Memorial Hall

Located at 125 East First Street in Dayton, and opened in 1910 as a memorial to the men from Montgomery County who had fought in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, this venue played host for many years to most of the bluegrass and country package shows to come through Dayton. Beginning in late 1938 and continuing until October 1939, John Lair’s Renfro Valley Barn Dance was broadcast from the stage of Memorial Hall, while construction of the barn in Renfro Valley, Kentucky, was being completed. Bob Osborne first saw Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys there in 1947. In the 1950s, there would be shows with seven or eight name acts with a general admission charge of $1.00; if you wanted to sit in the first couple of rows it was 25 cents extra. In those days, bluegrass and country acts appeared on the same show. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs appeared there shortly after “Earl’s Breakdown” had been released, and every time Earl would turn the tuning levers on his banjo, the crowd would go nuts. In 1989, the Dayton Bluegrass Reunion was staged there, bringing together many of the bluegrass acts that had made Dayton famous in the bluegrass world over the previous 40 years. In November of 1993 it hosted A Tribute To Red Allen.

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