Imagine the sounds of history
November 21, 2008
While sitting on the front porch of the museum, soaking up the beautiful sun, several little events took my mind on a flight of fantasy. I started to listen to the lilting song of the little rosy finch sitting in the tree nearby. I realized that bird was probably a descendant of a little rosy finch who sang to the children in this old school in 1865.
The crowned sparrow down the street with his melodious plaintive song has roots back to parents who nested in the old Carriage House on Shady Lane.
I let my mind wander further back in time, and “yes” I smell the wood fires in the area cooking the midday meals of the miners working in the nearby stamp mills. I hear the “berthump, berthump” of the stamps moving up and down crushing the ore to extract the gold.
The wail of the little steam engine named the Joe Douglass, moving along the narrow gauge railroad, adds to the activity of the day. A rooster returns its wail with a midmorning crow. Wait, I hear the thundering hoof beats of the horses pulling the Overland Stage approaching town. I hear voices of people heading toward the Union Hotel stage stop to see who is arriving and if any mail or packages came for them.
Now, the chatter of the children in the schoolyard is being interrupted by the wonderful chime of the school bell, summoning them back to the books.
All one needs is a little imagination to go back in time too, but first you must visit the Dayton Museum so you will have basics for your flight.
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All right, don’t come after me with a net ” it’s my fantasy, remember?
There will be no regular meeting in December of the Historical Society of Dayton Valley.
The Historical Society of Dayton Valley meets 12:30-1:45 p.m. at the Lyon County Library, Dayton Branch Conference Room; 321 Old Dayton Valley Road. We meet the third Wednesday each month. All are welcome.
The Dayton Museum is located on Shady Lane and Logan in Old Town Dayton. Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Historical lectures 11 a.m., Saturdays. 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 docent at the museum.