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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Haunted Hayride into Nevada History
Thursday, October 30, 5-8 p.m.
(Note time change from original announcements!)
Old Town Dayton
An Event for the Whole Family! Free.

For more information email Haunted or call 775-246-0505.
(Please see the Events page for more details.)

Next Railroad Group Meeting
Tuesday, November 4, 6 p.m.

Dayton Valley Community Center
(Please see the Events page for more details.)

Next Board of Directors Meeting
Wed., Nov. 12, 2014, 10:30 a.m.

Dayton Valley Community Center
All members are welcome to attend and offer input!
(Please see the Events page for more details.)

General Membership Meeting
and Election!

Wed., November 19, 2014, 12:30 p.m.
Dayton Valley Community Center
This is a very important meeting since this is where all who have not voted by mail for next year's officers and directors will vote and the results will be tallied and announced. We will also complete the nomination and selection of our annual award winners.
(Please see the Events page for more details.)

Visit our Museum!
Shady Lane at Logan, Old Town Dayton, 775-246-6316
Our regular museum hours are:
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The museum is also open by appointment year round.
Admission is always free.
For information or appointments, or to volunteer, call 775-246-3527 or 775-410-7887, or email Museum or Historian.

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.
However, 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!

Dayton's 1881 C&C RR Depot
Grant Received from Nevada Commission on Cultural Affairs
For more information email Railroad Working Group or 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.
(Please see the Railroads page for more details.)

Dayton's Historic Firehouse/Jail
For more information or tours of Dayton's Firehouse/Jail---another historic building under the stewardship of the Historical Society of Dayton Valley, email Firehouse/Jail Docent or call 775-246-4457.

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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