Dayton - A town pressing forward
AREA: 539 acres POPULATION: 2,575 INCORPORATED: 1880 FOUNDER: Andrew Smith & Joel Palmer NAME: Named after Dayton, Ohio —Smith’s hometown.
Some communities may exhaust themselves by trying to do too much, too fast.
But not Dayton.
A few years ago, business leaders, intending to revitalize the downtown, identified the foodie niche as having enormous potential for their community; the city is, after all, in one of the greatest produce-growing regions of the world. Already home to the famed Joel Palmer House, Dayton suddenly celebrated the opening of four eateries, enhancing a group’s trip to the downtown.
Next came the art projects, which started with whimsically painted wine barrels on the sidewalks, and blossomed into ArtScape, an annual showcase of local talent exhibiting a collection of banners of original Dayton-themed artwork.
Not to abandon science, Dayton made headlines for its schools’ Innovate Dayton program, spurred by installation of 10 gig Internet service. The city’s dedication to the future attracted a visit from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden in Nov. 2016.
“You have accomplished so much so quickly,” the senator marveled. “I’m going to be telling the Dayton story everywhere.”
Dayton’s revitalized business district is arranged around a charming town square, home to an 1855 military blockhouse relocated from Fort Yamhill.
Dayton’s annual community event is its Old Timers’ Weekend. But last year, residents emphasized their community pride weekly during the new Dayton Friday Nights series. Each week offers something different for the highly successful and award-winning event series, with vendors, entertainment, classic car drive-ins, arts and crafts, along with special events like the Oregon Fast Draw Competition.
Dayton is located off Highway 18, between McMinnville and Newberg. North on the highway from downtown is The Vintages Trailer Resort, one of the most unique lodging options in the Valley.