Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Jan 26

Say Hello to the New Public Outreach Coordinator!

Posted on January 26, 2018 at 5:10 PM by Melissa Dalton

Although I have been with the Greene County Archives since mid-November, I have not formally introduced myself. Therefore, I think an introduction is long overdue…

My name is Melissa Dalton and I am the Public Outreach Coordinator for the Greene County Archives (Fig 1). I graduated from Wright State University with a M.A. in History with a concentration in Public History and have been working in the field in various capacities for almost 15 years (that seems weird to say). My love for history (and prehistory) began as a child as my parents believed that experiences were more important than any material goods they could provide. We took day trips, visiting many of the wonderful historical and prehistorical sites Ohio has to offer (Fig 2). I was amazed and fascinated by what humans did throughout history just to survive.
Photograph of Melissa Dalton
Fig 1: Photograph of Melissa Dalton

Me and my siblings on a family vacation to PA to visit historical sites
Fig 2: Me and my siblings during a family vacation to PA to visit historical sites

I decided at a young age that I was going to be an archaeologist. Nothing could deter me. I read everything I could and was enamored with Egyptian culture (I know many archaeologists that started out the same way). In high school, I was invited to participate in a summer job placement program and was placed at SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeologist Park (Fig 3). My work there that summer solidified my love for archaeology. I went on to study Anthropology/Archaeology at Ohio University and after graduation, worked for many years doing excavation and reconstruction with the Dayton Society of Natural History (which owns and operates SunWatch Indian Village). It was here that I met someone who completed the Public History track at Wright State, and highly encouraged me to apply. I wasn’t sure if it was the right path at the time, so I applied to graduate programs in Archaeology as well.

Summer internship at SunWatch in high school
Fig 3: My high school summer internship at SunWatch Indian Village

I continued to do my research and learned just how versatile a Public History degree could be. I could focus on museums (which I loved), archives (which I knew little about), or historic preservation. It was at this time that I realized that my passion lied in working with original materials – be it an old letter, a spearhead, pottery sherds, or a photograph. I loved learning about the past and wanted to in a capacity where I would offer the same opportunities I was presented as a child. This passion has afforded me great opportunities to work with many of the fine institutions in the Dayton region, including: the Dayton Society of Natural History (Boonshoft and SunWatch), the National Museum of the United States Air Force, the Clark County Heritage Center, Dayton History/Carillon Park, and The Oakwood Historical Society (Figs 4-6). All these experiences have led me here to the Greene County Archives. 

Me thatching the Big House roof at SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park2004 excavation with the Dayton Society of Natural History
Fig 4: Fieldwork with the Dayton Society of Natural History

Me at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery visiting the exhibit I planned and executed for my Capstone
Fig 5: Exhibit planned and executed for WSU Graduate Capstone Project (Boonshoft Museum of Discovery)

The Oakwood Historical Society
Fig 6: The Oakwood Historical Society - Long-Romspert House Museum

Today, I have the great fortune to share our collective history with young people throughout Greene County through our educational programs. Although my days may be busy, I have a sense of accomplishment and pride each time a child has that “ah-ha” moment, when the story just clicks. We have such immense resources - by sharing these resources and stories, we are informing and making our history more accessible. It is through learning about our past that our communities grow and I am privileged to be a part of that here in Greene County.

Until Next Time...


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