Dayton Historical Society gets two more buildings |

Dayton Historical Society gets two more buildings

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

A letter of understanding from 1992 allowing the Historical Society of Dayton Valley to use and maintain the old one-room schoolhouse for its museum will be amended to include two new buildings.

The Lyon County Commissioners on Thursday agreed to add the old firehouse, which contains a mail-order jail from the 1860s, and the recently acquired Carson & Colorado Depot, which the society wants to use for a visitors center.

Originally, the plan was to turn the depot over to the Historical Society, but Commissioner Bob Milz noted that the group had no real income, outside of occasional fundraisers, to maintain the building.

As with the museum, the Historical Society will be responsible for the general security of the building and contents, janitorial and cleaning and any telephone service at the firehouse and depot.

Historical Society vice president Laura Tennant said the group has been a good steward of the museum and would do as well with the other two buildings.

“Slowly but surely, we’ve been working on the jail,” she said. “It’s our big project.”

Milz said the group has taken care of the schoolhouse museum for 15 years and has done a great job.

In February, the Lyon County Commission purchased the depot for $550,000 from developer Jim Bawden. He bought it in 2003 to preserve the historic building so the historical society and Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce could turn it into a park-like visitors center and museum. The station, estimated at more than 140 years old, was a stop on the Carson & Colorado Railroad.

The firehouse was built in 1875 and contains two prefabricated, cross-bar jail cells from the 1860s.

The county paid for the property and will be reimbursed by a federal Transportation Equity grant administered through the Nevada Department of Transportation.

– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.