Stivers Senior Research Project
Dr. Ronald Helms
In the summer of 2000 Dayton Public Schools slated Stivers School for the
Arts for demolition. The 1908 building was found to be structurally unsound and
repair costs far exceeded the cost building a new school. However the students,
parents, staff, alumni, and community rallied together and were able to convince
the board that the ancient building was more than just a building. Its high ceilings,
up and down staircases, mosaic tile floors, and stained glass windows embodied the
spirit and creativity of the school. It was a Dayton landmark that deserved to be
Each spring sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Stivers are required to
complete a research paper using MLA format. The papers for the sophomores and
juniors are literature based. The senior paper has evolved from a project that was
initially used to win a School Net Grant in 2000. In keeping with the theme of
trying to save their school, seniors developed research papers that helped them
learn more about local history and appreciate local landmarks. This project was
such a good learning experience that it has become “the senior project”.
The Stivers’ senior research project is done during the third and fourth
quarter of the senior year and is required for graduation. Students are to select a
building within the city built before 1940. They are to research the history of the
building and write a research paper using MLA format. Students are also to
complete a Power Point presentation of their building incorporating old and new
photographs. The first draft of the paper is due at the end of the third quarter
and the final draft and Power Point is due during the fourth quarter.
Dayton has a rich history, yet many who live here are not aware of the
amazing history their city has. What started with a land grant and a handful of
people soon became a thriving town. Always dynamic, Dayton grew and changed as
businesses and neighborhoods developed. Prominent families led Dayton to become
one of the most recognized cities in our nation. Dayton is a city that has seen
canals, railroads, and airplanes. It was a brewery town that experienced
prohibition. It has experienced Urban Renewal, desegregation, white flight, and
now, the rebuilding of its inner city. By learning about their hometown, students
can learn about the history of themselves, their families, and their country.
Factory Priority Board
Urban Renewal MLA
Gentrification Thesis Statement
Urban Renewal Land Grant
Desegregation White Flight
Possible Senior Research Project Topics
10 Wilmington Place (Southern Lunatic Asylum) DAI
Masonic Temple Old Couthouse
Grand Place Bossler Mansion
Beckel Hotel St. Elizabeth
Grand Royal YMCA
Callihan Bank Building Lakeside Park
Newcom Tavern Steele High School
Holy Trinity Stivers
Trolley Stop Old Post Office
Reibold Building Classic Theater
Steamboat House Oakwood High School
United Brethren Publishing Miami Valley Hospital
Van Cleve Hotel Omar House
St. Mary’s Zion Baptist Church
Roosevelt Dayton Country Club
Lazarus/Rikes Wright Patt
Shawen Acres Sinclair
Columbia Theater Lib Hedges
Hawthorne Hill Chamanade
Children’s Medical Temple Israel
Central High School Woodland
Greek Orthodox Church Second Shelf
Memorial Hall Sacred Heart
Hauer Music Holy Angels
Driggs Roadhouse Davis Sewing Machine Co.
E. J. Barney House Cooper Library
Mt. Calvary Engineers Club
Art Theater VA
Wilberforce Hullman Building
Arcade Dayton Daily News
Algonquin Hotel Woman’s Club
Fairgrounds St. Joseph
Traxler Mansion Hook Estate
Patterson Homestead Union Station
Palace Theater Philips House
Cooper Women’s Seminary Voorhees House
Biltmore Dayton Breweries
1. Learn how to properly construct a research paper using MLA method.
2. Learn how to utilize various pieces of technology including digital
cameras, scanners, video recorders and various software packages
3. Learn how to do research using both primary and secondary sources, how
to evaluate sources, and how to interpret material they find. Much of
this research will be done in the Local History room at the downtown
library. Students will meet there evening and weekends with teacher to
begin their research.
4. Perfect written and interviewing skills.
5. Gain an understanding of the process of historic preservation and
personal histories through researching various areas and landmarks
within their city and/or neighborhoods.
1. Students will have their choice of topics under the broad topic of “Local
History”. The teacher must approve all topic or any changes made with
topics. Buildings must be within the city and must have been built before
1940. Researching private residences is much more difficult as the
Records buildings close at 4:00 and are not open weekends. Some topics
and local personalities may also be used, but must be approved and still
require primary sources.
2. Students may work with partners to visit Priority Boards and
neighborhood governing bodies, but each student will be responsible for
submitting their own unique research project.
3. Each project will consist of two parts: written and visual.
4. Each project will include a PowerPoint presentation (or a short film if the
5. Class time will be allotted for use of school computer labs, with
possibilities to check out certain equipment.
6. Students may also attend/participate in community activities during the
year such as neighborhood tours, open houses, and walking tours of
downtown (teacher guided).
