Carillon Historic Park, Dayton, OH

Carillon Park is a great way to learn about the history of Dayton, OH.  Dayton is a city that most of us consider to be pretty ordinary until we learn about its history.  Around the turn of the 20th century Dayton was home to a tremendous amount of innovation.  Dayton was home to the Wright Brothers and their bicycle shop where they worked on developing their airplane.  It was also home to the National Cash Register Company, Paul Laurence Dunbar, a well-known black poet, and the Barney and Smith Car Company (manufacturers of rail cars), among others.

Our visit to the park started with a theater presentation with animatronic characters, representing the major contributors to Dayton’s significant history.  These included John H. Patterson of National Cash Register, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Charles F. Kettering and Colonel Edward A. Deeds of Delco (Dayton Engineering Laboratores Company). This gave us the significant history of the city, through interaction among these  important characters of the time.

From the theater we went to walk around the grounds, which contain many wonderful historical buildings.  One of the most interesting ones was the large Wright Aviation Center.  At the Aviation Center we started out in a replica of the Wright Cycle Shop, from which we were taken on a tour of the building that pretty much covered their career in aviation.

One of the fun places we stopped was an old print shop.  There was a gentleman there who demonstrated printing techniques to us, and we left with a print of a church that he did for us.  The park has a replica of a canal lock and a covered bridge.  We also enjoyed the bicycle museum.

Another great exhibit was a building that had old trolleys, busses and rail cars.  It was interesting to get to walk through the cars.

We had lunch at Culp’s Cafe, on the grounds of the park.  The cafe is set up to look like the mid-20th century, including the costumes the wait staff wears.

The Carillon Historical Park is well worth visiting, and could probably easily stand up to a return visit, because there is so much there.  

Don’t forget to check out all the pictures in our photo album.

Visit September 24, 2014

© Susan L. Stone 2015