The Dayton Bell Tower that has stood since 1909 still stands but around 9:00 pm Saturday, May 26, 2012 it fell victim to a "Hit and Run" according to the Sheridan County Sheriffs Daily Law Incident Summary Report. This was followed later with a Sheridan County Sheriff's Arrest of a Jonathan Robert Melville - 18 - of Ranchester for DWUI, Leaving Accident . . . Arrested by SCSO. The sheriff's office on Tuesday when asked if there was "linkage" between these two events said, "yes." The good news is that someone linked to the hit and run has been arrested; the bad news is that the Bell Tower sustained some damage as shown in the photos below. Whether it was built in 1909-1910 or 1911 is up for debate but what is not in dispute is that the Bell Tower is to Dayton much like the Statute of Liberty is to America. The Bell Tower is on or around almost everything associated with the Town of Dayton. From the City of Dayton's home web page to brochures, pins, photographs in the Mayors office the logo like status of the Bell Tower is everywhere and now it has been damaged. Mayor Bob Wood indicated that the town has insurance on the structure and that the driver of the vehicle that hit the tower has insurance coverage. Soon the structure will be examined to determine what repairs are needed to this structure that has survived two moves since being built on Main Street. Did you know that during WWII the tower was used for spotting airplanes and sported a walkway around and near the top of the tower?
Hopefully the necessary repairs can soon be accomplished and the "orange bandage fence" removed so that summer visitors to our area can see the greatness of our area and not a bruise caused by a 2-percenter.