Monday, April 3, 2017

On the Aviation Trail

 To live as close as we do to various Wright Brother's historic sites, it's a wonder I haven't visited them all sometime in the past 67 years. Tom and I visited the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park on West Third Street last weekend and added several more.

It's all part of Aviation Trail, Inc.

 We visited three of the sixteen sites: the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and Aviation Trail Visitor Center (Site 3, pictured above) and the Wright Cycle Company (Site 3 next door on Williams Street). The self-guided tour began in 1981. There are park personnel at both sites ready to provide information and brief talks. They also offer videos depicting the life of the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar.
 Site 2 is the Aviation Trail Parachute Center and is inside Site 1.

 In the past I've visited the Carillon Historic Park (Site  5), the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (Site 6), the National Museum of the United States Air Force (Site 8), Wright State University (Site 10) and the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta (Site 14). For a list of all sixteen sites, click here.

 I'll make brief comments about a few of the photos ...

 A nice three-dimensional mural made with bricks on the outside of the Interpretive Center.

 Once the site of a west Dayton grocery store, it's been recreated here. It's actually very close to the old photos which are posted there.

 Looking out onto West Third from the recreated grocery.

 The grocery displays an old National Cash Register. My uncle (Charles Boyer) and my maternal grandfather (John Paulsen) worked for them for many years.

 My grandmother (Kate Paulsen) worked at a Wright Brothers airplane manufacturing site in Moraine. I have a sample of the wing fabric.

 From the Interpretive Center, the Wright's Bike Shop is visible on Williams Street.

Tom admires one of the displays 

 The Wright's printed material for Paul Laurence Dunbar.

 Now, to the bike shop ...

 Here's the work area where the Wright's constructed bicycles.

 And a close-up of some of their tools.

 This park ranger gave a talk on how the bike shop operated and how the idea for a flying machine materialized on this spot.

 Looking through a bike shop window along Williams Street to West Third Street.

 Exterior view of the The Wright Cycle Shop.

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