Wine-tasting event planned to benefit Dayton Fire and Police Museum

Volunteers working on the future Dayton Fire and Police Museum are hoping to find a 1958 Ford police cruiser like the one pictured in this photo.

By Vanesa Brashier,

With Texas ranking fifth in the U.S. for the number of wineries – 323 total as of July 2018 – it’s a perfect time to sample some of these Lone Star liquids. A March 8 wine-tasting event to benefit the future Dayton Fire and Police will feature 13 local wines – from locales with exotic names like Anahuac, Winnie and Baytown.

Don’t underestimate these area wines, said Tammy Alexander, organizer of the wine-tasting event.

“We wanted to feature Texas wines, but also local ones,” she said. “I’ve tried some of them and they are really good.”

Jim Sterling, sommelier for the event, is selecting the wines.

“We are getting bottles from Glazer Wines in Houston, Frascone Winery in Anahuac and Yepez Wines in Baytown, and are going on Sunday to Vine 2 Wine in Winnie where we hope to pick up a few more,” Alexander said.

The wines will be evenly split among reds and whites with the 13th selection a sparkling wine. Hor d’oeuvres of meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and desserts will cleanse the palettes of the guests between wine samples.

“Do not eat before you come. There will be plenty of food to enjoy,” Alexander said.

The $35 tickets will be sold in advance or at the door until the event is sold out. Only 500 tickets are being offered. The event will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Dayton Community Center, 801 S. Cleveland St., Dayton.

Events sponsors are:

  • Wine – A. Conner Consulting, Noble Exploration, B & S Social Club, Sterling Realty and the E. R. Richter Family
  • Food – Susan Simmons
  • Souvenir glasses – Pace-Stancil Funeral Home and David and Aline Parker
  • Wine pool – Allegiance Bank and Randall Arnold
  • Dessert – Bluebonnet News
  • Entertainment – Sjolander Resources and Development LLC
  • Tickets – Let’s Go Travel Destinations

All money raised will go toward renovations of the museum, which will be located at the former police department, 111 Church St., Dayton, owned by the City of Dayton.

“We need funding for some of the construction that needs to be done. The building needs new flooring and some ceiling tiles,” Alexander said.

Opening of the museum is dependent on the success of fundraisers like the wine-tasting event.

“It could be a year or so before it’s ready to open,” she said.

In the meantime, organizers are gathering items for the museum, including an antique fire truck that is being donated to the museum by the family of the late Gov. Bill Daniel.

The history of the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department and Dayton Police Department will be preserved for future generations to enjoy at a future Dayton Fire and Police Museum.

“It’s at Baylor University right now. We are going to restore the museum to how it was when the building was a fire station. The old fire truck and an old police vehicle will be placed in the bays,” she said. “We are still on the search for a police car. We are looking for a 1958 Ford.”

Other memorabilia – photos, old fire and police equipment – will be organized into displays.

“We were able to get some items from the old Liberty County Jail. The commissioners approved for us to get a jail cell so people can see what it looked like,” Alexander said. “We also will have a mural that was in the jail chapel. It was supposedly painted by one of the inmates but no one can remember who it was.”

Museums like this are usually found only in larger cities, Alexander admits, but Dayton is a city that embraces its future without forgetting its past.

“It’s unusual, I think, for a city our size to have a police and fire museum. This is all part of our history. It’s part of our community and we want it to be preserved,” she said.

For tickets to the wine-tasting event, call Alexander at 936-641-0100.

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