Many little farming towns around the Northwest have wasted away as people moved away from lives in agriculture.
When people in Dayton, Wash., saw this happening they turned to their past to preserve their future. At present 117 buildings and homes in Dayton can be found on local, state and national registries of historic places. The first Saturday of October the city opens its doors to the public for Dayton on Tour.
This year six homes and a Union Pacific caboose will be included in the tour. Homeowners and docents greet visitors with interesting facts and stories about the structures.
One of the historic homes on the tour is the Boldman House Museum, recipient of a State Historical Preservation award for the quality of its interior restoration. The homes gardens have also been restored. Other homes are private residences built between 1878 and 1910. The 1881 Dayton Historic Depot, the oldest surviving train depot in the state, is the starting point and the place to obtain tickets and maps for $10.
Along with the tours there will be a free, family friendly festival outdoors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of Main and First streets. Besides many fall-themed activities people will be able to purchase half-hour-long horse and carriage rides for $12 for adults and $9 for children. Local Kiwanis will be grilling and selling sausages.
From 1-4 p.m. local artists and artisans will be demonstrating in the Dayton Depot courtyard. The depot is a museum with revolving exhibits featured in the upstairs gallery, once the station masters quarters. The current show and sale, Columbia County Art Show, features mixed-media work by local artists.
Work by other artists can be seen in an Art Crawl downtown. Maps can be picked up at a variety of locations, including the depot, Wenaha Gallery, Gallery at the Weinhard Hotel, Weinhard Cafe, the Liberty Theater, Mace Mead Works or Grain House Grill.
For those age 21 and older the day will conclude with an artists reception from 4-5 p.m. with wine and hors doeuvres at the depot.
What: Dayton on Tour When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Where: Dayton, Wash. How Much: Free festival. $10 for tours.