Discover urban gardens on St. Anne’s Hill 50th anniversary tour

This year marks the 50th anniversary of St. Anne’s Hill as a historic district and of the St. Anne’s Hill Historical Society. As part of the celebration, The St. Anne’s Hill Historic Home and Garden Tour invites guests to spend a leisurely afternoon experiencing the neighborhood’s many historical residences and urban gardens.

“We are very excited to show people how our homes and gardens have changed during the last 50 years,” said Mary Jo Dupree, Garden Tour Committee chair. “This year, we will be featuring five gardens on our evening tour on Friday June 7, and 12 gardens on our day tour on Saturday June 8.”

For the self-guided tour on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., start by checking in at 48 High St. at the Dayton Society of Artists gallery to receive your map, then spend a few hours in this lovely neighborhood. In addition to the homes and gardens, the ticket serves as entry to the Tea Garden, featuring a complimentary selection of drinks and light refreshments.

Dupree said this year also marks the return of private luncheons. With an additional ticket on Saturday, guests can relax and enjoy a private luncheon catered by Salt Block Biscuit Company. This additional ticketed event on Saturday, she said, “will provide you a glimpse into what it’s like to spend a day in this inner-city historic neighborhood.” The luncheon starts at noon on June 8 and it includes the garden tour, which visitors can enjoy before and/or after the luncheon.

“Salt Block Biscuit Company was created by a former resident of St. Anne’s Hill, and we are excited that they have created a special menu for this tour,” said Dupree. “The private lunches are all about relaxing. Enjoy a lovely catered lunch in a gorgeous setting created just for you and your friends.”

Guests can also witness the magic during the St. Anne’s Evening Experience Tour on June 7 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Dupree said the evening offers a more intimate, leisurely, self-guided stroll through several gardens and various libations will be served. “Soak up the atmosphere and ambiance that is uniquely St. Anne’s.” (This event has a limited number of tickets available.)

The garden of Alan Leonard and Christopher Sidner is one of the homes that will be featured both days.

Leonard said St. Anne’s Hill offers architectural styles such as Federal, Second Empire, Gothic, Eastlake and Queen Anne. His 1869 home is a beautiful example of Federal architecture, which flourished in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

“We love our garden patio area because, living downtown, most people wouldn’t think of having a space with such privacy and bliss,” said Leonard. “We influence each other on ideas and are always pushing our own limitations.”

This event is rain or shine. Tickets are $36 for the Friday evening tour, $18 for the Saturday garden tour and $45 for the private luncheon and garden tour. Visit to purchase tickets. There are no refunds.

For more information, email or call 937-830-2475.

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