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Dayton House to celebrate historic marker with picnic

The historic marker outside the Dayton House in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- The Dayton House now has a marker to draw attention to its historical significance..

"After its restoration, which occurred between 2002 and 2004, it qualified to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places," said Jane Moore, Board Chair for the Dayton House. "The house itself was built in 1890. It was designed by renowned architect Wallace Dow. It's a National Register of Historic Places house. If you travel around the state, the James J. Hill house, for instance, has a sign like this. There are other places, historic sites both around the country and in Minnesota, that have similar signs. It seemed like an appropriate way to inform the public of some of the details about the house and of its first occupant and his family, George Dayton."

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The marker will be dedicated with a picnic and a celebration at 5 p.m. Monday on the lawn of the Dayton House, located at 1311 Fourth Ave..

"The sign was installed in May," Moore said. "Due to summer events in the house, there has not been an opportunity to hold the dedication, so it's a brief dedication ceremony as part of the evening. The primary thing is kind of a fun picnic on the lawn. You don't have to be a member to attend, but you have to purchase a ticket. There will also be some musical entertainment."

Tickets are available through today and can be bought at Schafer's Health and Gifts in downtown Worthington, or by calling the Dayton House at 727-1311.

There is a cost for the event, which will cover the meal of grilled pork loin, potato salad, beans, sweet treats and ice cold beverages. The proceeds will benefit the Dayton House.

"We're grateful for the ongoing support of the community, and in particular, the members and donors to the historic Dayton House," Moore said. "Their involvement is what sustains the property and keeps it a valuable historic touchstone for Worthington well into the future."

The sign is located along the sidewalk of the property and has information on both sides.

"In the event that people were curious and maybe passing through the area, or the house wasn't open or available for tours, or there is another event going on, anybody at any time can get some information about that," Moore said. "Also, it serves to help fill part of the house's mission, which is to increase people's awareness of its heritage."

Each side of the marker tells a different story.

"One side of it tells some details about the house's architecture and the construction process and the cost at the time," Moore said. "It was built for less than $15,000 during the summer of 1890. The other side of the sign is really about George Draper Dayton. It has his biographical information and his role in Worthington in its early days."

The sign's cost was covered in part by a grant.

"The marker itself costs a little over $5,000. It was made possible through a matching grant received from the Minnesota Historical Society," Moore said. "Past board chairman of the Historic Dayton House, Jerry Fiola, had helped write that grant about four years ago. That's what made possible the purchase of the marker."

For further information, including membership, renting the facility or guest suite stays, contact the Dayton House.