Area Profile

Nestled in a verdant valley at the base of the Blue Mountains, Dayton is the epitome of modern small town living. Residents and visitors, alike, enjoy the vast array of recreational opportunities along with the creature comforts suitable for daily living.

Founded in 1871, Dayton is flush with history, boasting the state’s oldest operating courthouse – fully restored – and the Dayton Historic Depot Museum, featuring the oldest existing train station in the state of Washington.  Dayton also served as part of the Lewis & Clark Trail, which is commemorated by the Patit Creek Campsite exhibit and statues and murals downtown. Other museums include the Palus Artifact, the Boldman House and Smith Hollow Schoolhouse.

With a population that nears 2,500, Dayton is home to a comprehensive school district with an elementary school and middle school/high school. Columbia County Health Service is the main healthcare provider with a hospital, ER facility and a nursing home.

A rich agricultural tradition still prevails in the area with wheat, apples and peas as the featured crops. Value-added agriculture has blossomed with the emergence of several farms offering products ranging from goat cheese to honey to heirloom tomatoes, and in 2013, Blue Mountain Station opened – an artisan food processing facility that is open to the public and offers markets twice weekly.

Arts and Culture are central to the community which strongly supports the fully restored Liberty Theater (home to community theatrical productions and full-length, feature movies) and the Wenaha and Weinhard Hotel art galleries, and several annual art oriented events.

Recreational opportunities abound, from fishing, boating and hiking to cycling, skiing and snowboarding. All within short driving distance are Ski Bluewood, Lyons Ferry Marina, Palouse Falls and the Umatilla National Forest which offers a variety of day hiking and backpacking trails.