8 quirky facts you might not know about Dayton’s suburbs

What do Johnny Appleseed, canned ham shaped trailers and concrete lions have in common?

All of them have a story related to the Miami Valley. Here’s a look at 8 intriguing anecdotes from our communities:


1. Englewood: Lookalike letters. The original name for Englewood, founded in 1841, was Harrisburg. After a few years it was renamed Iamton after Harvey Iams, the first postmaster. The letters “I” and “J” looked the same during that time period, so the town was later called Jamton.

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

» RELATED: Englewood, a community steeped in history, incorporated 103 years ago


2. Germantown: Molding an icon. Ever wonder what the story is with the concrete lions seen around Germantown? Resident Homer Kern created the concrete lions found in the community and on display in more than 10 states. Kern worked for Buckeye Concrete in the 1930s, and the company had a mold in the shape of a lion. Kern made more than 300 of the 400-pound lions that can be found at libraries, parks, universities and businesses. When he retired at 95, Kern gave his last statue to Germantown.

Credit: BILL REINKE

Credit: BILL REINKE

Explore» RELATED: Pretzels, lions and whiskey: what to know about historic Germantown

3. Moraine: An apple a day. “Johnny Appleseed,” left an enduring mark on Moraine. John Chapman (the seedsman’s real name) planted a grove of apple trees west of Dorf Drive while hiking from Urbana to Cincinnati in the 1820s. In 2010 the city honored the 236th birthday of “Johnny Appleseed” and planted for second generation trees from the original seeds.

» RELATED: Moraine, a hub of innovation, marks 52 years as a city


4. Trotwood: Canned hams. Trotwood Trailers, founded in 1932, was one of the first recreational vehicle manufacturers in the United States. The company was a leader in the industry producing some of the first side-door entry recreational vehicles as well as classic “Canned Ham” travel trailers.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED


5. Kettering: A moniker for a new city. The first proposed seal for the City of Kettering bore the motto, “No Place Is Someplace.” The seal was designed by Judith Irelan, a Fairmont senior, for a contest held in 1956 sponsored by the city, Southern Hills Lions Club and the Kettering Board of Education.

» RELATED: Happy birthday, Kettering! Here are 9 things to know about its history


6. Lebanon: Wide turning range. Lebanon was laid out by a surveyor in 1802 with the intersection of Broadway and Main streets at the center of town. Broadway was designed to be six poles wide so a six-horse stage would be able to turn completely around.

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

» RELATED: 5 things to know about Lebanon’s long history


7. Huber Heights: Brick by brick. Huber Heights was known by the line “America’s Largest Community Of Brick Homes” for years. Founder Charles H. Huber’s company built more than 10,700 single-family homes and 2,250 multi-family units there between 1956 and 1992.


8. Beavercreek: Lucky break. One of the oldest structures in Beavercreek was discovered by accident. The Philip Harshman House was discovered in 1985 when workers removed wood siding from a home scheduled for demolition. The original log house, built between 1803 and 1807, was located on North Fairfield Road. It was moved to Wartinger Park on Kemp Road.

Credit: Diana Blowers

Credit: Diana Blowers

» RELATED: Happy birthday, Beavercreek. Here are 5 things to know about its history

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