Columbia County Courthouse: 1887
Washington's Oldest Courthouse.
Construction of the Territorial Courthouse was completed two years before Washington became a state in 1889.
Designed by local architect W.H. Burrows, the courthouse was built using Dexter brick and colossal timbers of fir and pine hauled from the Blue Mountains by oxcart.
Interest in the county's rich history spurred a decade of citizen effort to save the building. Restoration was completed in 1993.
Decorative elements including the cupola, statuary and ornamental stucco (removed 1930-1950) were restored. Iron railings are original; American eagles and blind justices are vintage but not original.
Dayton's townsite is on an ancient trade corridor known as the Celilo Falls or Nez Perce Trail.
Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery passed through the heart of Dayton near where you are standing on their return from the Pacific Ocean May 2, 1806.
European settlers left the area during Indian skirmishes (1855-1858). Stockman Jesse N. Day homesteaded west of town in 1859, then founded Dayton in 1871
Despite five devastating fires in the late 1800's, Dayton flourished due to logging and farming booms. Agriculture sustained the community through the Great Depression of
the 1930's and remains its lifeblood today.
Dayton Historic Depot: 1881
Oldest existing railroad station in Washington.
Eastern Washington's first public "graded" school was established here in 1880. Dayton High School (1881) was the first public high school in Washington State.
Many homes and commercial buildings, the railroad depot and courthouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Columbia County Courthouse Restoration Committee · 2004