Carillon Historical Park is poised to become the only museum in the United States producing and selling beer and wine using historic tools and techniques that date back to 1850, according to Brady Kress, Dayton History president and CEO. When the Carillon Brewing Co. opens at the end of 2013, costumed interpreters will demonstrate the historic processes for visitors, who will be able to sample the results at daily tastings.
The $2 million brewery, a new building that will eventually become part of the park’s Kettering Family Education Center, is one of four new major projects unveiled at Dayton History’s annual meeting Thursday evening. Kress said $4 million has been raised during the past six months to fund the new initiatives.
“It’s really thrilling. With these projects, we’re going to be able to reach new audiences,” he said. “Carillon is already quite eclectic, but these are four big topics we’ve really never touched on.”
In addition to the proposed brewery, which is being constructed with the help of Heidelberg Distributing Company, the new projects include:
• The acquisition of the personal collection of William Mayfield, Dayton’s most famous photographer, who documented the city’s growth through the first half of the 20th century.
With the cooperation of local photographer Marvin Christian, who worked with Mayfield and obtained the collection after his death, Carillon will safeguard more than 70,000 photographs, slides and negatives, which will be catalogued and digitized over the next five years and will be available online. Kress, who showed two large examples of the historic photos, said exhibit possibilities are also being explored.”He took a fantastic array of aerial shots during the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s,” Kress said. “We believe he took the first picture taken from an airplane because he was a friend of Orville Wright and took photos when the brothers were testing the Wright G Flyer on the Miami River.”
• An addition to the existing Rubicon Engine Building will house an exhibit focusing on Dayton’s 1913 flood, which has been called Ohio’s greatest natural disaster. The new exhibit marks the centennial of the devastating event.
“For over 100 years, we’ve been collecting artifacts, memoirs, relics and photos of the flood,” Kress explained. “Our goal is to finally create a permanent spot to tell the story.”
Half of the exhibit, he said, will cover Dayton’s response to the monumental event — the story of rescue and problem-solving that led to the creation of the Miami Conservancy District.
• The moving and renovation of the building that once housed the Dayton Triangles locker room to the park site. Built in 1916, the Dayton Triangles played the Columbus Panhandlers on the morning of Oct. 3, 1920.
“It was the first game of what would eventually become the NFL,” Kress explained. He said the idea came from a Carillon Park sports history committee that has been collecting stories and artifacts in preparation for a Dayton Sports Heritage Center that’s part of the park’s master plan.
The building, which is expected to make its way through downtown Dayton this morning, will be temporarily moved near Culp’s Cafe at the park.
Kress said all of the new exhibits will have ties to Dayton History.
“What’s so neat about the brewery project is that we talk a lot about industry and heavy manufacturing in this region, and here is manufacturing of a different type that was a daily part of life for almost every citizen of the region. There were 18 different breweries in this region in the 19th century. What most people don’t realize as they pass Hauer Music is that the building was built as a brewery and was one of the structures in Dayton we’re using as a model for our reconstruction.”
About 200 members attended Thursday’s meeting. Preservation awards were presented by Ken Kuntz of the Park’s preservation council to Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village and the Oakwood Historical Society, both all-volunteer operations. Those who regularly work at Carillon’s 1930 letterpress Print Shop were recognized for 25 years of service.
Kress reported a balanced budget for the year with an 11 percent increase in earned income, a 14 percent increase in overall visitation, and a 19 percent increase in membership.
A large portion of the increase, he said, resulted from a new carousel membership. More than 32,000 riders have climbed on the carousel since it opened in August.