Exploring Dayton's History

Let's face it - Dayton is, and has long been a great place to live! Because our history begins with the first pioneers to settle the county, we get many inquiries looking for photos or information about ancestors that lived and died in Dayton. Due to the small size of our library, and the fact that we do not have a dedicated, climate-controlled area in which to store these precious artifacts, we do not have many of the pieces of history that people are so hoping to find about their families.

We're lucky that Yamhill County has a Research Library devoted to the history of the people that settled this area. They have very limited hours, and have to charge for some services, but are an invaluable resource! Visit their website for more information.

The Yamhill County Historical Society and Museum has a collection of over 5000 images that predate 1930. They are in the process of completing a computerized catalog of the images. Please visit their website for more information on how to locate and view images.

The Oddfellows Cemetery nearby has a Dayton address, but is outside of our city limits. We are not able to provide any information about those at rest there, nor do we have contact information for the people that are doing such a great job of maintaining it. At the time of publication, "Find a Grave" had 962 listings for those buried at the IOOF Dayton Cemetery. You may search their records here.

"Find a Grave" also has records for 535 of the markers in Dayton's Brookside Cemetery. This represents about 84% of the total number of graves that we are aware of on the site. Please visit their site to see those listings.  Please note that preservation and restoration activities are underway in Brookside. We ask that you please do not engage in any restoration or resetting of stones or markers in Brookside without the express permission of our City Manager. Thank you for your cooperation as we restore this historic pioneer cemetery. 

The Mary Gilkey Library has access to about 100 images kept by the City of Dayton for people to view while visiting. We also have just a few smaller books written about the history of Dayton and the people that lived here available to view in the library. 


Thank you for your interest in our lovely little corner of the world!