Travel Back in Time at These Cultural and Historical Institutions in Troy, Ohio

October 30, 2019

If you are in the Dayton area, it is always worth visiting the smaller city of Troy, the seat of Miami County, and only 19 miles north of Dayton proper. The city offers a wide variety of cultural and entertainment options, as well as some amazing restaurants. If history is your jam, though, then you should check out some of Troy’s historical institutions.

WACO Aviation Learning Center

The Waco Air Museum & Aviation Learning Center is located at WACO Field, just south of Troy. It is open from 9am to 1:30 pm during the week and noon to 5 pm on weekends. The museum comes out of the WACO Aircraft Company, which was the largest manufacturer of civil aircraft during the 1920s and 1930s. The 77-acre site includes a usable runway, a hangar that contains the museum and research library, and a second hangar which contains several vintage aircraft. This is not just your typical air museum with static displays, however, offering a variety of activities.

On-site is the home of the WACO Barnstormers RC Club, with its runway and shelter for radio-controlled aircraft. If you can plan your trip, you can book a guided tour of the museum, which includes aircraft displays, displays of tools and office equipment from the old plants, and a flight simulator. The museum is fully accessible and has wheelchairs available for loan. For a truly special experience, you can book a short flight in one of their two biplanes – Red seats one and Sunny seats two. Events at the center include kite flying days, lectures, fly-ins for both full-sized and radio-controlled aircraft, and summer camps. The gift shop sells snacks, and there are picnic tables available on-site.

Overfield Tavern Museum

Two hundred years ago, the Overfield Tavern was the center of everything in Troy. Time has passed, and now the tavern is an interesting museum (open Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 pm). Registered as an Ohio Historic Landmark, it is the one surviving building from pioneer days and has been a museum since 1948. The tavern was active and prosperous until the death of its owner and namesake, Benjamin Overfield. It was saved as a museum by Edward and William Hobart.

The primary collection is early nineteenth-century antiques, mostly from local companies. However, the museum is also known for its collection of late 18th-century medical books, which say much about what life would have been like. The library also has reference books on antiques and frontier life. Guided tours are available both during open hours and at other times by appointment. If you want to know more or get an amazing souvenir, you can order a copy of the Overfield Tavern Museum Catalog, which goes through every piece in the museum in detail. The museum is on the banks of the Great Miami River in the heart of Troy, across the street from the Museum of Troy History. This also means it is close to some amazing shopping and restaurants to finish out your day.


The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center

If cultural events and exhibits are more your speed, the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, in the former home of Mary Jane Hayner, is Troy’s community arts center. The house has a permanent exhibition about the Hayner Distillery Company as well as a variety of historic furnishings and works of art. Check out the Victorian dollhouse. Even better, admission to the center is free.

Regular hours are from 7 pm to 9 pm on Monday, 9 am to 9 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 9 to 5 on Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 on Sunday. The center has free temporary exhibits, often showcasing work by local artists. In some cases, displayed pieces may be for sale. If the visual arts are not your thing, check out their series of community concerts, which are also often free. The musicians featured play in a variety of styles, including ragtime, jazz, country, folk. Or if you are looking for something more participatory, the center offers classes in drawing, painting, ceramics, fiber arts, creative writing, you name it. Most classes are for adults, but they do also have classes for kids. The center is in downtown Troy on Main Street, next to a great variety of restaurants and coffee shops.

Troy is packed with cultural and historical events and activities. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy these and other institutions that highlight Troy’s frontier history through to the modern, multi-cultural city it has become.
Regardless of your tastes, you should be able to find a fun way to spend an afternoon, or an entire day, educating yourself or your children and learning more about Troy and its past.

For more information, contact the Miami County Convention & Visitors Bureau.