Chance find of old newspaper sheds new light on Dayton history

It's always fun to find something in the museum I haven't seen or read before. A 1922 copy of the Nevada State Journal found its way to my desk. I was enchanted by the old ads in the Dayton section of the newspaper. The caption on the front page states "Nevada ÐStraight Ahead." At the bottom of the page it read "Nevada-The New Empire of the great West."

The first Dayton ad read "Quick Service Station Garage." "Along the main highway in the smaller towns as well as in our larger cities the garage, on account of the ever increasing auto travel, is an absolute necessity. ... One such garage is located at Dayton under the above name where a force of experienced mechanics are always on the job, ready to look after your auto troubles. This is conducted by G.C. Barton of Dayton."

Now, for anyone who doesn't know who G.C. Barton was, he was many things in Dayton. For one, he was the deputy sheriff. He was also son to Emma Nevada Loftus. He had many hats and the garage was one of them.

Another ad read, "Union Hotel."

"Dayton is on the main highway and as a consequence the hotel and its service are a necessary item in the life of the town. Excellent accommodations can be secured at the Union Hotel. This is conducted by Mrs. Caroline Gruber, who started the business here as early as 1867. She is assisted by her daughter Mrs. E. Donnelly."

The Union Hotel now stands in a state of decay and we all hope the importance of the old hotel in our history remains foremost in everyone's minds. What little we have left in Old Dayton should be preserved and treasured.

One ad that gave me a chuckle was "J.E. Giamatti." It read, "J.E. Giamatti of Dayton is in charge of what was formerly known as the A. Panelli Bar, a place that was popular in the old days before Prohibition for its excellent imported Italian wines among those that were in the habit of indulging. The former saloon is now converted into a cold drink and billiard parlor with a side line of cigars and candies and as such, is doing as much business as the old house had to its credit."

There are other ads that were of equal interest and I'd love for all of you to read them. Come by the Dayton Museum and look at the newspaper as well as our other displays. We would love to have you visit.

The Dayton Museum is located on Shady Lane and Logan in Old Town Dayton.

The Web site is daytonnvhistory.org Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-8382 or 246-0441

• Ruby McFarland has lived in Dayton since October 1987, she serves as a board member of the Dayton historical society and a docent at the museum.

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