A Carillon Christmas

days
0
-8
hours
-1
-8
minutes
-5
-6
seconds
0
-7

Carillon Historical Park is a 65-acre open-air history museum
that serves as the main campus for Dayton History.
We share the amazing stories of how Dayton changed the world!

Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm - 5:00pm
937-293-2841

1000 Carillon Boulevard
Dayton, Ohio 45409

The History of Dayton History


1940

Educational & Musical Arts Inc. was created by Edith Deeds and Colonel Deeds to build Deeds Carillon.

 

1942

Construction of Deeds Carillon was completed during a two-year period. Edith Walton Deeds oversaw the entire project from start-to-finish. At the time of completion, Deeds Carillon was one of only six free-standing carillon towers in the United States. It originally consisted of a 151.5 foot tower and 32 bells (23 active, 9 silent).

On Easter Sunday, April 5, an Easter Sunrise Service was held at Deeds Carillon, a tradition that continues today. The official dedication and first regularly-scheduled concert were held on August 23. Robert Kline, Educational Director for The National Cash Register Company, served as carillonneur from 1942 – 1986.

 

1950

On June 3, Carillon Park’s museum exhibits opened to the general public for the first time. The Park was developed by the Miami Conservancy District, with assistance from the National Cash Register Company, the City of Dayton, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Initial exhibits included:

  • Wright Hall—housing the 1905 Wright Flyer III
  • Wagon Shed—housing the 1834 Conestoga wagon and 1870 Concord stagecoach
  • Grist Mill with working waterwheel
  • South Station—housing the 1835 John Quincy Adams locomotive
  • Smith Covered Bridge
  • Miami and Erie Canal Lock #17
  • Corliss Engine Building
  • Deeds Barn replica

 

1962

The Fireless Locomotive Building, housing the Rubicon locomotive, was dedicated.

 

1965

In 1964, Newcom Tavern—Dayton’s oldest standing building—was disassembled at Van Cleve Park in downtown Dayton, moved to Carillon Park, and dedicated on May 1, 1965. Central to community life, the tavern also served as Dayton’s first jail, church, general store, and Montgomery County’s first courthouse.

 

1972

In 1936, Orville Wright helped Henry Ford move the Wright brothers’ boyhood home (7 Hawthorn St.), and the bicycle shop where they conducted their aeronautical research (1127 W. Third St.), to Ford’s Greenfield Village museum in Dearborn, Michigan. During the 1960s, local politicians sought to have the famous buildings returned to Dayton, but the campaign lost momentum. The publicity, however, brought renewed interest in the Wright Brothers story, and a replica of The Wright Cycle Company was constructed next to Wright Hall. On May 6, its dedication became a major community event.

 

1976

On May 1, through the efforts of graduate Leslie C. Mapp, the 1896 Locust Grove Schoolhouse No. 12 was dedicated at Carillon Park. Mr. Mapp, Chairman and CEO of Dayton’s Mikesells Potato Chip Company from 1966-2005, believed that future generations would benefit from the preservation of this link to the past. Over 40 years later, tens of thousands of students have enjoyed unique educational experiences in the building.

 

1978

On April 29, the B&O Caboose, Bowling Green Station, and Watchtower were dedicated at Carillon Park.

 

1979

On April 29, the canal superintendent’s office was dedicated at Carillon Park.

 

1985

The name of the organization was changed to Carillon Historical Park and the Carillon Park Rail and Steam Society began operations.

 

1988

The original bells and celestron were removed from Deeds Carillon—new bells were manufactured by Petit & Fritsen Royal Bellfoundry in The Netherlands. On October 23, a dedication recital was held to celebrate the occasion.

 

1990

The 1905 Wright Flyer III was designated a National Historic Landmark—the first airplane to receive such a distinction.

 

1992

On October 16, the Dayton Aviation Heritage Preservation Act, establishing Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. The 1905 Wright Flyer III was named as one of the legislated units of the new national park.

 

1999

On May 19, a grant was awarded for the conservation of the Wright Flyer III. On August 1, the Kettering Family Education Center opened to the public.

 

2000

On September 30, the James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center was dedicated at Carillon Park.

 

2001

On May 5, Culp’s Café opened, marking the first time food was regularly served at Carillon Park. Reminiscent of Culp’s Cafeteria—a longtime, family-owned Dayton Arcade establishment—the Culp family generously aided in the restaurant’s construction.

