Katharine’s Picnic

by Dr. Richard Stimson

in Dayton Celebration Events

Katharine, aka Betty Darst, held a picnic on the lawn of the Wright Memorial in Dayton on the occasion of the Centennial of Practical Flight, October 5, 2005.

According to Betty, who often plays the role of Katharine, the Wrights loved a picnic. While Hawthorn Hill was under construction, the family picnicked on the Captains Walk above the roof. Later they would picnic in the woods on the property.

The picnic on this day was from their recipes and consists of some of their favorites:

Chicken salad sandwiches

Ham salad sandwiches

Deviled eggs

Home made potato chips

Orange slices


Orville’s Caramels

Home made Lemonade

Carrie Kayler, the family housekeeper would make the sandwich spread. Will and Orv fixed homemade potato chips. Katharine would prepare the deviled eggs.

On this day the picnic was prepared by South Park United Methodist Church Women. Bishop Milton Wright was Bishop with the United Brethren Church that is now part of the United Methodist Church. My mother and father and I, as a child, were members of this church.

Oranges were a favorite with Orville. When the 1913 floodwaters engulfed their earlier home on Hawthorn Street, a bowl of oranges was in the center of the table as the family prepared to have breakfast. It still remained as the waters receded.

Orville had quite a sweet tooth. When someone came to visit, he might ask him or her if they would like some caramels and then happily prepare a fresh batch. These caramels are from Orville’s recipe.

Orville used a wooden potato masher to prepare the lemonade. It has been said that Orville made the best, most delicious, old-fashioned lemonade ever tasted.

At Kitty Hawk coffee was the usual drink. When too much coffee caused them to lay awake at night, they would think over solutions to their challenges.

Reference: Picnic Menu

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