How We Are Funded

The Dayton Historic Depot and the Boldman House Museum are privately funded museums.  We receive no governmental support. The Depot’s operating revenue comes from private donations, including memberships, grants from foundations, and earned revenue, which includes admissions, gift shop sales, rentals, and fundraisers.  The Boldman House is supported by the Gladys Boldman estate and private donations.

A Gift of Cash

The most common method of giving to the DHDS is through a check payable to the Dayton Historical Depot Society.  Your gift can be given in memory of a loved one or friend.  You may direct it into a specific DHDS program or leave it unrestricted which allows the DHDS to use your gift where it is needed most.  All cash gifts are tax deductible.


Private donations help pay for the operation of the Depot and for our special events and exhibits.  We seek private donations when extra funding is needed to complete unexpected repairs or when we undertake a community-centered project. You may donate at any level.


— Brakeman         $1-99

— Switchman        $100-249

— Conductor         $250-499

— Engineer            $500-749

— Stationmaster     $750 and above

Gift by Will

One of the simplest ways to distribute your estate is through a will.  After providing for your loved ones you can make a charitable bequest to the DHDS of a specified dollar amount, specific property, or a percentage of your estate.


Gift in Trust or Annuities

Naming the DHDS as recipient of a trust or annuity can provide funds for the Depot while providing tax advantages and a lifetime income for you, depending upon the terms of the agreement.


Gift of Life Insurance

A gift of life insurance offers an opportunity to make a substantial contribution to the DHDS that you might otherwise be unable to make.  If a paid up life insurance policy is no longer needed for family protection, you can give it or a portion of it to the DHDS, and you, as the donor, may qualify for an immediate tax deduction.


Gift of Real Estate

You can make a gift of a house or other real property, outright, or in trust (perhaps while retaining the use of the property for as long as you live).  Your gift may allow you to realize a tax deduction and avoid capital gains taxes.


Gift to the Foundation

The Dayton Historical Depot Endowment is established at the Blue Mountain Community Foundation (BMCF) which provides an interest income annually to the DHDS.  donations of any size can be made directly to this BMCF account.


* Please contact your attorney in order to arrange your donation.

For more information, please select a title below.


Membership is essential to the operation of the Depot.  Becoming a member of the Depot lets us know we can depend upon your yearly support.  This helps us to create and maintain a budget, and your funds go directly to the cost of Operations.  Our members are what keep our doors open.


Membership Benefits:

-FREE Depot tours and exhibits

-10% off any purchase in Gift Shop with membership card

-Invitations to all Depot members-only events

-$5.00 off Historic Home Tours tickets

-FREE Newsletters

-Opportunity to volunteer


Corporate Members:           $50.00/year

Individual Members:            $20.00/year

Couple Members:                $35.00/year

Lifetime Members:               $300.00


Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization.  Without a large group of people with diverse skills, we could not accomplish the work involved of keeping two museums vibrant, community centered, and open to the public.


We need volunteers to help with every aspect of our museums, from putting weatherstripping on our doors to guiding a children’s tour, from serving as docent during the Historic Homes Tour to working in the Gift Shop during Christmas Kick-off.  If you have a special skill or talent, undoubtedly we could use your assistance.


In return, you will have the opportunity to meet visitors from around the world.   You might sharpen old skills or learn new ones.  You will become part of the Depot Society and experience being involved in the wonderful community of Dayton.  Volunteer work can bring fulfillment and allow you to see yourself making a difference in the lives of others.


Areas where we need volunteers:

Office Work

Tour Guides

Working with Artifacts

Gift Shop

Handyman Repairs

Dusting and Cleaning


Special Events

Graphic Design

Children’s Program

Public Relations


If you have another skill you think would help us, we would love to hear about it!  To volunteer, please call 509-382-2026.

Collection Donations

The  Dayton Historical Depot Society is always on the lookout for interesting historical artifacts of Dayton and Columbia County.


The following list are some examples of the type of artifacts we accept.  Because we have limited storage space, we are not able to accept most large pieces.


1.  Photographs of Columbia County, including any community within the county.  We particularly look for photos of businesses, community events and celebrations, gardens and yards, and photographs of people doing something.  We want to get a glimpse into the daily life of the past of our community, and ideal photographs will make us smile or surprise us in some small way.


2.  Memorabilia of Columbia County businesses, events, and people.  A great variety of items is covered in this category.  An item may commemorate a former mayor’s inaugural or celebrate a new fraternal organization.  It might be a free item given by a business for advertising or a bill of sales from an early Dayton business.  Paper items become important artifacts in this category.


3.  Furniture that is reasonably documented as Baileysburg, that was made and used in Columbia County, and can be displayed or stored at the Depot.  Because of limited storage space, we necessarily must be discriminating in this category.


4.  Objects that were made or used in Columbia County that can be displayed or stored at the Depot that directly relate to the mission of the Depot and are essential to telling the story of the Depot.  (Note:  we are unable to accept most large objects due to lack of storage space.)


5.  Books that contain Columbia County history or Northwest train history.


6.  Train memorabilia or objects that can be stored at the Depot that are specific to railroad history of the Columbia County line.


7.  Clothing that was worn by a member of the Columbia County community which is documented by photograph and/or receipt and is iconic of a particular event or era of Columbia County history.


If you have an item that you would like to donate, but you are not certain it will fit in our collection, please call us at 509-382-2026.

Museum Shop

The Dayton Historic Depot’s former freight room has its original Fairbanks Scale, still in working condition.  It serves as the backdrop for the Museum Gift Shop.  The Shop is filled with local western and specialty books, commemorative Depot gifts, low technology games, local art, and other unique gifts that make excellent hostess gifts or “just because” gifts for that special person.


All of the proceeds from the Museum Gift Shop go towards the operations of the Depot Museum.


In 1976, an endowment fund was started at Blue Mountain Community Foundation for the Dayton Historic Depot in honor of Ernestine Peabody.  That original donation of $16,000 grew to $54,000 in 2016.  Some of the proceeds from that endowment are contributed to the 30-year maintenance fund for the Depot which helps to fund maintenance on the building and grounds.


In 2016, we began an ambitious plan to raise $950,000 in gifts and pledges by 2020 in order to enlarge this endowment to a million dollars.  This amount would give the Depot a conservative $40,000/year toward our current budget of $95,000.  At this point, we receive about $50,000 annually from fundraising events, memberships, grants, donations, and the museum gift shop.  This endowment will put us on the path to being self-sustaining.


You may download a brochure that contains information about giving to the Dayton Historical Depot Society Endowment2


The Depot building and grounds are a special place to hold events, including weddings, receptions, parties, family reunions, etc.  Inside events can be held in the Waiting Room and Ticket Office downstairs or in the Upstairs Gallery that has a small kitchen adjacent.  The Depot balcony is a wonderful place from which to toss a wedding bouquet!


The outside courtyard is made of smooth, stamped concrete under a beautiful tree canopy and has ample room for tables and chairs.  The perimeter is lined with built-in wooden benches and attractive landscaping.  Adjacent to the courtyard is a lawn area that can be used separately or in conjunction with courtyard events.


The Depot is located across the alley from the Weinhard Hotel, a Victorian lodging establishment with a rooftop garden.  It is a wonderful place for honeymooners.