 

2002

On June 22, the John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center was dedicated. The Center created a single complex of four buildings: Wright Hall, the Wright Cycle Company replica, and the new Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright wings. This Aviation Center has more Wright artifacts on display than any place in the world.

 

2003

On February 20, the 1905 Wright Flyer III was designated an Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. During the 100th anniversary of flight, the Wright brothers’ story was told from July 4 – 20 through Carillon Park’s production of Time Flies: Catch It In The Act—a living history experience held at all Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park sites

 

2004

On April 7, the Sugar Camp/WAVES cabin (ca. 1934) was relocated from NCR’s Sugar Camp training facility, marking the first time since the 1980s that an historic structure was moved to Carillon Park. Over 60 of these cabins once stood at Sugar Camp; they were originally used as seasonal quarters for salesmen-in-training. During World War II, over 600 women—known as the U.S. Navy WAVES—occupied the cabins to work on the top-secret Dayton Codebreaking Project, an effort aimed at cracking Nazi Germany’s Enigma Code. Fittingly, the building was dedicated on June 6—Operation Overlord’s 60th anniversary (the D-Day invasion of western Europe).

 

2005

On July 27, in recognition of its architectural and cultural significance, Deeds Carillon was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Viewed as one of the largest intact corporate collections in the United States, the majority of the NCR Archive contains tremendous regional stories. A long-term management, research, and exhibition agreement was reached between NCR and Carillon Historical Park.

 

2007

With the ownership transfer of Orville Wright’s Hawthorn Hill from NCR to the Wright Family Foundation, Dayton History was available to provide interpretive and artifact oversight. In 2013, Hawthorn Hill was officially gifted to Dayton History, along with many original furnishings.

Following the retirement of Kettering-Moraine Museum Director Melba Hunt, Dayton History approached the cities of Kettering and Moraine to safeguard the Kettering-Moraine Museum’s artifacts. With the support from both cities and others, the museum was gifted and moved to Carillon Historical Park.

 

2009

As site manager, Carillon Historical Park was approached to help secure and expand operations at the Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial. This is done in close partnership with the National Park Service and the newly rebranded Ohio History Connection.

NCR Old River Park, Carillon’s sister park across Patterson Boulevard, was reopened by Dayton History. With the assistance of NCR, Old River Park was cleaned, equipped with new boats, and opened to the general public for the first time. In 2011, Old River was sold to the University of Dayton, thus terminating operations.

 

2010

In order to consolidate some of the eclectic stories and artifacts throughout Dayton History’s collections, the Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship was constructed. The region’s business and invention narratives are shared daily through animatronics, archival film footage, and the Carousel of Dayton Innovation.

Following an impressive renovation by Montgomery County, Dayton’s Old Court House (ca. 1850) was in need of a steward to provide preservation and programming services. Dayton History was contracted to deliver cost efficient professional oversight.

Montgomery County asked Dayton History to step in and leverage its strengths to provide preservation and programming services at Memorial Hall. Public access was restored immediately and a series of special programs occur annually.

 

2011

A previously inaccessible 20-acre experience was born at Carillon Park. History on the Hill is the establishment of wooded walking trails weaving through Carillon’s own property history. Regional geology, agriculture, medical care, gardens, and native plants and peoples are all explored.

 

2013

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great 1913 Flood, regional artifacts were pulled together at Carillon Park to create the region’s authoritative exhibition regarding the flood, rescue, restoration, and protection. The community’s flood collections were centralized to create this permanent tribute.

 

2014

Carillon Historical Park makes history by becoming the nation’s first museum to open a fully operational historic production brewery. Carillon Brewing Co. is an award-winning costumed interpretive experience, historic food ways demonstration space, and a full-service restaurant all in one.

 

2015

With an established track record of managing museums, and mutual interest in aviation heritage, the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) engaged Dayton History to take over the NAHF Learning Center’s daily operations.

The ownership of Patterson Homestead was transferred to Carillon Historical Park.

