DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After being closed for nearly 30 years, the iconic Dayton Arcade will soon reopen its doors to the public, but not before community members have a chance to admire the structure’s more than 100-year history at the Dayton Metro Library.
“We have materials such as posters, signs, brochures, photos from the history of the Arcade, as well as some materials from our own collection — photographs, postcards and books that are related to the Arcade,” said Jamie McQuinn, special collections manger at me main library in downtown Dayton.
Many of the artifacts they have on display go as far back as the early 1900s and tell the story of the building’s glory days. Community manager for the Arcade, Megan Dunn Peters, said while a handful of those pieces of history are available to view, others are still being discovered.
“My favorite is a letter that we found under the floorboards,” she said. “It was stamped 1903. We also have one of our most recent finds [that isn’t] in the library’s collection, but it is a sign from the Arcade market ballgame and it has the two teams — The Cabbage Heads and The Hot Dogs.”
Now that the building is being restored, Dunn Peters said many of those items mean even more to Daytonians who are seeing part of their history revived.
“I think it means a lot for people to see something being saved,’ said Dunn Peters. “It’s kind of a beacon of hope. This past year has been definitely really challenging, and to see something kind of emerge from more or less, the rubble, and become something great, is I think, just a story that everyone can really get behind.”
The exhibit was originally expected to run through March, but was extended through May to give community members a chance to view the local pieces of history. Library staff are asking that visitors call ahead so they can plan for proper distancing.
Contact information for the main Dayton Metro Library branch can be found here.