You are currently browsing the daily archive for Friday, August 19, 2011.

On May 25, 1910 at Huffman Prairie, just outside Dayton, Orville Wright piloted two unique flights.

First, he took off on a six-minute flight with Wilbur as his passenger, the only time the Wright brothers ever flew together. They received permission from their father, Bishop Milton Wright, to make this flight. They had always promised their father that they would never fly together to avoid the chance of a double tragedy and to ensure one brother would remain to continue their experiments.

Next, Orville took his 82-year old father on a nearly seven-minute flight, the first and one of Milton Wright’s life. The

airplane rose to about 350 feet while the elderly Wright called to his son, “Higher, Orville… higher!”

And that’s how I felt today while being one of the first to ride the new carousel – the new gem of Dayton’s Carillon Park.

After lunch I rode with several Wright brothers enthusiasts to the site of the Wright family home on Hawthorn Street, just off Third Street in West Dayton. August 19th, 1871, Orville Wright was born in the front second floor bedroom. Three years later Katharine Wright was born on the same day, in the same room. We spent some time in the Wright brother’s bicycle shop on Williams Street, and then the aviation center across the plaza.

We stopped by Woodland Cemetery to pay our respects to the Wright family, and passed by Hawthorn Hill, the gorgeous mansion crowning a gigantic hill in Oakwood.

I retrieved Quintin from home so we could attend the Carillon Park/Dayton History annual meeting. I was slightly miserable from the heat and decided I would show Quintin the same things I visited earlier that afternoon. While at the cemetery, a couple from Oklahoma City approached and asked if I knew much about the Wright family.

It was nearing 5:00pm, and I knew I should be at the meeting. However, with a passion for history, I believe there is a duty as an ambassador to share Dayton’s history with others. By 5:20pm we were heading over to Carillon Park.

We stood in the back of the tent, catching the last 10 minutes or so of Brady Kress’ speech.

Brady Kress…

Dayton was so lucky to be blessed with the likes of Wilbur & Orville Wright, Charles Kettering, Col. Deeds, John Patterson, and countless others, but we are equally blessed with Brady Kress who is equal as a visionary to the Wrights, Kettering, Patterson, and Deeds combined! As local news media maestro, Jim Bucher, claimed, “Brady is Dayton’s own version of Walt Disney!”

Bucher is so right on target!

As Brady concluded the annual meeting, he encouraged everyone to check beneath the seats of their chairs. Thirty-three lucky people would find, taped to the bottom, a gold carousel coin honoring them with the first ride. I was a bit disappointed that I was not seated in one of the several open chairs and even considered making a mad dash for several.

As Quintin and I turned to head to the ribbon cutting ceremony, I saw Amy Kress, Brady’s wife, and her father coming towards us. Her father, Mr. Schwartz handed me the gold coin taped beneath his chair. He had already ridden the carousel during his granddaughter’s birthday party, and Amy said I would probably be thrilled to ride it. Of course, all week long Amy has endured my emails of childish glee – but she did start it several years ago when she first told me of the carousel’s unique design. Two of the special designs were to be Orville Wright’s Saint Bernard, Scipio, and Wilbur Wright’s dog, Flyer. I even loaned Brady one of my books that contained a photo of the original Flyer.

I know Mr. Schwartz was talking to me about something as we walked to the ribbon cutting, but honestly, I was not even close to earth as I held tightly to that gold coin. Being one of the lucky 33 ranked right up there with

  • getting to hold Mary Todd Lincoln’s gloves
  • holding the small portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln’s father, Robert Todd
  • thumbing through Bishop Wright’s family Bible and holding his spectacles (thanks to Melba Hunt)
  • holding Orville Wright’s white dinner jacket which he wore to a White House dinner in 1942 (again, thanks to Melba)
  • meeting Vice-President Gerald Ford in July 1974
  • singing “The National Anthem” as the first actual performance at The Schuster Center for the Hard Hat Concert
  • standing a few feet from John Glenn and Neil Armstrong during the closing ceremonies of the 2003 flight centennial

I am sure there have been other major highlights like these – and beyond the arrival of a new son, or the birth of one my brother’s children. Today was one of those exciting, magical moments for me.

