Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is NAHA?

The National Aviation Heritage Area is an eight-county region surrounding Dayton, OH, the Birthplace of Aviation and Home of the Wright Brothers, in southwest Ohio. The Heritage Area preserves and promotes the rich aviation heritage of the region that began with the Wright brothers and continues to the current day with Dayton’s leadership in aerospace development. The Heritage Area includes 14 major heritage sites and/or organizations, ranging in size from the National Museum of the United States Air Force to the Grimes Flying Lab in Urbana, OH. It also includes four National Park sites that make up the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

2. What kinds of activities does NAHA offer?

NAHA is the sum of its heritage sites and partners. The Aviation Heritage Foundation, which is the management entity for the Heritage Area, does not conduct programs on its own, but rather supports the various heritage tourism and historical education related programs of its partners. Partner events include fly-ins, such as WACO’s annual event, exhibits and anniversary celebrations marking milestones in the region’s aviation heritage. On October 5 annually, NAHA does mark the anniversary of practical flight out at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, a National Park site in the Dayton area. The highlight is a flight by a 1905 replica. Other annual events include Aviation Trail’s ceremonies marking the Kitty Hawk flights by the Wrights on December 17, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s annual enshrinement dinner held in July.

3. How do I get around NAHA?

All of NAHA’s heritage sites are within an hour’s drive of each other. Most of them are concentrated near Dayton, but a couple, such as Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, and the Grimes Flying Lab in Urbana, are located just under an hour from Dayton. The Wright brothers’ sites in Dayton and the National Museum of the United States Air Force are a mere 15 to 20 minute drive from each other, making a day-trip to Dayton feasible if one’s goal is to experience the main attractions. Go to the site maps available elsewhere on this website.

4. How can I get involved in what’s happening in NAHA?

NAHA’s heritage sites are all non-profit organizations that rely heavily on volunteers. You make contact any one of the organizations listed on this site to join their ranks or otherwise participate in them or their respective events.

5. How do I learn more?

The best and most convenient way is via the NAHA website at A link is provided here.

6. Why is Dayton called the “Gem City?”

The “Gem City” name is taken from the following quote from the August 18, 1845 Daily Cincinnati Chronicle: “The most indifferent observer will not fail to notice Dayton. The wide streets, kept in such excellent order, the noble blocks of stores, filled with choice, and, of course, cheap goods, and, more than all, the exceeding beauty and neatness of the dwellings…It may be fairly said…that Dayton is the gem of all our interior towns. It possesses wealth, refinement, enterprise, and a beautiful country…”

7. When was Dayton founded and whom was it named for?

The first settlers of Dayton arrived on April 1, 1796. Dayton was named for General Jonathan Dayton, a general in the Revolutionary War and one of the proprietors of the land that became Dayton.

8. What are the names of the Miami Conservancy dams?

The five dams of the Miami Conservancy were built following the 1913 flood. They are Huffman, Englewood, Germantown, Lockington and Taylorsville.

9. What are some of the famous inventions that have come out of Dayton?

A partial list includes the cash register, the automobile self-starter, liquid crystal display, cellophane tape, pull-tab and pop-top beverage cans, microencapsulation, room air conditioner, carbonless copy paper. There have been so many inventions in Dayton that it would be impossible to list them all.

10. Who was the first person born in Dayton?

David Hamer, the son of William Hamer, was born on the site of Dayton in December of 1796.

11. How did the city of Fairborn get its name?

Following the 1913 flood, the town of Osborn had to be relocated because it would be submerged following the construction of Huffman Dam. Osborn moved and was eventually joined with the existing town of Fairfield and the new city was named Fairborn.

12. What are the five rivers in the Dayton area?

The Miami River, Stillwater River, Mad River, Twin Creek and Wolf Creek join to form the Great Miami River.

13. Who were the founding families to arrive in Dayton in 1796?

The Thompson, Van Cleve, Gahagan, McClure, Newcom, Grassmire, Davis, Hamer, Goss, Dorough, Chenoweth, Morris and Ferrell families were the first to arrive in what became Dayton. They came to Dayton in three parties, two by boat and one overland.

14. Did Jonathan Dayton, the namesake of Dayton, ever live in Dayton?

Dayton, a signer of the United States Constitution, never came to Dayton or Ohio.

15. What Daytonian was the first African American to reach prominent national status as a poet and author?

Paul Laurence Dunbar.

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