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Paul Laurence Dunbar House, Dayton

4.3
#7 of 11 in Museums in Dayton
The Paul Laurence Dunbar House was the 1904-1906 home of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar in Dayton, Ohio. It is a historic house museum owned by the state of Ohio and operated by Dayton History on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society; it is also part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. It is located at 219 Paul Laurence Dunbar Street (formerly called North Summit Street) in Dayton.HistoryDunbar had a long association with Dayton. He was born there in 1872, the son of former slaves, and his first poems were printed in the Dayton Herald in 1888. His first book, Oak and Ivy (1892) was published in Dayton by the United Brethren Publishing House as well.After serving as an elevator operator in Dayton and meeting some success for his writings, Dunbar took a job in Washington, D.C., at the Library of Congress.Dunbar purchased the home for his mother, Matilda Dunbar, in June 1904. The house is an eight-room brick structure on a quiet street. When Dunbar separated from his wife Alice Ruth Moore in 1902, he moved in as well.By the time Dunbar moved into the house, he was very sick with tuberculosis. He also suffered from alcoholism. It was in this home that Dunbar died in 1906. His death that February was signified by a black wreath which hung on the front door of the home.
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Paul Laurence Dunbar House Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
44 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We only visited here because we were working on getting our WilBear, but WOW - we are glad Dayton coerced us into visiting! First, the ranger here was outstanding. He was absolutely the best ranger wh...  more »
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar was a renowned poet and writer and one of the leading Dayton historical figures. The Wright Dunbar area of Dayton is chocked full of history and exhibits. Definitely worth the vis...  more »
Google
  • Brought my kids here on spring break for a bit of local black history experience. Also my son attends Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School wanted him to be familiar with the namesake of his school. Believe it or not this is not a required field trip for any grade level at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School.
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar was a phenomenal influence for writing and poetry, especially focusing on the African American experiences and struggles. The park ranger I had, Kathleen, was incredible with facts and in depth knowledge of Paul as well as his home and family. The center is clean and accessible. I would go back with friends and family to show them a great part of Dayton's rich history. It's too bad that Paul Laurence was such a terrible person though...an excellent writer but a horrible human to his wife. I don't think he deserves the amount of fame, but that's not sorry me to decide. His poetry is amazing and he is garbage.

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