Our Community

History of Dayton

Rich in history, this area was originally explored by Lewis and Clark who camped on the Patit Creek just east of Dayton on their return in 1806. At that time Dayton's Main Street was a racetrack for regional Indian Tribes. The first settlers in 1859, used the land for grazing but by 1861 had turned to farming wheat and other grain because of the highly fertile soil and the adequate rainfall. By 1872 the town had been platted, named, and the post office was established.

In 1880, an immigrant named Jacob Weinhard came from Germany by way of Portland, where he had worked as a foreman at his uncle's brewery. A true visionary, Jacob saw the potential of Dayton's location in the midst of prime barley growing land. He established the Weinhard Brewery, and by 1904, his empire included the brewery, a malt house, the Weinhard Saloon and lodge hall, the Weinhard Theater and interest in the Local Citizens National Bank. In 1907 he built a large Victorian home for his family, now on the national register. Between 1880 and 1910, other prosperous businessmen and farmers built themselves large impressive homes, commercial, and public buildings in the Queen Anne, Italianate, Gothlic and Craftsman style. Today 90 of these are on the National Register of Historic Places and include two districts. Dayton boasts the oldest train depot in the state (1881) and the oldest working county courthouse (1887). Both have been lovingly restored to their original splendor. Today, this thriving county seat honors this rich past with walking tours, annual festivals, home tours, and continued preservation and restoration. For the added pleasure of our visitors, Dayton offers first class accommodations, fine dining and interesting shops. Dayton is also in close proximity to some of the most prestigious wineries in Washington. Natural wonders such as Palouse falls and the Blue Mountains are within an easy drive.


The Boldman House Museum

The Boldman House MuseumThe Boldman House Museum and Garden has a mission: to bring life to the family home of Miss Gladys M. Boldman through restoration, conservation, interpretation, and education. It is listed on the Local, State and National Historic Registers as the Brining/Boldman House.

The Boldman House Museum is owned and managed by the Dayton Historical Depot Society. Tours may be scheduled by contacting the Boldman House Museum at 509-382-1548 or email your request.  

Historic Depot Museum

Dayton Historic Depot

The Dayton Depot is the oldest surviving train depot in the state. It was originally built in 1881 and designed in the Stick/Eastlake style. It has been beautifully restored and is now a museum. Revolving exhibits are featured in the upstairs gallery.

The Dayton Depot is listed on the Local, State, and National Registers of Historic Places.

Old Main Street

Court House

Court House

Old main Street

Lewis Clark Trail

Info and photo coming soon

City Cemetary

Info and photo coming soon

Historic Districts Tour

dayton-historic-houseTour through beautifully restored historic homes during the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Dayton On Tour Fall FestivalOctober 3, 2015, or take a casual stroll about town at your leisure taking in the beauty of some of the grandest historic homes you will ever see.  

Community Garden

Although the City of Dayton does not manage the local Community Garden, we do recognize that it plays a valuable role in providing high level of recreational activity, contributing to our community’s development by offering educational opportunities, affording environmental awareness, bestowing positive social interaction, not to mention the imparting the health benefits of growing and consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. 

  • Board Members
  • President: Frank Demaris - 400 S. 4th Street, Dayton, WA 98328. 509.382.2144, cell: 509.240.4309
  • Vice President: Dave Molesh - 725 South 3rd Street, Dayton, WA 99328. 509.327.4756
  • Secretary: Treasurer: Donna Molesh - 725 South 3rd Street, Dayton, WA 99328. 509.327.4756
  • Board Member: Teresa Guinn - 1033 S 4th, Dayton, WA 99328
  • Water Master: Bob McCauley - 110 Ecker Mountain Road, Dayton, WA 98328. 509.382.4312
  • Application for Garden Plot
  • By-Laws

City Fact Sheet



(2011 est)    2,535


Elevation of Dayton     1,600 ft.
Elevation of Snake River     504 ft.
Eleveation at Oregon Butte     6,401 ft.
Columbia County Area     868.8 sq. mi.
Annual Rainfall     18.5 inches
Average Summer High Temperature     83° F
Average Winter High Temperature     42° F


2 Elementary School
2 Junior High School
1 High School
1 Private School (K-7)

Area Colleges & Universities
Whitman College – Walla Walla, WA (28 miles)
Walla Walla Community College – Walla Walla, WA (28 miles)
Walla Walla College – College Place, WA (34 miles)
Walla Walla Community College – Clarkston, WA (66 miles)
Washington State University – Pullman, WA (83 miles)
Lewis & Clark State College – Lewiston, ID (66 miles)
University of Idaho – Moscow, ID (94 miles)


Columbia County Public Transportation System - Columbia County residents can utilize this service for transportationwithin Dayton, surrounding areas, to Walla Walla and points in between.
Touchet Valley Airstrip (2WA9) – Privately-owned (6 miles)
Walla Walla Regional Airport (28 miles)
Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) – Pasco, WA (61 miles)
Lewiston-Nez Perce Airport (LWS) – (69 miles)


High Speed Internet Access
Every home in Columbia County has access to some form of high speed internet service
Dayton Chronicle – published weekly
The Times – published weekly
Walla Walla Union Bulletin – published daily with delivery in Columbia County

Art & Culture


  • Liberty Theater

    344 E. Main St. 
    Dayton, WA 99328
    Phone: 509-382-1380

  • Wenaha Gallery

    219 E Main Street 
    Dayton, WA 99328
    Phone: 509-382-2124 
    Fax: 509-382-1613