Despite growth, Dayton retains community feel |

Despite growth, Dayton retains community feel

Ruby McFarland
Special to the Appeal

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

– Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

It’s amazing how much we get done when we are passionate about a project. A prime example is the Halloween Haunting Hayride the Historical Society of Dayton Valley sponsored, which turned out to be the event of the year.

Comments were made that it was just like the Dayton of old.

As communities grow, it seems we lose enthusiasm for the simpler things, like working together as a community. I hope we have more such events.

In her diaries, Emma Nevada Barton Loftus speaks of events of togetherness. Most important to her were the Christmas programs held at the schoolhouse and of the community Christmas tree. As long as her son, Chester Barton, could, with Emma, help, there was no child in the area who didn’t get a Christmas present. They personally delivered the gifts.

This act of kindness impressed Del Minor so much, she decided Dayton wasn’t so bad after all. Moving here from Reno in the 1950s, Del wasn’t sure she liked Dayton, but the generosity of Chester and Emma convinced her that Dayton was a good place to raise a family.

One of the people whom we lost to another place, Jannette Hoffert, always worked to guarantee local needy families were fed on holidays. She also made sure needy children received gifts from Santa, extending her good will for all occasions. She is sorely missed in this community.

I’m a firm believer that we get back threefold what we give. Our little community has become so large now that we may lose sight of what is really the spirit of goodwill.

I hope we can continue to grow toward more meaningful events to bring the community together. I love my hometown and its history. For sure, our history indicates the importance of helping each other in our journey through life. History does repeat itself – let’s hope it continues to do so in Dayton.

The Dayton Museum is on Shady Lane and Logan Street 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 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 17-year resident of Dayton, a board member of the Dayton Historical Society and a docent at the museum.