The Dayton Historical Depot Society’s Annual Historic Home Tours will be Saturday, October 5, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., as part of the Historic Dayton on Tour event.  The Historic Home Tours offers the public a rare opportunity to tour beautiful historic private residences in our community.  This year, a select group of four homes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has been chosen.  The homes showcase excellence in historic preservation and restoration and creative modern interpretation of diverse architectural styles.  In addition, one of our homes features a unique collection of over 20 rare antique lamps.


The Boldman House Museum and the Dayton Historic Depot will be open to the public for tours.  Tickets for the Historic Home Tours cost $15.00, or $10.00 for Depot members, and may be purchased at the Dayton Historic Depot from 10:00-2:30 on the day of the event, Oct. 5, 2019.


The Historic Dayton on Tour event also features a Main Street Open House, a downtown Art Walk featuring local artists, wagon rides, Oktober Fest at Blue Mountain Station, and artists Paul Henderson, Alison Oman, and Sandra Haynes at the Wenaha Gallery.


A brief description of each of the homes on the Historic Home Tours:


The Cahill House:  Built around 1910, one of the five Cahill sons of pioneer Alph Cahill originally lived in the home until 1914.   Alph came to Dayton in 1878.  This Craftsman bungalow has a side gable roof with a shed dormer and exposed rafters with brackets.  The bay window on the east side had three double hung windows.  Some windows are single sash with diamond paned transoms.  The full front porch sits under the eaves of the extended gable roof.  The brick side chimney has some interesting names scratched into the bricks by the son of Mr. Carl Nelson, a school superintendent that lived in the home in the 40s and early 50s.

Kathy and Michael Ellsworth have recently purchased the home and have refinished the original floors and remodeled the kitchen and baths to reflect the original style of the home.  In this process they had to move the stairs to the basement.  The second story is an apartment and has been for many years.  Note the lovely outdoor living space off the back deck. 


Nilsson House:  This house retains much of its original character and architectural detail.  It is one of the most significant Italianate style houses in the city.  The house reflects the formality and classicism of the Italianate style, and illustrates the adoption of fashionable national styles popular early in Dayton's history.  The hallmarks are the hip roof with bracketed eaves, central pediment, box bay windows and hood molds.  It has a partial front porch with square supports, decorative brackets and a detail frieze above a double window.  The tall, narrow windows add to the vertical style.  Inside, many of the rooms have transoms, which lend to the classic style of the house.  Andrew Nilsson, the original owner, was a Swedish immigrant who ran a large agricultural implement business, served on the Dayton City Council and served as a director and vice-president of the local Citizen's National Bank.  He also owned a wagon, carriage and black smith shop on South 4th St.   In the early 1990s a master bedroom was added to the first floor following National Register guidelines.   The current owner has refinished the original wood floors and smooth coated all of the interior walls to reflect the original plaster.  Period appropriate colors have been utilized on both the interior and exterior, which add to the historical significance of the home.  In addition to the beautiful Italian and Asian furnishings, there is a superb collection of antique lamps.


Broughton House:  The house was built in 1885, for Morgan A. Baker, a local attorney and real estate man, and sold to Mr. C.J. Broughton in September 1890.  Built in the Victorian design, the Broughton home is fashioned after houses on the Eastern seacoast and features a catwalk on the front.  Furnished throughout in Victorian period pieces, the home has never been remodeled except for the addition of bathrooms and enlarging the kitchen in the early 1900s. Five bedrooms of the 15-room house display rugs which are more than 70 years old and made by the Halpin Society of the Dayton Congregational Church.  The sunken garden in the yard was the scene of several family weddings. A glorious example of Italianate design, the house is owned by the family-held Broughton Land Company and has been in the Broughton family since 1890.  Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Broughton were married on November 2, 1890, and moved into their newly purchased home that night.  Mrs. Broughton was fond of saying that her honeymoon was a walk from one side of town to the other.  She lived a long and rewarding life there until her death in 1962.  Significant exterior and interior renovations and restorations have been completed.  This includes work on the foundation, chimney and roof plus a new and attractive exterior color scheme.  Electricity and central heating were also installed.  Inside, the family wished to keep the details of the 1885 house and also have the house reflect the 1940s through 1950s styles of the last family occupant, Mrs. Charles J. Broughton, so the home has retained its original woodwork and the original configuration of the house.  The old woodstove in the kitchen is still in use, but new wallpapers were chosen with Mrs. Broughton’s later years in mind.  The home reflects a gracious and formal past and the Broughton family's 135-year-history in Columbia County. The home is still maintained for use by family members.


McGee House:  This large and spacious bungalow has recently had significant restoration/renovation work done.  The shed roof dormers on both sides and the cantilevered bay window add great interest to the exterior.  The full front porch is recessed with large square posts inviting all who arrive to enter the extra wide front door.  Inside, a graceful staircase curves up one wall of the entry.  Beautiful hardwood floors, which have been refinished, grace both the downstairs and the second level.  Traditional local, red fir was used on the floors on the second level.  The original moldings are largely intact and every effort has been made by the current owners, Bob and Judy Robertus, to keep the decor consistent with the original style of the house, as well as reflect the Robertus' artistic talents.  This property was originally the site of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and parsonage built in 1892.  Sam McGee, a Columbia County rancher, bought the property from the church in 1913 for $2000 and rebuilt it into a home.  He raised the building and put a basement under it, and tore down all but the flooring and upright joists.  The Rev. C. R. Howard, pastor of the Methodist/Episcopal church at Walla Walla closed the deal with McGee, and he said the money would be used to build a fine church in Walla Walla.


  • Occurred Saturday, October 5th, 2019 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Dayton Historic Depot

222 E. Commercial Ave.
Dayton, WA 99328