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History of Vandalia
Crossroads of America

 In 1838, Vandalia was nothing more than the crossing  point of two dirt trails near a spot we now know as the intersection of National Road (Route 40) and Dixie Drive.  Benjamin Wilhelm, a settler from Pennsylvania was the first to settle here, building his home and a small general store that would serve travelers as they journeyed westward.

The busy path attracted more entrepreneurs and soon a small settlement began to take shape.  In 1848, incorporation papers were filed to establish the Village of Vandalia.  Mr. Wilhelm became its first mayor.

In 1911, a nationally-funded road program had significant impact upon Vandalia.  Construction began on a lake-to-the-gulf highway from Detroit to Cincinnati and points even farther south.   The most advantageous route for this highway brought it along that north-south dirt path -- that had since become known as the the Troy Pike. The new highway intersected the National Road crowning Vandalia...The Crossroads of America!

In spite of its many advantages in terms of transportation, population growth has been a relatively recent phenomenon in Vandalia.  In 1940, Vandalia's population was only 378.  Only 20 years later, the city had grown to 6,342 residents.  Rapid growth has continued and Vandalians now number approximately 14,000.

Today, Vandalia's "old" crossroads is complemented by a new one at Interstate Route 70 and 75, optimizing travel to all parts of the Midwest.  Dayton International Airport's presence in our community makes Vandalia a hub of the airways, as well.

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