“It's a pretty interesting building, a beautiful old home, a link to where we've been and where we're going” (“Home” 23). This quote, by a Montgomery County Historical Society representative, is referring to the Patterson Homestead located at 1815 Brown Street on the south edge of Dayton Ohio (Cline 14). This house, now filled with artifacts and distant memories, once held a more priceless artifact of sorts, the Patterson family. The quote captures the very essence of this house, but the house captures the essence of the city itself. It was in the Patterson Homestead where a young man would grow up to found the National Cash Register Company, which would catapult Dayton to greatness, then leave it to decay. Now, Daytonians must consider the second part of the historian's statement – where is Dayton going? The house and the legacy of its old inhabitants can give citizens hope by reminding citizens where Dayton has been. The Patterson Homestead, now a historical tour site, was once the home base for pioneers, Col. Robert Patterson and his grandson, John H. Patterson; the house has endured remodeling and harsh economic times to remain a treasure to the community.
Around 1803, Colonel Robert “Indian Fighter” Patterson purchased a two thousand acre farm in Montgomery County Ohio (Mitchell 2). Colonel Patterson was one of the three major founders of the Dayton area and built the Patterson Homestead in 1816 on the land where the city would eventually flourish (Mitchell 1). During the war of 1812, Col. Patterson was appointed quartermaster of the troops mustering in Dayton (Mitchell 1). It was during this time that he joined George Rogers Clark and Daniel Boone to “settle” the Ohio Territory (Mitchell 1). Even though Col. Patterson was the founder of Lexington, Kentucky, he fell in love with the Dayton land and decided to build a house for his wife, Elizabeth, and what would eventually come to be their eight children (Cline 14).
The house, originally made from log, was built on the famous Rubicon Farm which stretched into modern-day Oakwood (Mitchell 2). The land around the house encompassed large orchards, a cider press, a tobacco shed, and a sugar camp in addition to a mill and a pond (Corbin 27). The style of the house evolved over a forty-year period until it embodied a Federal-style architecture characterized by a square structure, understated exterior decorations and a simple porch and moldings (Mitchell 3). The stately, white home passed into the hands of the colonel’s son, Jefferson Patterson and his wife, Julia, in 1840 when the colonel passed away (Corbin 27).
Visitors to the house today still swear that the ghost of Colonel Patterson sometimes greets them, dressed in riding boots and full military attire. He is especially seen walking up the stairs to the now off-limits third-floor corridor. Other tales haunt the old homestead, and the the level of supernatural activity is always high. Rocking chairs move on their own, things ...