community

Community

Dayton is a beautiful, historic rural community with a unique spirit located in a diverse landscape. The community of Dayton was founded in 1877, and prospered as an agricultural community. Many beautiful buildings were constructed in Dayton's heyday, and today 117 of those homes and buildings, including our beloved church building, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cultural heritage is woven strongly throughout the fabric of our community.

Dayton, population 2,800, is the county seat of Columbia County, a geographically diverse and sparsely populated county with a population of 4,277. Starbuck is the only other town in the county and has 130 people. The southern border is the Blue Mountains at elevation 6,500 feet, and the northern border is the Snake River at 500 feet, which rolling, fertile pasture and farmlands in between. The Touchet and Tucannon Rivers flow through the county, and recreational opportunities abound in our rich landscape.

Dayton is home to the oldest working courthouse and the oldest existing train depot in the State of Washington, has an active community theater, supports a strong school system and a public hospital district, and has an attractive, revitalized Main Street with many shops and services available. Agriculture, the renewable wind energy industry, and government, including Corps of Engineers and Dept. of Fish and Wildlife services, are the primary economic engines in the county.

We are socially, economically, and geographically tied to the Waitsburg and the Walla Walla Valley, our neighbors to the southwest. Walla Walla is an easy half-hour drive away, and has a regional airport, a community college, two 4-year universities, a Veterans Administration facility, and a growing wine industry.  There is an active theater culture in Walla Walla, including a new Shakespeare Theater that just opened.  Walla Walla is also home to the Walla Walla Sweets baseball team, the Walla Walla Symphony, and The Whitman Mission.  The Columbia County Public Transportation System makes multiple trips to Walla Walla daily and runs several vanpools to major employers in the valley.

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