Home: Historical Society of Dayton Valley (Nevada)

Current Historical Society Events
Note that on this page we give only a capsule summary of current HSDV events. For more details please see the Events page.

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Next Railroad Group Meeting
Tuesday, Aug. 5, 6 p.m.

Dayton Valley Community Center

Next Board of Directors Meeting
Wed., Aug. 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m.

Dayton Valley Community Center
(Pike Street at Logan, Old Town Dayton)

Back to stay!
Our "regular" daytime
General Membership Meeting
Wed., August 20, 2014, 12:30 p.m.
Dayton Valley Community Center
(Pike Street at Logan, Old Town Dayton)
As voted by the members in the July general meeting, we will once again be having monthly general membership meetings, where we will discuss and make decision on the current issues affecting the Historical Society.
(Please see the Events page for more details.)

Grant Received from Nevada Commission on Cultural Affairs for
Restoration of Dayton's Historic 1881 Carson & Colorado Railroad Depot!

The Historical Society of Dayton Valley as stewards for Lyon County for Dayton's 1881 Carson & Colorado Railroad Depot has received a grant to begin the restoration of depot. The project will be beginning this summer. The goal of the project is to return our historic 1881 depot to its original appearance and make it Dayton's "Gateway to the Comstock." Our depot is one of only three remaining original 1880s C&C passenger depots and the only one in Nevada. After restoration it will be the only C&C depot returned to original 1880s appearance.

We are also researching and restoring our "new" 1888 narrow-gauge boxcar, SP 84.

We would love to have you in our Railroad Working Group! We did a lot of work for Railroad Days and that will continue! If you want to join us, help research or plan either restoration, and/or help with clean-up, donations, or any other aspects of the project---or just want more information---please attend a monthly meeting (see above), email Railroad Working Group, call 775-246-0505 or 775-546-3725.

The depot is open for special events, or tours can be arranged by emailing Railroad Working Group, or calling 775-246-0505 or 775-546-3725,

Request for Dayton history
Do you have documents or artifacts that are part of Dayton's history? If your items would welcome a new home we can assure you that we will appreciate, care for, and preserve them. We also understand that you may want to keep your historic items, but you can still help us. If you would scan or photocopy your documents or take a photo of your historic artifact, you can send us the KNOWLEDGE these items preserve. We also want histories---if your family has Dayton roots please send us your stories or contact us to set up an interview. Contact Historian or Webmaster or call 775-246-3256 or 775-246-0505. Your contribution may provide exactly what we need to understand one more piece of Dayton history!


Welcome to Historic Dayton, Nevada!

Nestled in a fertile valley east of Carson City, Dayton is an oasis in western Nevada's high-desert country. Dayton is the earliest settlement in the state, originating with prospectors and settlers attracted by gold and by the Carson River that runs through the valley.

We hope you enjoy this website, made possible by the Historical Society of Dayton Valley. We hope that these pages will help you understand why we love the Dayton area and its rich history.

click for detail view
click map for detail view
A quaint reflection of our historic past, Old Town Dayton preserves its origins as the first Nevada settlement in spite of the bustling growth in the Dayton Valley around it.

In January 1999, a supermarket opened in Dayton Valley and has now become the nucleus of one of several Valley shopping complexes. Dayton Valley now boasts two medical complexes, two veterinary clinics, numerous eateries, several casinos, gas stations, mechanics, and the other amenities of a modern community. New subdivisions, five schools, a public library, a senior center, museums, churches, fire departments, an airstrip, industrial facilities, and business areas reflect rapid change.

In the summer of 1999, Dayton celebrated the 150th year since the first discovery of gold in Nevada, which occurred at the mouth of Gold Cañon in today's Old Town Dayton. Then, in May 2001, Dayton celebrated the 150th anniversary of its settlement -- the oldest permanent settlement in the state of Nevada.

Old Town Dayton's Pike Street was once the Overland Trail, which brought many thousands of immigrants westward in the 1840s and 1850s. Today Old Town retains its board sidewalks and homes, shops, and eateries housed in buildings with origins in Dayton's historic past.


At the historic Dayton Museum in Old Town on Shady Lane at Logan, young and old gather to review the town's unique history. The Museum was established by volunteers in the early 1980s in an 1865 school house. It contains memorabilia, quilts, and photographs from Dayton's history, including pioneers, prospectors and miners, woodcutters, Native Americans, Chinese, Italians, ranching, railroading, the Sutro Tunnel and early Lyon County history.

The museum is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. We are closed in December, January, and February, depending on weather. The museum is also open by appointment. In May, to celebrate Nevada Archaelogical Awareness and Historic Preservation month, the museum is open every day of the week. For information or appointments, or to volunteer, call 775-246-3527 or 775-246-3256, or, email Museum or Historian.

The Carson River - named for mountain man Kit Carson - flows from the Sierra Nevada Mountains through Dayton and Dayton Valley, across the Lyon County desert, and sinks into the desert at the Carson Sink. The river provides recreation, including canoeing, rafting, fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing along with swimming and boating at Lahontan Reservoir.

This old compressor is an example of the mining reminders that dot the landscape in the Dayton area.


Dayton enjoys four beautiful seasons, giving the area a new look with each. Nonetheless, the typical weather is pleasant and moderate year around.



Around Dayton

  • 12 miles from the State Capitol - Carson City

  • 40 miles from Reno and Reno/Tahoe Int'l Airport

  • 45 miles from US Interstate 80

  • 25 miles from Lake Tahoe

  • 7 miles from historic Virginia City

  • Part of the Comstock National District, one of the nation's largest Historic Districts

  • Access to the mining and milling sites of the Comstock

  • On US Hwy 50, "the loneliest road in America"



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