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Carillon Historical Park is a 65-acre park and museum in Dayton, Ohio, which contains historic buildings and exhibits concerning the history of technology and the history of Dayton and its residents from 1796 to the present. (Image courtesy of Dayton History)

Dive into Dayton's History at Carillon Park

Cincinnati has Union Terminal, Washington D.C. has the Smithsonian, and then there's Dayton. Dayton has Carillon Park. Part history museum, part green space, this 65-acre landmark features a series of preserved buildings chronicling exhibits of technology, transportation and the legacy of Daytonians from 1796 to the present. Only a short drive from Cincy, it's a perfect day trip escape.

Flying High
First thing's first. When people think of Dayton, the Wright Brothers immediately come to mind. That's why Carillon Park is a great spot to house the the original 1905 Wright Flyer III. The only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, the 1905 Flyer is the world's first practical airplane. Wilbur and Orville piloted record-breaking flights with it right here in the Gem City.

Take a Spin
Indulge in a childhood favorite by going for a ride on the year-round Innovation Carousel. It's housed inside the museum rotunda. Decorated with 31 figures, 24 round board paintings, and a 38-foot hand-painted mural, the ride depicts regional advancements, inventions, events and, of course, a tribute to the Wright Brothers.

Rising Tides
We're all familiar with the record-breaking flood of 1913 that brought the mighty Ohio to cover much of the Cincinnati riverfront. See how our neighbor to the north was affected in the new Great 1913 Flood exhibit, featuring first-hand accounts, photographs, and artifacts that survived the high waters.

Experience the Railvolution
A little-known tidbit is that Dayton is one of five U.S. cities that still operates modern trolley buses. Roll on by the roundhouse to see Carillon Park's collection of historic streetcars, buses, and interurbans, as well as the oldest existing American designed and built locomotive. The exquisite Barney & Smith wooden parlor car is a must see, as is the summer trolley car.

Brewing History
Ohio history is not complete until there is beer. Lucky for us, the Carillon Park experience comes complete with a microbrewery! Carillon Brewing Co. offers tours of their facility as well as a hands-on opportunity to brew a batch just like they did in the 1850s. Or you can sit back and sip a cold one on their beautiful patio. Six choices are offered: 1850s Ale, Coriander Ale, Porter, Irish Red Ale, plus two regional rotating brews. Can't decide? Try a sampler or fill a growler to-go. For those non-beer drinkers, Carillon Brewing Co. also creates a scratch-made ginger ale and root beer, in addition to offering wine and a full bar of spirits. Grab a bite to eat off their German-themed menu: the pretzels & bier cheese is delicious!

...but wait, there's more!
Expect to easily spend a few hours wandering around the main museum building, filled with artifacts of Daytonian life. From vintage cash registers and collections of bicycles to intriguing old-timey advertisements and propaganda posters, Carillon Park will amuse, delight, and educate even the most diverse group of visitors.


For more information, one can visit the Carillon Park website: