"I know why the caged birds sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,-
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
- Paul Laurence Dunbar (Sympathy)
Tom and I recently visited the Paul Laurence Dunbar house in Dayton. Being an English major, I can't imagine never having been there before, especially since I live a mere 13 miles away. I am always interested in writers; Tom, it turns out, is deeply interested in old houses.
Paul Laurence Dunbar house
219 N Paul Laurence Dunbar Street
Dayton OH 45402
The Dunbar house is an Ohio Historic Site
A rear view of the house shows two small "attic" windows
The Living Room
A Sitting Room (I believe)
The Dining Room
The house has gas lighting (see above left).
Water pipes are affixed to the interior of the walls. I suppose the house was fitted for public water after it had been built.
Another view of the kitchen
A water tank stored hot water.
The enclosed back porch area (facing house wall)
Another view of the enclosed back porch; "outside" wall
The Dunbar's second floor bathroom
The wall paper is a reproduction of the original wallpaper, still visible in one of the cabinets.
PLD's actual toothbrush
Dunbar's mother's bedroom
PLD bought this house for his mother, Matilda. She continued to live in the house for 28 years after his death. His father, Joshua, died in 1885.
Another view of Dunbar's mother's bedroom
A third view of Dunbar's mother's bedroom
Paul Laurence Dunbar's bedroom
Dunbar's bedroom is on the second floor, near the southeast corner. Dunbar lived here from 1904 until his death two years later.
Actual typewriter used by PLD
PLD's chamber pot sits beside his bed
Just outside PDL's bedroom are the steps between floors
A small room at the front of the house (second floor)
Memorial of Paul Laurence Dunbar's death on February 9, 1906