Paul Dunbar Stamp
1975 US postage stamp

The Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton was the home of African-American poet and lyricist Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) and is open to the public on weekends, except on major holidays. According to the Ohio History Center, the Dunbar house is the first memorial the state of Ohio designated to honor African-American history. (Dayton has a population of approximately 140,000.)

The best website we found about Dunbar is the University of Dayton’s at It lets you jump easily from one work of his to another, page to page, see whatever you select in full text, and maybe even listen to ones with sound, spoken by a professor at the University of Dayton.

With or without sound, the words live on today, capturing the era of the son of freed enslaved persons, a friend of Frederick Douglass, and the young man who became a published poet at the age of 14. Once published, he influenced a wide range of writers from Langston Hughes to Maya Angelou.

Read more about Frederick Douglass here: Frederick Douglass House in DC.

Read about Langston Hughes’s life in Ohio here:

Read about Maya Angelou here:

The Paul Laurence Dunbar House is the third stop on our Ohio Trail!

Discover more literary landmarks in Ohio here:

Patricia Smart