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

1000 Carillon Boulevard
Dayton, Ohio 45409

A Carillon Christmas

A Carillon Christmas

A Carillon Christmas

Days left of A Carillon Christmas


Event Details
November 26 – December 30, 2024*
Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm

at Carillon Historical Park

* Closed Thanksgiving Day,
Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

$14 per adult (ages 18-59)
$12 per senior (ages 60+)
$10 per child (ages 3-17)
Free to children 2 and under
FREE to Dayton History Members!

Purchase Tickets Become a Member

Dayton’s newest holiday tradition!

Join us for A Carillon Christmas to see Carillon Historical Park’s 65-acre campus transformed into a winter wonderland of sparkle, magic, and holiday cheer!


The Carillon Tree of Light
Santa Claus
The Carillon Park Railroad
Gem City Letterpress
Letters to Santa
Deeds Carillon Christmas Concerts
Carillon Christmas Café
Drinks at Culp’s Café
Roundhouse Café in the Transportation Center
The Tailor of Gloucester Puppet Show
Model Train Displays
Midnight Express Miniature Train Rides
Museum Store Shopping
Walk through our beautiful campus, filled with thousands of lights
Morris and Hetzel Bakery
Gristmill Christmas Village and Peppermint Mill
Carillon Brewing Co.
… and more!

Thank you to our partners and sponsors!

Holiday Activities

Holiday Activities

Holiday Activities

Join us for these special programs and watch as Carillon Park comes alive with your favorite holiday traditions! All locations have been marked with a holiday icon on your map and they are open between 5:00pm and 9:00pm.

Visit with Santa
Through Dec. 23rd
Did you know that Dayton was the toy manufacturing capital of the United States in the 1920s? Visit Santa in the Heritage Center, in front of the Dr. Richard and Dorothy Cummings Collection of Dayton-made toys. Bring your own camera to take a complimentary picture.

Letters to Santa
Write a letter to Santa in Newcom Tavern (Est. 1796), Dayton’s oldest standing structure. It contains the original Van Cleve cabinet which served as Dayton’s first post office.

Wright Brothers National Museum
John W. Berry, Sr. Wright Brothers National Museum, including Wright Cycle Company and Wright Hall, tells the world-changing story of the Wright brothers and showcases their original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane and a National Historic Landmark. The Museum is a privately owned and operated unit of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

Chestnuts & Gingerbread at Morris & Hetzel Bakery
Learn about historic hearth cooking with our costumed interpreters. Purchase a homemade gingerbread cookie and a cone of roasted chestnuts in the Morris & Hetzel Bakery.

A Visit From St. Nicholas
The Night Before Christmas
Enjoy a special presentation of this classic Christmas poem featuring hand-painted glass slides produced by NCR. These slides were accompanied by a special reading of A Visit From St. Nicholas during children’s Christmas programs NCR put on from 1916 until the early 1930s. A booklet featuring the poem and slides can be purchased in the Museum Store.

The Rike-Kumler Company
Toy Parade & Christmas Cartoons
Beginning in the 1920s through 1942, the Rike-Kumler Company held a Toy Parade on Thanksgiving Day to ring in the start of the Christmas season. Experience the spectacle through actual films of the parades taken in the 1930s and 1940s. You can also watch excerpts of popular Christmas cartoons from that time.

The Tailor of Gloucester, Puppet Show
Every half hour, starting at 5:30pm
Enjoy a Christmas-themed Puppet Show based on The Tailor of Gloucester (1903) by Beatrix Potter. This tale, from the author of Peter Rabbit, was published only a few months prior to December 17, 1903, when the Wright brothers achieved First Flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Carousel of Dayton Innovation
Take a ride on our beautiful, one-of-a-kind carousel, built right here in Ohio in 2011. From planes to trains to automobiles and beyond, each hand-carved figure represents a unique aspect of Dayton’s colorful past. (Cost: $1 per person, per ride; any riders under 42” tall need to be accompanied by an adult)

Gem City Letterpress
Visit the nation’s only complete 1930s letterpress job shop operating in a museum! The equipment in this shop was typical during an era when Dayton was home to 77 printing companies.

