What Dreams We Have
The Wright Brothers and Their Hometown of Dayton, Ohio
NPS Arrowhead logo


This history began as the Historic Resource Study (HRS) for Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. The HRS is a report that places the history of the national park within a local and national context and helps to document the historic resources of the park. As the document evolved, it became evident that the HRS was a comprehensive history of the Wright brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar in Dayton, and that it would be of interest not only to the National Park Service but the general public. From the beginning of this project Superintendent Bill Gibson provided unfailing support and the necessary time to conduct thorough research. After Bill's retirement, Superintendent Lawrence Blake continued to provide the same support and enthusiasm for the project and its publication. I also am indebted to Tom Crouch, National Air and Space Museum, for his undying support through research suggestions, review of manuscripts, and always being available to discuss the Wright brothers with me.

During my research a number of people and organizations, in no particular order, provided valuable assistance, and I offer my sincere thanks for all their help. They include Bob Smith and Dawne Dewey, Special Collections and Archives Wright State University; Wilkinson (Wick) Wright, the Wright Family; Nancy Horlacher, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library; Howard DuFour; Bill West, NCR Archives; Sarah Sessions, Katie Blatt, Mary Oliver, Claudia Watson and Curt Dalton, Montgomery County Historical Society; Henry Narducci, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; the library staff at Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village; the library staff at the Ohio Historical Society; J. Heilman, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery; University of Dayton Archives; Jeanne Palermo, Carillon Historical Park; Montgomery County Archives; Hugh A. Whitesell; LaVerne Sci, Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial; the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress; John Wohlslagel; Wes Henry, U.S. Air Force Museum; the members of Aviation Trail, Inc.; and the staff of the National Air and Space Museum library and archives. As this project covered many years and an abundance of research, there is a possibility that I have inadvertently left some individuals and repositories off of this list. Please accept my apology for the oversight and my thanks for your help.

Students from the University of Dayton and Wright State University have served as interns in the past years and many provided research assistance for this book. I appreciate their help and willingness to use this project to apply the research skills they learned in school. The interns included: Robert Smith, Timothy Hellman, Randall Haskins, Greg Leingang, Keith Williams, Joey Brennan, Catherine Stang, Kim Novak, Rae Boyd, Steve Roberts, Clay Johnson, Donna Davis, Mark Cominsky, Tim Froehlich, Stephanie Weaver, Judi Wiener, Rachael Houck, Karen Huber, Devin Kyle, Steve Lauer, Suzanne Thomas, Sean Yandle, and Alex Heckman. In addition Laura Milsk, a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago, assisted with general research.

Many people reviewed draft manuscripts and offered helpful comments. I wish to thank the following individuals: Don Stevens, Midwest Region, National Park Service; Herbert Martin, University of Dayton; Laura Feller, Washington Office, National Park Service; Jan Ferguson, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Mary Mathews, Carillon Historical Park; Wick Wright, the Wright family; Harry Butowsky, Washington Office, National Park Service; Paul Gardner, Archaeological Conservancy; and Julia Frasure, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. John Monger edited the entire manuscript prior to publication and Mo Martin prepared the manuscript for printing. Eastern National generously provided grants to fund both the graphic preparation and publication.

Ann Honious
Chief, Education and Resources Management
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
November 2002


What Dreams We Have
©2003 Ann Honious.
Published by Eastern National

honious/ack.htm — 18-Feb-2004