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St. Anne's Hill
A Historic Perspective

   St. Anne's Hill is a remarkable and diverse neighborhood. It has gone the full cycle from agricultural out-land, to an ethnic core, to a flourishing streetcar community and presently, a re-gentrified historic district. It has a history of hosting diverse social and economic groups and its architecture reflects this diversity.

   The area now known as St. Anne's Hill was part of the original out-lots of the City of Dayton which were plotted in 1815 by Daniel C. Cooper. Although not settled for several decades, by the 1830's the first documented use of the name "St. Anne's Hill" for the area is found in newspaper advertisements promoting the sale of nursery stock from a greenhouse in the area. Unfortunately, no explanation for the origin of the name has been discovered.

   During the first half of the nineteenth century, several farmsteads were built on the hill. Swiss immigrant and botanist, Eugene Dutoit, erected the area's first residence, a farm mansion, on a 111 acre tract of land in 1838. He built his home and farm with orchard, vineyard and nursery on the north side of Fifth Street. That part of the hill eventually became known as "Vinegar Hill" because of the smell of ripening fruit from his orchard. His beautifully restored home, one of the oldest residential structures in the city of Dayton, still stands at 222 S. Dutoit Street.

   Another prominent resident of St. Anne's at that time was William Bomberger, a German immigrant and lumber business operator who became Treasurer for the City of Dayton. He built his estate on the south side of Fifth Street. That side of the hill appropriately became known as "Bomberger Hill." His estate was later demolished in 1908 to make way for Bomberger Park, a large recreation-oriented park at the corner of Fifth and Keowee.

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