 

Carillon Historical Park & Dayton History Additions by Decade:

 

1940s:

Deeds Carillon

 

1950s:

William Morris House, Deeds Barn, Corliss Engine building, Miami-Erie Canal Lock, Smith Covered Bridge, Wright Hall, Wagon Shed, Grist Mill

 

1960s:

Newcom Tavern, Fireless Locomotive building

 

1970s:

The Wright Cycle Company building, Locust Grove Schoolhouse, Bowling Green Depot, Watchtower, Canal Superintendent’s Office

 

1980s:

The Print Shop, Dayton Sales, Sunoco Station, H.K. Porter Locomotive, Morrison Iron Bridge, CPR&SS Tracks

 

1990s:

Kettering Family Education Center

 

2000s:

Dicke Family Transportation Center, Culp’s Café, Picnic Pavilion, Sugar Camp/WAVES Cabin, Dayton Cyclery, Wilbur Wright Wing, Orville Wright Wing, Marie Aull Sculpture, Oasis Restroom building, NCR Collection, Hawthorn Hill, Kettering-Moraine Museum, NCR Old River Park, Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site.

 

2010s:

Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship, The Old Court House, Memorial Hall, History on the Hill, The Great 1913 Flood Exhibit, Carillon Brewing Company, the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center, and ownership of Patterson Homestead.

About Us


Our Mission

Carillon Historical Park is Montgomery County’s official historical organization. Our mission is to inspire generations by connecting them with the unique people, places, and events that changed Dayton and the world. Our vision is a world inspired through our unique regional stories.

About Carillon Historical Park

Carillon Historical Park celebrates how Dayton, Ohio, changed the world. The Gem City is home to the airplane, the automobile self-starter, the cash register, the first internationally acclaimed African American poet, the National Football League’s inaugural game, and so much more. By the turn of the 20th century, Dayton had more patents, per capita, than any U.S. city, and one-sixth of the nation’s corporate executives had spent a portion of their career at legendary Dayton company National Cash Register (NCR). 

Dayton’s extraordinary history has undoubtedly impacted billions of lives. With a hand-carved carousel, 4-D theatre, trains, slides, living history experiences, thousands of artifacts, extensive educational programming, and so much more, Carillon Historical Park brings Dayton’s past to life in a way that is fun for the whole family! Here are some highlights

  • At 151-feet, with 57 bells, the limestone Deeds Carillon—the Park’s namesake—was designed by Reinhard & Hofmeister, the same architectural firm responsible for Rockefeller Center. It is Ohio’s largest carillon and one of the largest carillons in the nation. The grounds surrounding the carillon and the Park’s entry gates were designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the famed landscape architects responsible for Central Park
  • The John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center has more Wright artifacts on display than any place in the world, including the 1905 Wright Flyer III—the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, the world’s first practical flying machine, and what Orville considered the Wrights’ most important aircraft.
  • Carillon Brewing Co. offers visitors a glimpse into 1850s-era Dayton through the authentically prepared food and drink of the times. It is the nation’s only fully operational production brewery in a museum.
  • Housed in the Heritage Center of Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship is the beautiful, hand-carved Carousel of Dayton Innovation; an extensive collection of antique NCR cash registers; a 4-D animatronic theatre; and the original Deeds Barn, the storied building where Charles Kettering and the Barn Gang built the automobile self-starter, changing transportation as we know it.
  • The James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center displays the 1835 B&O #1, John Quincy Adams, the oldest existing American-built locomotive; the gorgeous and opulent 1903 Detroit & Mackinac Passenger Car #100 (built by Dayton company Barney & Smith); an 1843 Conestoga wagon; a 1904 interurban; a 1923 B&O caboose; and many fascinating transportation artifacts.
  • Our Great 1913 Flood exhibit tells the story of Ohio’s worst natural disaster and the remarkable story of Dayton’s recovery.
  • Carillon Historical Park is home to over 30 historic structures and cares for over three million artifacts.

About Dayton History

In 2005, Carillon Historical Park merged with the Montgomery County Historical Society to create a new umbrella organization known as Dayton History. The private non-profit (501c3) organization was established to preserve, share, and celebrate our region’s history. Carillon Historical Park is home to over 30 historic structures and cares for over three million artifacts. In addition to the Park, the following sites rest under Dayton History’s care:

