North of the Tracks


In Dayton, it’s the “north side of the tracks” that is often looked down upon and treated with disrespect.

And it’s true that many of Dayton’s stately historic homes are south of Main Street, and the railroad tracks. But the north side has plenty of overlooked gems.

Five private homes, along with the three properties owned by the Dayton Historical Depot Society, will be featured Saturday during Dayton’s annual Historic Homes Tour. All of the properties are on the north side, and all will be open for public tours from 1-4 p.m.

The home tour is part of “Dayton on Tour”, an art and history event co-sponsored by the Depot Society and the Dayton Chamber of Commerce.

Properties on the Tour:

The properties on this year’s Historic Homes Tour include the following:

The Terwilliger Home, dating to 1885, is a large, square two-story house featuring a wrap-around porch with Tuscan columns. It is furnished with many antiques and period artifacts.

The Watrous Home is a large bungalow, built in 1910, which still has its original carriage house behind it. The carriage house now contains a quilting workshop and a guest cottage.

The Smith Home is a small gabled L-shaped house with a cutaway bay and original corner boards and brackets. It was built in 1889 and features a guest cottage next door.

The Sparks Home, built in 1878, is a tri-gabled 1.5-story house decorated with scrolled brackets and chamfered posts.

The Bensel Home is a one-story cottage that has been carefully restored and is surrounded by a beautiful garden space.

The Boldman House, owned and operated by the Historical Depot Society as a museum, is a restored Queen Anne Victorian that contains 90 years of the Boldman family’s possessions.

The Union Pacific caboose is an original railroad caboose which sits just west of the Dayton Historic Depot.

The Dayton Historic Depot, built in 1881, is the oldest railroad depot in Washington still standing. It has been restored and operates as a museum, with a gallery display space upstairs.

The Terwilliger, Watrous and Boldman homes, along with the Depot, are on the National Register of Historic Places. The other three homes on the tour are eligible for the national register.

Tickets and maps for the Historic Homes Tour are $10 and can be reserved in advance by calling 509-382-2026. Tickets may also be purchased at the Dayton Historic Depot in advance or on the day of the tour, beginning at 10 a.m. The Depot is at 222 E. Commercial.

Dayton on Tour:

Dayton on Tour will include many other activities throughout the day Saturday, including:

Family Friendly Fall Festival — 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Lots of activities for kids will be offered at the corner of Main and North First Streets, including pumpkin decorating, mask painting and a penny hunt. Kids’ art will also be on display. Horse and carriage rides will be offered, and the Kiwanis Club will sell locally made sausages.

Art Crawl — 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Works by area artists will be on display throughout downtown. Maps can be picked up at participating venues. Visitors whose maps are stamped at each location are eligible to win prizes. Venues include:

Wenaha Gallery (219 E Main)

Gallery at the Weinhard Hotel (231 E. Main)

Weinhard Cafe (258 E. Main)

Liberty Theater (344 E. Main)

Mace Mead Works (250 E. Main)

Grain House Grill (232 E. Main)

Art Demonstrations — 1-4 p.m.: Local artists will demonstrate their crafts in the courtyard of the Dayton Historic Depot.

Artists’ Reception — 4-5 p.m.: A reception with local artists will be held upstairs in the Depot. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Guests must be over 21.

Ken Graham can be reached at or 540-2752.


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