DFH Volume 1 Issue 9
This is the Corinth, New York Wesleyan church, completed in 1968, to replace the old church which was shown in last week’s newsletter. Most of you are familiar with it because we held our 1998 Dayton Reunion there. Chester Dayton and Paul Dayton were the two men primarily responsible for financially backing the building project, and physically constructing the church. If it were a hospital wing, it would have been named Dayton Brothers Memorial Wesleyan Church. About 2012, the church was closed and put on the real estate market. It sat idle for about two years with no offers. The price was dropped quite a bit, and our Dayton cousin, Sarah (and Chad) Jerome bought it. Sarah is the daughter of my brother John Dayton. The church meant a lot to Sarah, so Chad and she bought it, converting it into their home. They made major modifications, including converting the sanctuary into a soccer field for her young kids. They leased out the parsonage. She and Chad have since divorced, and she moved to Saratoga. Chad now has possession of the property. Tragically, the local district administration of the Wesleyan denomination just irresponsibly walked away from the property without removing and claiming anything which was in the building. Left behind were the ledgers, records of the churche’s business meetings, and the registry of births, deaths and marriages of members going back to the founding of the church in the early 1900’s. I have tried unsuccessfully, a number of times, to salvage the books on behalf of the Corinth museum. The museum curator tried to procure them too with no success. I cannot understand why Sarah wouldn’t release them.
Mark sent the following message regarding the 1968 church: “And speaking of the Corinth Wesleyan church…..I have all of the scale models grampa made of the original and proposed new buildings when the church was deciding how to build the “new” church.
They were hand made using sanded scraps from the Dayton sawmill and painted white. He used to let me play with them when I was a kid in the late 60s and early 1970’s. I inherited them when gramma Dayton passed away in 1981.”
Jim Dayton recalls: “I don’t have many memories of this church. I only attended there for a few months before I moved away from Corinth.
- Judy and I were married in this church. Our’s was the very first marriage in it.
- The Church youth group was quite large and very active. We had a high school boys softball team which played against other churches in the area. We also had a basketball team coached by Roger Dayton (son of Chester).”
I was quite surprised that none of you wrote to me about the Dayton Family Reunion there in 1998. It was one of the most memorable and satisfying events of my life.
Here are a few of my remembrances of that weekend:
- The cemetery tour and the trek into the woods to hear dad tell about the discovery and maintenance of Henry Dayton and his wife Christie’s graves. A few years after the 1998 reunion, a housing development encroached upon that little cemetery, and so Paul Dayton (with the tedious behind the scenes administrative work from Ray Orton) oversaw the interment of the graves and stones in the Dean cemetery (about 5 miles towards Stony Creek, and one of the cemeteries which we reunion attenders’ also visited as a part of the Dayton ancestors tour).
- Jenn’s (my daughter) wedding shower was there during the reunion.
- The last sawmill tour ever given by Paul Dayton was during the reunion.
- Singing George Washington Bridge which was led by quick witted Keith. Remember how he said, “Ok, now everyone who ever worked at the sawmill sing”, and “Ok, everyone named Priscilla stand up and sing.” Keith (the late husband of my sister, Priscilla, had the funniest sense of humor. He was one of many associate pastors at a very large church in Milton, Pa. One day in their staff meeting, all of those present were going around the table telling what their favorite hymn was. When they got to Keith, he said, “my favorite hymn is Lead on O Kinky Turtle. I hope I didn’t just offend anyone. It was not my intent. It’s just that he was just a down to earth, loveable teddy bear.
- Chester Dayton’s rendition of the Guido Giuseppe story (complete with English as a second language accent by an Italian immigrant).
- The Kazoo orchestra.
- The coffee mugs (write to me if you still have yours in the cupboard with your other mugs…we do, and Judy uses her’s every day).
- Dr. Wilber Dayton’s Invocation.