Home School Days continue Carillon’s tradition of inspiring students

The sounds of school children have echoed across Carillon Park since the museum first opened on June 3, 1950.

“My own feeling is that there will be none to whom it will have greater meaning than the boys and girls in our schools,” said Carillon Park founder Edward Deeds in a spring 1949 speech. “If, in the formative years of their lives, it helps to impart a knowledge of and a respect for the achievements of those who built this country, it will have achieved its purpose.”

Carillon Historical Park has achieved its purpose. And then some. Since its founding, the park has expanded from eight original exhibits to more than 30 historic structures and now cares for over three million artifacts. The story of how Dayton changed the world has been shared with millions of visitors.

>> Best of Dayton: Carillon voted top park in the Gem City

But while much has changed, much remains the same — including the sense of wonder that overcomes countless school children as they travel through Carillon Park’s original limestone entry gates. And in recent years, a new group of pupils has benefited from Edward Deeds’ vision: home-schooled students.

“Home schooling has really grown in popularity,” says Vice President for Museum Operations Alex Heckman. “We currently hold two Home School Days, one in April and one in September. We conduct these days so home-school families can enjoy a day of programming specifically tailored to their unique educational needs.”

This year, Home School Days will be held on Tuesday, April 9, and Tuesday, Sept 10.

With a 4-D animatronic theatre, costumed historical interpreters, object theatre presentations at the Wright Brothers National Museum, carousel rides, and more, Home School Day is fun for the whole family. Here are five of the many programs available this year.

>> Carillon Park gets a big shout-out in the New York Times

Locust Grove Schoolhouse Lessons

Built in 1896, the Locust Grove School No. 12 has long been one of the most popular attractions for school children visiting Carillon Historical Park.

“Our Education 1896 program is a favorite,” says Heckman. “Kids get a taste of what it was like to attend school at the turn of the 20th century.”

Built at the corner of Possum and Bird Roads near Springfield, children in first through eighth grade attended the Locust Grove School from 1896-1929. Students often had to walk several miles to school. One teacher taught all eight grades and, in turn, tended to be quite strict.

>> Miniature train rides return at Carillon Historical Park

Printing 101

“The Carillon Historical Park Print Shop is the nation’s only fully operational 1930s letterpress job shop in a museum,” says Heckman. “We offer six 45-minute printing workshops throughout our Home School Days.”

With authentic 1930s printing equipment and furnishings, the Carillon Park 1930s Print Shop harkens to a time when Dayton had 77 printing companies, ranging from one-person operations to McCall’s, which produced four million magazines daily, including Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, and Popular Science.

Meet Willa and Orv, the Carillon Park bald eagles

It seemed a stroke of fate when Willa and Orv, the Carillon Park bald eagles, built their nest above the Wright Brothers National Museum — an internationally recognized symbol of flight. The park’s resident eagle expert, Jim Weller, will be giving presentations and sharing his many bald eagle photos throughout Home School Day.

>> Bald eagles at Carillon Park are parents again

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

Forces of Flight

The story of Wilbur and Orville Wright continues to fascinate visitors to the Wright Brothers National Museum at Carillon Historical. But uncovering the secrets of the birds was no small feat.

“The Wright brothers had to master the forces of flight: lift, weight, drag, and thrust,” says Heckman. “In this special presentation, students will gain a better understanding of what it takes to fly.”

Bread-Baking and Brewery Talk

Carillon Historical Park is home to the nation’s only fully operational brewery in a museum, Carillon Brewing Co. “The Brewery brings 1850s Dayton to life,” says Heckman. “We interpret this time period through food and drink inspired by Dayton’s early German, English, and Irish population.”

During Home School Day, students will learn about baking spent-grain bread over an open hearth and the historic brewing method.


What: Home School Days

Where: Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton

When: Tuesdays, April 9 and Sept. 10

Cost: $5 per child, $8 per adult, free to Dayton History members. Reservations are not required.

More info: (937) 293-2841 Ext. 127 or education1@daytonhistory.org

About the Author