Dayton museum holds memories of Lincoln Highway days
In June, the Nevada Sierra Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association visited the Dayton Museum. The group traveled from Fallon using the 1913 and 1920 Blue Book road guides. The section is known as the Pioneer Route or Leeteville Cutoff.
The group followed the famed route down Pike Street, which is indeed the old Lincoln Highway, the first coast-to-coast federal highway across the U.S. If it had been in the 1920s, you might have wanted to stop to gas up and perhaps ask the Dayton consul, Manuel J. King, about road conditions ahead, or where there might be a good place to spend the night.
The road guide states that the population at that time was 1,200, noting Dayton had a telegraph, telephones, garages, hotels and campgrounds. Sounds like a pretty progressive town, doesn’t it?
We had a few things at the museum that we could show the group from the Lincoln Highway Association. It’s fun to show and tell with groups that are interested in a specific topic. An original road sign in perfect condition with the Lincoln Highway’s red, white and blue colors is on exhibit in the Dayton Museum.
While taking in the other displays, the Lincoln Highway Association members studied old maps on display and related some history to me that I can use in the future when folks come to search for Lincoln Highway information.
For those touring historic Old Town Dayton, the Lincoln Highway symbol remains painted on the outside of the Bluestone Building, where the Dayton Township Justice Court and Lyon County Sheriff’s Substation are on Main Street.
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Consider becoming a member of the Dayton Historic Museum Society or stopping by the Dayton Museum on Shady Lane and Logan Street in Old Town Dayton. Limited grant money and Lyon County add to the coffers somewhat, but visitors help the museum obtain grants.
Group tours are available by appointment. The museum is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. It is open at random hours during the week, but closed Fridays.
Call 246-7909 before making a trip. For group tours, call 246-3256 or 246-0462.
Ruby McFarland is a 17-year resident of Dayton, a board member of the Dayton Historical Society and a docent at the museum.