Carillon Park Railroad
5:00pm to 9:00pm*
Ticketing Location: Dixon & Shafor Junction
Take a ride on a magical train through a winter wonderland of lights reminiscent of a trip to the North Pole.(Cost: $1 per person, per ride)
*Must be in line one hour before closing

The Midnight Express Train Rides
6:00pm to 9:00pm*
Ticketing Location: Transportation Center
Enjoy a narrated, mile-long ride on a replica of one of the first trains to arrive in Dayton. (Cost: $5 per person, per ride)
*Must be in line one hour before closing

Holiday Shopping
Whether you are looking for something Dayton-related or holiday themed, you’ve come to the right place for Christmas shopping! Visit our Museum Store locations in the Kettering Family Education Center and Gem City Letterpress to find the perfect gift!

Holiday Treats & Drinks
Enjoy a light meal, delicious snacks, holiday treats, beverages and more!
Seating is available throughout the park.

Locations: Carillon Christmas Café, Roundhouse Café, the Peppermint Mill, Culp’s Café, and Carillon Brewing Company.

Food and Drink

Food and Drink

Specialty Christmas concessions are available daily at different locations throughout Carillon Park during A Carillon Christmas, November 23rd through December 30th. Of course, the Carillon Brewing Co. is serving food every day from 11:00am to 9:00pm all year long!

Culp's Christmas Café

Carillon Christmas Café

Enjoy Hot Dogs, French fries, Pretzels, Ice Cream, S’mores, Hot Chocolate, & More! Counter service and outdoor seating available!
View Mobile Menu

Roundhouse Café

Roundhouse Café

Fresh Popcorn, Hot Cocoa, & More! Grab a snack and drink to take with you as you walk through the park.
View Mobile Menu

Morris House

Morris House

Gingerbread Cookies, Hot Cider, & Hot Fresh Chestnuts! All prepared before your eyes using historic cooking techniques!

Peppermint Mill

Peppermint Mill

Frosted Almonds, Pretzels, Mulled Wine, S’mores, Hot Cocoa, & More! Grab a snack and drink to take with you as you walk through the park.
View Mobile Menu

Culp's Café

Culp’s Café

Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
5:00pm – 8:00pm (beverages and ice cream only)
To learn more about Culp’s Café and to see our full menu, please visit

Carillon Brewing Co.

Carillon Brewing Co.

Wednesday through Sunday: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Looking for a full-service dinner? Visit the Carillon Brewing Co., located right outside the main entrance to Carillon Historical Park. To learn more about our house brewed beers and to see our full menu, please visit

Tips and FAQs

Tips and FAQs

Are masks required?

No, masks are not required at this time. However, we do encourage the use of masks indoors.

Where is the Kettering Family Education Center?

The Kettering Family Education Center is the gateway to Carillon Historical Park. The main entry is located underneath a portico. A flagpole is located directly in front of it.

What should I wear?

Carillon Historical Park is a 65-acre campus with indoor and outdoor exhibits. Keep an eye on the weather to plan your wardrobe!

Can I bring my own food and drinks?

During A Carillon Christmas, carry-in coolers, food items, or drinks are not permitted. We will have a variety of holiday treats available at our vending stations or you can dine at the Carillon Brewing Co.!

Can I come to the Park before 5:00pm?

Yes! Carillon Historical Park will remain open for our regular day-time hours beginning at 9:30am Monday through Saturday and 12:00pm on Sunday. You are welcome to enjoy the whole day at the Park, including A Carillon Christmas, until 9pm Sunday through Thursday and 10pm on Friday and Saturday. You will not need to leave and re-enter the park due to A Carillon Christmas.

Admission prices for A Carillon Christmas are the same as our regular admission.

Where can I park? How much does it cost?

FREE parking is available on the Carillon Historical Park campus.

When do lights and holiday programming start?

All A Carillon Christmas programming will begin at 5:00pm.

Are pets allowed?

Pets are not allowed at Carillon Historical Park. If you have a service animal, please make sure they are wearing proper identification.

Are wheelchairs or electric scooters available?

A small number of wheelchairs are available to guests to check out from our admission desk. We do not offer electric scooters.

Which night(s) have the most activities?

All programs will remain consistent throughout the entire month. You will be able to participate in the same holiday activities every day of the week.

Do you take credit and debit cards?

Several of our food and activity locations require cash. There is an ATM located in the lobby of the Kettering Family Education Center, but it is advised that you bring some cash for food and activity purchases. We do accept credit/debit cards in the Museum Store for the purchase of admissions, memberships, and all store merchandise, and at Carillon Christmas Café for food purchases.

Carillon Historical Park

Hours of Operation
Carillon Historical Park is open year round!*
(*Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,
New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day)

Monday–Saturday: 9:30am–5:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm–5:00pm

$14 per adult (ages 18–59), $12 per senior, $10 per child (3–17), children 2 and under and Dayton History members FREE
Members must present their ID with their membership card during every visit.

