Everyone seemed to like the little historical tour we did last month so we thought we’d try it again! This month we will be taking a bicycle tour of McCook Field and Old North Dayton. This area of Dayton has the second highest concentration of jobs in the city, most of them industrial.
On this tour of Dayton we will stop at two points of interest, McCook Field and the Duncarrick Mansion. Along the way we will pass by the Downtown Dayton Dog Park at Deeds Point and the home of DATV, the local public access TV station. It will be a short 4.5 mile ride ending at the Yellow Cab Food Truck Rally.
McCook Field was one of the first Army Air Force bases, first opening on December 5, 1917. In 1919 it became the location of the Aviation Service’s Engineering Division. Much early aircraft research and development was done at this location. Because of the field’s unusually small size, they had to build one of the world’s first paved runways to land the planes. A sign was painted on the hangar to warn arriving pilots, “This field is small use it all!”
The Duncarrick Mansion can be seen from I-75, just north of Route 4. This farmhouse was built in 1850 and bought in 1887 by a prominent Dayton lawyer by the name of Grafton Kennedy. The home was developed by the firm Peters, Burns and Pretzinger. Pretzinger is Dayton’s foremost native architect. Several of his buildings are included on the National Registry of Historic Places. This home is in the American Provincial architecture style with Tudor detail. After Grafton Kennedy’s death his daughter Katherine, who was born and raised there, remained in the homestead. Katherine had her own political career fighting for women’s rights shortly after the women’s suffrage movement. The Kennedy family was influential enough that, when I-75 was being built, they requested it be moved west to avoid their property. If you ever wondered why there is that sharp curve in I-75 at the Route 4 interchange, now you know it’s because of the Kennedy’s.
We will end our ride at the Yellow Cab Food Truck Rally on 4th Street.