Our Mission

Carillon Historical Park is Montgomery County’s official historical organization. Our mission is to bring the past to life to understand the present and inspire the future by collecting, preserving, interpreting, presenting, and promoting the region’s past.

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 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!

Originally designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the famed landscape architects responsible for Central Park and numerous other renowned sites, Carillon Historical Park’s beautiful 65-acre campus features many one-of-a-kind aspects. 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 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 the Wright brothers considered their 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 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 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 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: Former home of Revolutionary War soldier and Lexington, Kentucky founder Colonel Robert Patterson and 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 have 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.