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Dan Patterson's antique camera
Hear Dan Patterson's aviation heritage  commentaries on WYSO Public Radio, 91.3 FM. 
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The National Aviation Heritage Area is a part of the National Park Service's National Heritage Areas program.
May 22, 2013
NAHA, NPS official meet in D.C.
to discuss Wright Company factory 
Photo of Wright Company Factory Site

 

NAHA Chair Tony Perfilio and Executive Director Tony Sculimbrene flew to Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 20, to meet with a senior National Park Service official about the Wright Company Factory Site. They met for 75 minutes with Vic Knox, the agency's associate director of park planning, facilities, and lands.

 

Despite having a huge area of responsibility, Knox showed a strong interest in the buildings where America's aerospace industry was born and asked many questions that extended their meeting beyond its allotted time, Sculimbrene said. He said the meeting was important because Knox will have a critical role in determining how the National Park Service ultimately acquires and manages the site, which includes the original two Wright Company buildings and three adjoining buildings that were added later to produce aircraft parts during the First World War.

 

The buildings are located on the 54-acre former Delphi Home Avenue automotive manufacturing plant in west Dayton. Home Avenue Redevelopment LLC, formed by Hull & Associates Inc. of Mason, acquired the site for redevelopment and is clearing it of all non-historic buildings with major funding from a $3 million Clean Ohio Fund grant. The city of Dayton has said redeveloping the site for commercial use and historical tourism could transform the surrounding blighted neighborhood.

 

"We wanted him to know that NAHA is a strong advocate for having the National Park Service in Buildings 1 and 2, but the transformation of this site won't be fully successful unless there are activities in Buildings 3, 4 and 5 and other commercial activities on the surrounding acres," Sculimbrene said. "He made clear the park service is receptive to have commercial development around Buildings 1 and 2 that would complement their activities. He understood that having NAHA as a partner in that development might make it easier for the National Park Service to make that happen."

 

"We said we understand that one of Director Jarvis's interests is make the national parks more accessible to America's minorities," said Sculimbrene, referring to National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "The Wright Company Factory Site is embedded in a minority community, and it would allow the park service to have a direct and immediate positive impact on that community."

 

This kind of transformation has taken place in inner west Dayton, just two miles east of the factory site, with the creation of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and a public-private partnership that restored the historic Wright-Dunbar neighborhood.

 

Visit www.aviationheritagearea.org for more information about the Wright Company Factory Site.

Wright family ambassador Marion Davis Wright, 85,  passes away
Photo of Marion Davis Wright
Marion Davis Wright, a longtime Dayton-area volunteer who served as Wright family ambassador, died Thursday, May 16, in Toledo following a long illness.

Mrs. Wright was the widow of Wilkinson "Wick" Wright, grandnephew of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who died in 1999.

She represented the Wright family at official events following her husband's death, but she sought to shift attention to their children. She was the stepmother of Amanda Wright Lane and Stephen Wright, who represent the Wright legacy through the Wright Family Foundation.

A memorial service is schedule for 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Hawthorn Hill in Oakwood. It will be the first memorial service at the Wright family mansion since Orville Wright's death in 1948, according to the Dayton Daily News. 

"By having the service at Hawthorn Hill, we're saying 'she is a Wright.' She has earned those stripes," Lane told the newspaper. 
Visit daytondailynews.com to read the story.

Ranger program: "Going to the dogs with Wilbur and Orville Wright"
Photo of Orville Wright and his dog

 

With their invention of the airplane, Wilbur and Orville Wright became international celebrities. Yet they sought private, normal lives. Two dogs brought a sense of normalcy into the lives of the adult Wil and Orv.

 

Learn how "Flyer" and "Scipio" touched the lives of these famous brothers in a free dog walk ranger program at Huffman Prairie Flying Field from 9:30-11:30 am on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Visitors are invited to bring their dogs to the Simms Station parking area at Huffman Prairie Flying Field for a ranger talk followed by a dog walk around the perimeter of the field (approximately 2 miles).

 

Bring water and insect repellant. Dogs must be leashed. Children under age 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Call the National Park Service at (937) 225-7705 for more information.

The National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) is a private, not-for-profit corporation designated by Congress as the management entity of the National Aviation Heritage Area. The Heritage Area encompasses an eight-county area in Ohio (Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Warren, Champaign, Shelby and Auglaize counties.) NAHA's vision is to sustain the legacy of the Wright brothers and make the Dayton region the recognized global center of aviation heritage and premier destination for aviation heritage tourism.

PO Box 414 * Wright Brothers Station * Dayton, OH 45409