Despite having the will, town of Como just couldn't find its way

The ghost town of Como can seem very illusive if you weren't aware of how fast a community of miners could grow and decline; sometimes in just a year.

Many miners reasoned if the Comstock Lode located in the Virginia and Flowery ranges of mountains could be so ore productive, then the Pine Nut Range, located south across the valley, should be fat for the pickings too.

Not so, Como has had several starts and sad finishes. At one time though, the short-lived town claimed having 700 residents.

Como boasted publishing one of Lyon County's first newspapers, the Como Sentinel, a newspaper that had a lifetime of three months back in 1864. The handwriting on the wall was that the mines were not going to work out as planned so the newspaper was moved to Dayton and called the Lyon County Sentinel.

Como wanted to survive and the townsfolk had many celebrations when each building or new industry arrived, but what the mines yielded was not enough to offset the high cost of mining.

A trip to Como is an interesting experience. There are a few foundations and tailings left standing. It's suggested that if you plan a trip to Como that you do it in a four-wheel vehicle on a dry summer day - the road is bumpy and if wet, can be slick.

Ghost towns always have their own mystic and Como is no exception. The answer to some of folks' questions about Como might be found in the writings of Alfred Doten, a resident in 1863-64.

Although at least one history book says that Como was Lyon County's first county seat, Nevada historical archives indicate that isn't true. Dayton was Lyon's first county seat. The three-story-brick building located on Pike Street burned in May, 1909. After quite a battle, Nevada's Legislators voted to move the county seat to Yerington.

Read more of Dayton and Lyon County's fascinating history at the Dayton Valley County Branch Library where a special section holds a variety of historic information. Call 246-6212.

The Dayton Museum is at Shady Lane and Logan in Old Town Dayton. It's also the location of the Dayton Chamber office. It is open during the week upon request and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Check out the Web site: Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-0462 or 246-0441.

The Historical Society of Dayton Valley meets at noon on the third Wednesday of the month at the Dayton Valley Community Center. Visitors welcome.

• Ruby McFarland is a board member of the Dayton Historical Society, a docent at the museum and has lived in Dayton since 1987.


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