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Dayton

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This small rural community serving the surrounding farms maintains a feed mill, and hosts an agricultural fair each year in August. Since 1962, when the first of eleven congregations of Amish families moved to the area, farming and its support industries have had a resurgence in northeastern Armstrong and northwestern Indiana counties. The tiny borough of Smicksburg, four miles east in Indiana County, hosts artists' studios and several shops selling Amish crafts and baked goods.

In 1976, the Dayton Area Historical Society bought and restored the Thomas H. Marshall house as a bicentennial project. Marshall, a farmer who ultimately expanded into lumber, tanning, and milling, built his house (now Marshall House Museum, c. 1865; 107 State Street) at the center of his farm, along with several adjacent barns, now demolished. A drawing of 1883 shows the house without the several porches that were added later, with such stylish extras as paired brackets and turned porch posts. The house has a four-over-four plan with a two-story off-center rear wing. Two blocks north, the Buffalo, Rochester, and Pittsburgh Railroad (BR&P) built a small passenger station in 1898 (W. Railroad Avenue at Poplar Street), later purchased by the Baltimore and Ohio line. The one-and-one-half-story frame and shingled station features deep eaves, a rectangular bay window under a hipped-roof dormer, gracefully curving brackets, and a steeply pitched, flared hipped roof. Other stations by the BR&P were designed by the Rochester, New York, firm of Gordon, Bragdon and Orchard, at Dubois in Clearfield County (see Dubois, p. 474) and Bradford in McKean County (demolished); but by 1898 that firm had dissolved, and Bragdon, whose name is on the earlier drawings, was a partner in the firm of Bragdon and Hillman, which may have designed the station. Dayton became the transportation center for the surrounding coal mines during the boom years between 1890 and 1910, when the population more than doubled.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.

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