Dayton development has its price
September 7, 2004
I think that all of rural Nevada is beautiful. The expanses along the highways are breathtaking at certain times of the year. One can only imagine what it may have looked like before houses and freeways took their toll.
The view I always enjoyed was the greenery as you came down the hill from Mound House to Dayton and saw the green fields and trees of Dayton Valley – that’s no more. The march of progress took away what I thought defined Dayton.
If you would like to see what Dayton looked like at the turn of the 19th century, come to the Dayton Museum. We have a panoramic photograph about 6 feet long of the town, which shows the area before there were stoplights and four-lane highways. It shows the countryside without the dredged mining pit you now see on the way to the Dayton Cemetery.
One of the things that jumps out is the fact that there are more trees now than there were then. You can follow the line of the Carson River by the cottonwoods in the photograph, but the view from the cemetery now doesn’t define the river like it did.
Our hope for the future of what’s left of historic Old Town Dayton is that its 1860s and 1870s buildings are preserved, kept from falling down and disappearing, while the look of its lost era remains the same.
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The museum is on Shady Lane in Dayton’s 1865 schoolhouse. It is open weekends during the warmer months, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. or at random times during the week. Call 246-7909. The Dayton Historic Museum Society meets the third Wednesday of each month at 34 Lakes Blvd. at 11:30 a.m. Group tours of the museum are available. Call 775-246-3256 or 246-3256 for information.
Ruby McFarland is a 17-year resident of Dayton, a board member of the Dayton Historical Society and a docent at the museum.