  • Carillon Brewing Company: The nation’s only fully operational production brewery in a museum. Est. 2014.
  • Hawthorn Hill: Orville Wright’s success mansion. Join the ranks of Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison as visitors to the first pilot’s last home. Est. 1914.
  • The Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site: Home of the first internationally-acclaimed African-American poet. Est. 1903.
  • Patterson Homestead: Originally the home of Colonel Robert Patterson, a Revolutionary War soldier and founder of Lexington, Kentucky, and Cincinnati, Ohio, this storied structure also served as home to Colonel Patterson’s grandson, NCR Founder John H. Patterson. Est. 1816.
  • The Old Court House: One of the nation’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture, Abraham Lincoln and seven other U.S. Presidents campaigned here. Est. 1850.
  • Memorial Hall: Memorial Hall was conceived as a tribute to local Civil and Spanish-American War veterans. It now functions as Montgomery County’s memorial to area veterans serving in all conflicts. Est. 1910.
  • The Archive Center: Housing millions of the Dayton region’s artifacts. Once managed solely by the Montgomery County Historical Society (est. 1896), the collection at the Archive Center is well over 100-years-old.
  • The Mound Cold War Discovery CenterFrom 1948–2003, the top-secret, scientific work of Mound Laboratory revolutionized Cold War, Nuclear Age, and Space Race history.

Things to See & Do


Things to See & Do!

Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship

Learn about innovation and invention!

Early Settlement Area

Walk into life as an American settler!

Wright Brothers National Museum

Discover Dayton’s rich past and see the original Wright Flyer III!

The Print Shop

Visit our fully-operational 1930s letterpress print shop!

The James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center

Climb aboard one of the old trains in the world!

The Great 1913 Flood Exhibit

Learn about the Great 1913 Flood and how it shaped Dayton today!

History on the Hill & Moraine Trails

Walk the trails and learn about the Moraine’s geological history!

DAVID MCCULLOUGH


The 1905 Wright Flyer III, on display at Carillon Park,
“is in many ways the beginning of aviation…”

ArtiFACT Friday- June 26, 2015


June Mystery at the Museum Solved…

The answers to June’s series of Museum Mysteries are (in weekly order):  the Wright Brothers Wooden Wind Tunnel, Orville Wright’s Drafting Table and Orville Wright’s Gerstner Tool Box. All of this month’s mystery artifacts, and many others, are on display in the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center at Carillon Historical Park! For a sneak peek at next week’s Mystery at the Museum artifact photo, be sure to pick up a FREE copy of the Dayton City Paper next Tuesday!

 

Week 1 | Wright Brothers Wooden Wind Tunnel

In 1936, Henry Ford purchased Wilbur and Orville’s final bicycle shop and had it moved from its original location at 1127 W. Third Street to Greenfield Village in Michigan. In 1972, a replica of that same shop was constructed at Carillon Historical Park. In the rear of the building is the Machine shop, which would have been used by the Wrights to build bicycles and later, their experimental gliders and airplanes. Among the other tools and equipment on display is a large wooden box which served as wind tunnel. The Wright brothers constructed their own wind tunnel and used it to test airfoils (wing shapes). By testing for lift and drag with the various shaped airfoils, the brothers were able to make the calculations necessary for determining the shape and design of the wings for their aircraft.

 

Week 2 | Orville Wright’s Drafting Table

Located in the Wilbur Wright Wing of the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center is the Object Theater, one of only a few known theaters of this type in the nation.  Inside, visitors are invited to experience a 15-minute, automated multi-media presentation about the Wright brothers and their invention of flight. Unlike traditional films, the Object Theater features a special display of original Wright brothers’ artifacts during the presentation. One such artifact is Orville’s own drafting table. Different from standard drafting tables of the time period, inventive Orville outfitted his table with bicycle chains, which aided in the maneuverability of the table’s horizontal and vertical straightedges.

 

Week 3 | Orville Wright’s Gerstner Tool Box

Located in the Orville Wright Wing of the John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center is a large display of Wright brothers’ artifacts.  One artifact of special note is the handsome, multi-drawer wooden tool chest, once owned by Orville Wright. This tool chest was manufactured by the long-time Dayton business firm of H. Gerstner and Sons. Harry H. Gerstner founded the company in 1906, in the corner of his father’s cooperage, around the time the Wright brothers were busy designing the 4-cylinder vertical engine that would be used on most of their planes through 1912. After the great flood of 1913, Gerstner built a new factory on Cincinnati Street, where it still operates today.

 

To see other historical images from our collection, search our Digital Photo Archive.

 

ArtiFACT Friday- November 7, 2014


A Photo Opportunity of Historic Proportions

The Wright Brothers Aviation Center at Carillon Historical Park is home to more original artifacts relating to Wilbur and Orville Wright than are displayed anywhere else in the world.  Among these one-of-a-kind items is the 1902 Korona V camera used to take one of the most reproduced photographs in history, the snapshot of Orville Wright piloting the Wright Flyer on the first flight.  Taken at approximately 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903, on a sand dune near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the photo has come to symbolize one of the great forward steps in human progress.  After Orville Wright’s 1948 death, the camera was owned by his beloved nephew, Horace, who later donated it to Carillon Park.