1000 Carillon Blvd.
Dayton, Ohio 45409

FREE parking available at Carillon Historical Park

For More Information

(937) 293-2841

Carillon Historical Park

Carillon Historical Park owes its existence to the generosity of Colonel Edward Andrew Deeds (1874–1960) and Edith Walton Deeds (1869–1947). In the 1930s, while traveling in Bruges, Belgium, Edith, an accomplished musician, found inspiration in magnificent carillon music, and she dreamed of sharing this music with the people of Dayton. Edith’s dream became reality through the construction of Deeds Carillon—her most visible legacy to the community she loved.

A renowned engineer, inventor, and industrialist, Colonel Deeds was a close friend and colleague of fellow Dayton luminaries Charles Kettering, John H. Patterson, and Orville Wright. Colonel Deeds co-founded Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (DELCO), the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, and the Engineers Club of Dayton, and served as the third CEO of National Cash Register (NCR).

After the Great 1913 Flood (Ohio’s worst natural disaster) decimated the Dayton region, Deeds organized the Miami Conservancy District; the MCD constructed an unprecedented dam system, thereby protecting our community from future floods. Colonel Deeds served the U.S. Army as Chief of Aircraft Procurement; under his direction, the world-famous Liberty Engine was designed and produced. And at NCR, Colonel Deeds was instrumental in bringing the company into the 20th century.

In 1950, Carillon Historical Park’s museum complex opened with the purpose of showcasing the region’s industrial innovations, transportation achievements, and Dayton’s contributions to world progress. Since construction first began on Deeds Carillon in 1940, the dreams of Edith and Edward Deeds have evolved into a beautiful 65-acre campus—designed by the Olmsted Brothers (the famed landscape architects responsible for Central Park)—containing dozens of museum buildings and countless artifacts. The Dayton region’s remarkable story continues to inspire visitors from around the world.

The History of Dayton History


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



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.



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



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



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.



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.



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.



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



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



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



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.



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



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.



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.



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



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.



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.



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



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).



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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:



Deeds Carillon



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



Newcom Tavern, Fireless Locomotive building



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



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



Kettering Family Education Center



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.



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.

Private Event Rental

Book Your Event with Dayton History

Interested in planning your event with us? Fill out the interest form below! For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our event coordinators, please call 937-293-2841 Ext. 415 or email

Event Inquiry

Carillon Historical Park - Deeds Carillon Bell Tower

Deeds Carillon Bell Tower

Surrounded by Carillon Historical Park’s beautiful 65–acre campus, with its commanding view of the Great Miami River, the Deeds Carillon Bell Tower provides an iconic setting for a wedding ceremony. Deeds Carillon was built in 1942 by Reinhard & Hofmeister of New York—the same architectural firm responsible for Rockefeller Center.

Carillon Historical Park - Eichelberger Pavilion

Eichelberger Pavilion

Impress your guests with Carillon Historical Park’s newest venue! With a two-story grand ballroom, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the picturesque Carillon Park grounds, ample parking, and unique design features inspired by the extravagant NCR cash registers from the turn of the century, this truly unique space is perfect for weddings, and celebrations of any kind.

Carillon Historical Park - Kettering Family Education Center

Kettering Family Education Center

The Kettering Family Education Center is adjacent to the Heritage Center of Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship—an expansive exhibit space themed around Dayton’s rich heritage of innovation, manufacturing, and industry. It is the perfect venue for corporate banquets, receptions, and meetings.

Patterson Homestead

Patterson Homestead

Surrounded by a lush green lawn and colorful gardens, beautiful wedding ceremonies take place at Patterson Homestead’s picturesque white gazebo. The Homestead was originally constructed in 1816 by Col. Robert Patterson, a Revolutionary War veteran, the founder of Lexington, Kentucky, and the grandfather of legendary NCR Founder John H. Patterson. The venue’s large open indoor room is perfect for rehearsal dinners, small gatherings, or meetings.

Hawthorn Hill

Hawthorn Hill

Join the ranks of Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison as visitors to the first pilot’s last home. Designed by the Wright brothers, and occupied by Orville, Katharine, and Bishop Milton Wright, this elite venue is popular for intimate gatherings, networking events, and entertaining clients. Sitting high on an Oakwood hilltop, with its white pillars and twin porches, Hawthorn Hill is a National Historic Landmark—Orville Wright’s home from 1914–1948.

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.
  • 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 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!


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.