Most People Forget About This Abandoned Place in Ohio State


Ohio has several hidden jewels in addition to its well-kept secrets, one of which is the neglected community of Woodcliff, located in Dayton. Once a flourishing neighborhood, Woodcliff is now an eerie remnant, with almost a hundred abandoned structures. Join me in deciphering the fascinating story of Woodcliff, a strange abandoned enclave in Ohio.

History of Woodcliff

Woodcliff arose in the early 1900s as a result of African American entrepreneurs’ desire to build a self-sufficient community. Perched on a hill above the Mad River, it offered a panoramic view of the city.

Woodcliff, which boasted its utilities, educational institutions, places of worship, and facilities, housed around 300 individuals, most of whom were middle-class and professional. This enclave exemplified black achievement and empowerment, earning widespread appreciation.

Woodcliff, a thriving cultural hub, was alive with different musical events, including appearances by superstars such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. Its recreational facilities included a dance hall, a cinema, and a baseball field, which was home to the semi-professional club the Woodcliff Giants. Woodcliff, affectionately known as “The Hilltop” among its residents, emanated pride and delight.

Decline of Woodcliff

The 1950s saw the beginning of Woodcliff’s collapse when Dayton officials opted to dig a highway through the neighborhood as part of an urban redevelopment project. Despite fierce community opposition, the project proceeded, destroying houses, businesses, and the relocation of inhabitants.

The roadway separated Woodcliff from its surroundings, aggravating its isolation. Over the years, diminishing population, economic troubles, and neglect beset the area, leaving it forlorn and hazardous by the 1980s.

Mystery of Woodcliff

While Woodcliff’s downfall matches that of many African American communities in the United States, its mysterious atmosphere distinguishes it. Woodcliff’s history remains buried in mystery, as it is absent from official documents and maps, and no commemorative markers can be found. Despite efforts by historians and explorers to unravel its past, little progress has been made. The neighborhood’s story is mostly unknown, awaiting discovery and acknowledgment.


Finally, urban redevelopment in the 1950s led to the abandonment of Woodcliff, a once-thriving African American community in Dayton, Ohio. Despite its long history of creative accomplishments and bustling social life, Woodcliff’s collapse remains a mystery, with scant documentation and no official acknowledgment. The abandoned village serves as a heartbreaking reminder of the lost legacy, awaiting further investigation and recognition.

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