Explore Dayton’s Grand Estates in 2 new exhibits

Just before winter break, we installed two new exhibits on the first floor of the Dunbar Library, both of which focus on some of Dayton’s most magnificent historic mansions.

The cases on either side of the center stairwell feature “Grand Estates of Dayton,” such as Far Hills, Ridgeleigh Terrace, and Trails End. Do those names ring a bell? Well, if not, perhaps you’ve heard of the homes’ respective owners: John H. Patterson, Charles F. Kettering, and James M. Cox. The exhibit includes interior and exterior photographs (and in one case a floor plan!) of the mansions, photos of the owners, and descriptions of both.

Nina Herzog with her exhibit, "Grand Estates of Dayton," Dec. 2014.

Nina Herzog with her exhibit, “Grand Estates of Dayton,” Dec. 2014.

Also on the first floor of Dunbar Library, the Alumni case features a captivating exhibit about perhaps the grandest “grand estate” of Dayton: Hawthorn Hill, home of Orville Wright. The exhibit, “The Wrights at Home: Hawthorn Hill,” includes many photographs of the Oakwood mansion’s interior and exterior, as well as images and anecdotes depicting the Wrights’ home life there. Orville Wright, his father Bishop Milton, and sister Katharine moved into Hawthorn Hill in 1914. It was Orville’s home until his death in 1948.

"The Wrights at Home: Hawthorn Hill" exhibit, Dec. 2014

“The Wrights at Home: Hawthorn Hill” exhibit, Dec. 2014

You can see these exhibits on the first floor of Dunbar Library anytime during the library’s open hours from now through February. (Don’t forget to visit both sides of the staircase!)

“Grand Estates of Dayton” was created by Special Collections & Archives student worker and Public History graduate student Nina Herzog and archivist Lisa Rickey. The materials reproduced for the exhibit came from the Dayton Daily News Archive (MS-458), James Cox Papers (MS-2), Kettering Family Papers (MS-363), Katharine Kennedy Brown Papers (MS-146), and other SC&A collections.

“The Wrights at Home: Hawthorn Hill” was created by Dawne Dewey, Head of Special Collections & Archives, using photographs from the Wright Brothers Collection (MS-1)., the Ivonette Wright Miller Papers (MS-216), and the Dayton Daily News Archive (MS-458).

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