Research Paper Evaluation
I. Thesis Statement (10 pts)
_____present and correct
II. Parenthetical Documentation (15 points)
_____present, but format incorrect
_____present, but missing information
III. Works Cited Page (15 points)
_____present, but format incorrect
_____present, but missing information
_____not in alphabetical order
IV. Content (50 points)
_____supports thesis statement very well
_____needs more specific examples
_____is not logically organized
_____does not support thesis statement
V. Mechanics (5 points)
_____no errors _____capitalization errors
_____spelling errors _____punctuation errors
V. Manuscript Format, etc. (5 points)
_____no errors _____no name/page numbers
_____no heading _____problems with works cited page
_____directions not followed
Photographs/documentation of original structure/site. (20 points)
Photographs/documentation of structure/site today. (20 points)
Text/information. (20 points)
Presentation of visual presentation to class. (20 points)
Peer evaluation of presentation. (20 points)
For this unit or project the teacher and student resources are the same. The
teacher works side by side with the students showing them how to use primary and
secondary sources and how to turn their research into a research paper using MLA
format. Each time this project is done, more resources are found and used. The
resources used also depend on the topics chosen by the students. The following
list of resources were complied by Stivers students during the spring of 2002.
Also used are various newspaper articles from the Dayton Daily News, Journal
Herald, and Dayton Herald (1825-2002), correspondence and pamphlets housed in
the Local History Room, personal interviews, and various websites.
Adkinson, Dean. The Building for Strength: Structure Built in the 20’s- 40’s. New
York: Big B., 1966.
Berstein, Mark. Miami Valley Hospital: A Centennial History. Yellow Springs:
Miami Valley Hospital, 1990.
Brockman, Susan A. The History of Children’s Medical Center. Dayton: Central
Printing Company, 1992.
Conover, Charlotte Reeve, ed. Dayton and Montgomery County: Resources and
People. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1932
Dalton, Curt. The Breweries of Dayton: An Illustrated History. Dayton: CD’96,
Dalton, Curt. Home Sweet Home Front: Dayton During World War II. Dayton,
Dalton, Curt. Industries and Institutions of Dayton Circa 1889. Dayton: 1995.
Dalton, Curt. When Dayton Went to the Movies: A History of Motion Pictures in
Dayton. Dayton: Dalton, 1999.
Dalton, Curt, The Dayton Canoe Club: An Illustrated History 1912-1996. Dayton:
Litho Print, Inc. 1996.
Dayton Canoe Club. March 2002. 26 Feb. 2002 http://www.
Dayton Chamber of Commerce. Dayton, the Convention City. Dayton; The
Dayton Daily News. For the Love of Dayton: Life in the Miami Valley 1796-1996.
Dayton: CD’96, 1996.
Drury, Augustus Waldo. History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County
Ohio. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1909.
Eckert, Allan W. Dayton, A History in Photographs. Dayton: The junior League of
Edgar, John. F. Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity. Dayton: H.B. Publishing House,
Feegan, George E. History of Dayton, Ohio. Dayton: United Brethren Publishing
Frame, Robert. Craig MacIntosh’s Dayton Sketchbook. Dayton: Landfall Press,
Greater Dayton. Dayton: Dayton Chamber of Commerce, 1909.
Greer, David C. Stuff of History’s Boot Soles. Wilmington: Orange Frazer Press,
Huffy Bikes. Huffy Bike Heritage. 2001, Huffy Bike Co. 2-25-02
Junior League of Dayton. Dayton: A History in Photographs. Dayton: Central
Printing Co., 1976.
McClelland, H.L. Daytonians-Their Story. Private Publication: Dayton, 1992.
McKinney, James P. The Industrial Advance of Dayton, Ohio. Dayton: Commerce
Publishing Co., 1889.
Morgan, Arthur. The Miami Valley and the 1913 Flood. Dayton: State of Ohio, The
Miami Valley Conservancy District, 1917.
National Cash Register Corp. Hawthorn Hill. Dayton: NCR Corp.
Peters, Margaret. Dayton’s African American Heritage. Virginia Beach: Donning
Preservation Dayton <http://www.preservationdaayton.com/Pages/events. > 2002,
Preservation Dayton, Inc.
Ronald, Bruce W. and Virginia. Dayton: The Gem City. Continental Heritage Press.
Shorow, Mosamune. Before the Driving Wind: Accounts of Construction Preceding
WWII. Chicago, Shihuya, 1973.
Smith, Johnen. Industrial Revolution: Architecture from the 30’s. New York:
St. Joseph Orphan Centennial. Dayton” City of Dayton, 1949.
Storms, A.D. The City of Dayton and Vicinity and Their Resources. Dayton: The
Dayton Daily News, 1904.
Strong, Gordon. “The History and Chemistry of Brewing.” October 6, 1998.
Tassel, Van and Charles Sumner. Ohio and Its “Centennial. Bowling Greene, 1901.