To see other historical images from our collection, search our Digital Photo Archive.

ArtiFACT Friday- August 29, 2014


Greater Dayton Soap Box Derby Junior Champion poses with his car, c. 1983…

In 1983, the soap box derby celebrated its 50th anniversary in Dayton. Over those first few decades, many changes had occurred to the race. In 1946, the color barrier was broken and by 1971, the race had expanded regulations to allow young girls the opportunity to compete as well. Twenty-five area youngsters completed in two divisions during the 1983 season; all of them vying for the city title on the Area B Acceleration Ramp derby track at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In the Junior Division, driving car number 81, 11 year-old Steve Toller won the city junior championship title. Captured in a candid moment, this image shows Toller posing by his winning racer. This photograph is from the Image Collection at Dayton History.

To see other historical images from our collection, search our Digital Photo Archive.

 

ArtiFACT Friday- August 22, 2014


Dayton’s Soap Box Derby held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, c.1949…

Thanks to help from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, a championship soap box derby track was built in Akron, Ohio, resulting in the move of the All-American Soap Box Derby race from Dayton to northern Ohio. Despite the move, Dayton continued to host races for years, sending its city champs on to Akron for a chance to compete for the national title. With the onset of WWII, the tournament officially suspended activities until the summer of 1946, encouraging everyone to concentrate on the war effort. In 1949, Dayton’s race was held at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, as can be seen in this aerial image, by photographer William Preston Mayfield. Here, the race track and starting line are clearly visible with a large hangar and several airplanes parked off to the right. This photograph is from the William Preston Mayfield/Marvin Christian Collection at Dayton History.

To see other historical images from our collection, search our Digital Photo Archive.

 

ArtiFACT Friday- May 30, 2014


Funeral Procession for Wilbur Wright, 1912

While traveling to Boston in late April of 1912, Wilbur Wright fell seriously ill, but he was not about to let a lingering illness keep him from his work.  Originally diagnosed as malarial fever, it proved to be much worse; Wilbur had contracted typhoid fever.  At 3:15 in the morning on May 30th, Wilbur passed away.  His father, Bishop Milton Wright, wrote in his diary of his son Wilbur: “A short life, full of consequences.  An unfailing intellect, imperturbable temper, great self-reliance and a great modest, seeing the right clearly, pursuing it steadfastly, he lived and died.”  Wilbur’s funeral service was held in downtown Dayton at the First Presbyterian Church on June 1st.  It was estimated that 25,000 people attended in order to pay their last respects to the fallen local hero.  As a final mark of respect, at 3:30 pm, all activity within the city of Dayton ceased and church bells rang out as Wilbur was buried next to his mother at Woodland Cemetery. Pictured here is the funeral procession for Wilbur Wright.  Only family and the pallbearers were in attendance at the graveside service.  This photograph is from the William Preston Mayfield/Marvin Christian Collection at Dayton History.

To see other historical images from our collection, search our Digital Photo Archive.

ArtiFACT Friday- May 23, 2014


View of Wright Flyer ‘B’ over Huffman Prairie, c. 1911

At the dawn of the 20th century, local land owner Torrence Huffman would have most likely found it hard to believe that someday, his old cow pasture located eight miles northeast of Dayton would become a historic landmark.  Huffman had agreed to let the Wright brothers use his 84-acre pasture for their practice flights so long as they agreed to move the cows and horses out of the way. Almost 100 years later, in 1990, Simms Station, also known as Huffman Prairie Flying Field, was designated a National Historic Landmark.  The field provided the brothers space to conduct experiments and practice flying their various machines.  The Wright brothers made 105 flights, resulting in a total of 49 minutes of air time, in the 1904 flying season alone.  Over the next few years, various hangars were built on the property, and the brothers developed and installed a derrick and weight launching system for their aircraft. Shown here are two men flying in a Wright Model “B” at Huffman Prairie in 1911.  The picture is made complete with a side view of the hangar, a group of on-lookers and a few brave cows nibbling grass in the background. This photograph is from the William Preston Mayfield/Marvin Christian Collection at Dayton History.

To see other historical images from our collection, search our Digital Photo Archive.