pike.
Just before coming to the railroad again, Philadelphia Drive turned off to the north and running to Salem without a cross road or house upon it, it was woods almost the entire distance.
Here we gathered Blue Bells on the west side of the road and wild pflocx whish we called sweet Williams.
Returning to Salem ave, Holt and Edgewood streets had a very few houses upon them. Large lots was the rule on Salem and only an occasional house set way back from the street.
J. O. Arnold, grandson of Gorton Arnold, both old and influential citizens of Dayton, owned a farm west of Salem ave and north of Bermestreet and J O saw a way of developing Dayton view.
He organized the Dayton View Street Car Co building the car barn where the present loop is at North and Salem and using the present route to Fifth and Main, there turning west to Ludlow and to the Union depot and retracing back from there. This line was soon after merged with the Oakwood and ran cars straight through as now, as far as the N C R Co, where their barn was located.
He laid out Superior ave parallel to his south line and began selling lots there. He cut Arnold place through in front of his old farmhouse, which he re-modeled into a very nice residence and lived there the balance of his life.
On the east side of Salem, north of Superior, Capt. C. B. Stivers principal of the Central High School, and W. C Mayer teacher of music in all the schools, built brick homes for their families and used them as long as they lived and they are still standing.
Prospect ave came into Salem, now called Grand, from the east and about 1891 was cut through to Forest ave.
Central ave was an old street at that time, running to Riverview with about a dozen houses upon it. W. M. Mills of the Dayton Globe Iron Co, W.W. Barnett in the hardware business on east Third, were Jewell & Vinson now hold forth, and W. H. Sunderland a teacher in Wilt’s Commercial College and others lived upon that street.
North Ave then called Summit, had a grocery upon the corner of Salem run by Kramer and this was outside of the corporation line.
I built a home at 40 Glenwood in 1896 and it was also in Harrison township and I had to go to Kramer’s grocery to vote.
Lexington, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and Harvard Blvd, were being constructed as the College Park addition in 1905.
Leaven Cottom lived in a house then standing about where Manhattan enters Salem, and farmed all the ground almost to Grafton. He was a member of Grace Church at the corner of Fourth and Ludlow and it was a long trip for him to go to church.
If he lived there now it would be easy for the church would be just across the street. Beyond this about the end of Warsaw a man by the name of Kidd had a greenhouse and made a living out of flowers. His son Chas Kidd later came to town and ran an insurance agency for a long time.
Beyond this Catalpa Drive came in from the north, but there was no sign of its ever running south.
The Dayton Greenville and Union Traction was building into Dayton just before this century and were afraid that the bridge at Bridge street would not be strong enough to hold their cars.
So they opened Fairview ave for their line and later the city widened and improved it. The Traction then used the line of the Peoples Railway into the city.
A real estate firm, then platted the woods west of Catalpa and north of Salem, offering a free ride by traction out to see the lots offered for sale. This made some business out there and now it is all built solid.
S. S. Mumma had a farm south of Salem and sold it and bought the corner of Fairview and Philadelphia, and thought he was safely away from the city. Now the Good Samaritan Hospital is located there. The traction made it possible for people to live out in the country and work in the city and that made a demand for lots along the tractions in every direction out of Dayton.
Marcellus S. Benn bought a farm on the east side of the pike platted it in 1905 and sold off the lots quickly, calling the place Fort McKinley. This went off so nicely that he bought another farm across the pike and developed it as a part of Fort McKinley. He erected an electric plant to furnish electricity to the entire plat and that was a great inducement to people to buy the lots so as to get electric lights. Whether power plant paid expenses or not, I do not know but since it sold off all of his lots, it made him money in selling his lots at good prices.
Later the D. P. & L. Co came along and took over the lighting business and the plant was removed.
I am quite sure that there never was a toll gate upon this pike for I never saw any evidence of it. Beside the road running from Trotwood to Fort McKinley is now called the “Free Pike” and by going to the Main street bridge, which was advertised as the free bridge, they could escape paying toll.
This was one of the earliest pikes out of Dayton, crossing the river at the ford to Chicago Ave then turning to the right to Salem. The first Bridge street bridge was washed away in 1852 and replaced soon, by another wooden structure. This lasted until I was almost grown and probably about 1884, when a steel structure took it place. However three steel spans had been added to the bridge to reach the levee about 1868.
All of this was later removed to make space for the Concrete bridge which has done good service for many years.
Chas F. Sullivan Dec 8 1943.
114 E. Idaho St Apt C Boise Idaho.