The Cromer-Trumbo House is the largest artifact in The Heritage Museum collection! The historic home, adjacent to the Museum facility, is open for tours on selected days during the summer months, or by appointment.
The original farmstead consisted of the house, a log barn, log smokehouse, log springhouse, and other outbuildings on 10 acres. The log rear section was built about 1811. The front brick part was built about 1840. The house contains architectural features which show a German influence, particularly the roof substructure. The house was gifted to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society by the estate of Shannon Trumbo. Trumbo’s grandmother Sarah Cromer purchased the home in 1889, and Shannon enjoyed growing up in Dayton.
The House contains the Mary Spitzer Etter collection of Victorian and early twentieth-century household items, toys, and decorative arts. Mrs. Etter grew up in Harrisonburg and graduated from the State Normal School (now James Madison University). She taught elementary school for 39 years before retiring in 1973. Her father Perry Franklin Spitzer (1860-1954) was born in Rockingham County. In 1884 he began his business career in the Valley Book Store in Harrisonburg. Spitzer raised his family and became a well-known businessman in Harrisonburg.
The Cromer-Trumbo House will be open on second Saturdays in 2019, April-August, from 1 pm-4 pm and by request for groups throughout the year. Docents and their special guests welcome you to envision life as a member of the Spitzer family. Donations encouraged.
During the summer, the Dayton Historic Triangle is celebrating history with a Scavenger Hunt. Kids are encouraged to participate by visiting the Triangle sites of the Silver Lake Mill, Fort Harrison, and The Heritage Museum and/or Cromer-Trumbo House. Present a completed Dayton Historic Triangle Scavenger Hunt card and receive a souvenir token. Learn local!