Old mill site comes alive during tour
Dayton State Park employee Bob Milne brought the Rock Point Mill back to life for folks on a free tour Sunday.
He explained the tremendous rumble of the mill’s 40 steel stamps that crushed ore brought in aerial tram buckets from Comstock silver mines. The stamps were powered by diverted Carson River water, which turned wooden wheels.
“(He describes it so well) you’d think he was there, but I don’t think he’s that old,” joked Dagmar Webber, who took the tour with her husband, Morgan.
All that remains of the mill – dismantled in 1920 – are concrete foundations, an empty water tank and two caves.
“The caves were originally used to store explosives, but after the mill closed we had people living in them,” explained Milne. People on the tour leaned their heads into the caves, one of which has a brick face and door frame.
They were excited to learn the history of sites they’d driven by hundreds of times.
“This is great, really great,” said Mike Heath, a Carson City resident since 1965.
“When you live here, you don’t realize all this historical stuff is here – you just take it for granted,” he said. “Now I’m starting to realize what I’ve missed.”
Heath, who attends lectures at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, is disappointed Carson City didn’t save the Virginia & Truckee Railroad shops.
“It’s just sad to think all this stuff is going away,” he said.
Dayton resident Robin Ferguson agreed more sites should be protected and open to the public.
“I’d like to see the parks get a hold of Sutro, too,” she said, referring to the privately owned Sutro town site and tunnel entrance behind the Dayton Smith’s store.
“We could throw a rock to it from our house, but they won’t let us in there.”
Park supervisor Jean Murray was happy with the turnout Sunday. She handed out calendars showing events planned at Dayton, Mormon Station, Spooner Lake and Washoe Lake state parks.
A black-powder gun seminar is planned at the Washoe Lake equestrian center on May 29. Identifying animal track workshops are planned at Spooner and Mormon Station, and a tree planting and irrigation workshop is coming up at Dayton State Park.
Contact Karl Horeis at email@example.com or 881-1219.