Home: Historical Society of Dayton Valley (Nevada)

We hope you enjoy this website, made possible by the Historical Society of Dayton Valley. Thorough its pages we hope you begin to understand why we love the Dayton area and its rich history.

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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.

Our C&C Depot is being restored!
Weekly Railroad Depot Work Day
Sat., July 15, 10 am to 1 pm

Drop in, help as you can. There is something for everyone.
(Right now we are working every Saturday from 10 am, except we work the 4th Sat. in each month starting at 9 am.)
Dayton's 1881 C&C RR Depot, Hwy. 50E at Main Street, at the light
(Please see the Railroads page for more information on this committee.)

Railroad Depot Committee Meeting
Mon., Aug. 7, 2017, 6:30 pm

Dayton Valley Community Center
(Please see the Railroads page for more information on this committee.)

Board of Directors Meeting
Wed., Aug. 9, 2017, 10:30 am

Dayton Valley Community Center
This is where the business of the Society is done. All members are welcome to attend and offer input!
(Please see the Events page for more info on this meeting.)

Our Annual Rummage Sale
Sat., Oct. 7, 2017, 10:30 am

Please save items for us. Soon we will start having collection days.
Questions? Call Janet at 706-284-7021.

Our Very Own Dayton "Best Seller!"
Images of America: DAYTON
by Laura Tennant and Jack Folmar

First book on Dayton history since the 1920s!
This wonderful book is available for sale in our museum.
Sales benefit the Historical Society of Dayton Valley.
Contact Dayton Book or call 540-797-6498 or 775-246-3256.

Come Visit our Museum!
Shady Lane at Logan, Old Town Dayton, 775-246-6316
Our normal open days are Saturdays and Sundays from early March to late November. However, we are open every day in May and we are always happy to open for tours or special visits. Admission is free.
(For more information and times please visit our Museum/Contacts page.)

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 (historian@hsdv.org) or Webmaster (webmaster@hsdv.org) 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
Using grants received from the Nevada Commission on Cultural Centers and Historic Preservation we completed pre-restoration planning for restoration of our depot to its original 1880s appearance and are beginning actual restoration.
You can help! For more information email Railroad Depot Committee (railroad@hsdv.org) or call 775-246-0505 or 775-246-3870.
Even while restoraton is underway the depot grounds are open with the depot open for special events. Tours can be arranged by emailing Railroad Depot Committee, or calling 775-246-0505 or 775-246-3870.
(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.

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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