Dayton, Ohio, USA
Dayton was founded on April 1, 1796, by 12 settlers known as the Thompson Party. They traveled in March from Cincinnati up the Great Miami River by pirogue and landed at what is now St. Clair Street, where they found two small camps of Native Americans. Among the Thompson Party was Benjamin Van Cleve, whose memoirs provide insights into the Ohio Valley's history. Two other groups traveling overland arrived several days later. The oldest surviving building is Newcom Tavern, which was used for various purposes, including housing Dayton's first church, which is still in existence.
Dayton is known as the "Gem City". The nickname's origin is uncertain, but several theories exist. In the early 19th century, a well-known racehorse named Gem hailed from Dayton. In 1845, an article published in the Cincinnati Daily Chronicle by an author known as T stated
In a small bend of the Great Miami River, with canals on the east and south, it can be fairly said, without infringing on the rights of others, that Dayton is the gem of all our interior towns. It possesses wealth, refinement, enterprise, and a beautiful country, beautifully developed.
In the late 1840s, Major William D. Bickham of the Dayton Journal began a campaign to nickname Dayton the "Gem City." The name was adopted by the city's Board of Trade several years later.
Also, Dayton ranked within the top 10% in the nation in arts and culture. In a 2012 readers' poll by American Style magazine, Dayton ranked #2 in the country among mid-size cities as an arts destination, ranking higher than larger cities such as Atlanta, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. Dayton is the home of the Dayton Art Institute.