After the ribbon cutting, Quintin and I joined the crowd of 450+ and strolled into the building. The exhibits were great, but to be truthful, I was aiming for the carousel. We can return any time to enjoy the wonderful new exhibits.

We entered the carousel pavilion, and I heard workers calling for folks with the golden coin. I barreled through the bodies with out causing casualty to anyone and presented my golden coin. Willy Wonka, here I come!

I got to Flyer before a kindly looking woman who was eyeing this ride. She just thought it was an ordinary dog displayed on the carousel. Poor thing got a quick history lesson right there, and then. When I told her my dog was named Flyer she backed off and found another ride. One friend asked, “What if Amanda Wright Lane [the great grandniece of the Wright brothers] had been the lady and had wanted to be the first to ride Flyer?” Well, there was a cute little bi-plane representing her uncles and it would have only been fitting for her squat her rights on it!

I am hoping to head to Carillon Park Sunday afternoon to take in the exhibits.

Dayton – thank you for supporting our community’s rich history, and thank you, even more, for entrusting it to Brady Kress.

“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”
Charles Kettering

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Grand opening
Join us at Carillon Park as we celebrate the

Grand Opening of the Heritage Center of

Dayton Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship on

August 20, 2011

Carousel of Dayton Innovation

Deeds Barn

NCR Cash Registers

Animatronic Theater

1912 Cadillac

and so much more

dayton toys

Scipio

Mike-Sells Potato Chips

register

cadillac

For more information call 937-293-2841 or visit www.daytonhistory.org

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Lincoln Society of DaytonThe Historic Patterson Homestead
Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social

August 21 · 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Lincoln Society of Dayton is having their Second Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social on the Great Lawn of the Patterson Homestead on Sunday afternoon, August 21 between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

There will be games (played in the 1860s) for all ages, story time, Lincoln bingo, and even some prizes.

Free ice cream! Bring your own blanket and picnic! Special programs and surprises!!

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Lincoln loved Ice Cream…we do, too…Come on the 21st so we can share with you!

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Victorian Afternoon Tea’s
Sponsored by
The Wellington at Dayton

Come join us at the Patterson Homestead for a 19th century afternoon tea. You will enjoy tea service from costumed interpreters and a bread, sandwich and desert course all baked from authentic Victorian Era recipes. Each of our teas is from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and will highlight the history of the Patterson family, the time they lived in, and the historic Homestead itself.

August 21th – Etiquette Tea

In the Victorian Era, there was a proper way, and an improper way, to attend a tea. Learn how you would have visited friends and acquaintances, attended or hosted a tea, and even how to subtly communicate using your fan.

Reserve Your Spot Now!

Space is limited and prepaid reservations are required. The cost of each tea is $18.00 per Dayton History member and $20.00 per non-member. For additional information or to make reservations, please contact the Patterson Homestead at (937) 222-9724.

Train by Transportation
Carillon Park
Rail & Steam Society
Train Run Schedule

The Carillon Park Rail and Steam Society will be operating their scale train rides (for an additional $1 fee) for the visiting public from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, unless otherwise noted, on the following dates:

Saturday, August 20
Saturday, September 10
Sunday, September 18
Saturday, October 1
Saturday, October 15
Saturday, November 26
Saturday, December 17

Carillon Bell Tower
Carillon Concert Series

Summer Schedule

August 21 – 3:00 pm

August 27 – 1:00 pm

September 5 – 12:00 pm

September 11 – 3:00 pm

September 18 – 1:00 pm

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Enjoy a day of fun for the whole family!

August Park Coupon

Carillon Historical Park 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, OH 45409
937-293-2841 www.daytonhistory.org
Enjoy beautiful Carillon Park then stop in Culp’s Café for lunch!

August Culps Coupon

Carillon Historical Park 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, OH 45409
937-293-2841 www.daytonhistory.org

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