Dayton Valley Days kicks off of fund-raising efforts to save historic depot
DAYTON — The official ceremony marking the beginning of a $1.25 million fund-raising campaign to restore the historic Dayton Railroad Station will be held during this weekend’s annual Dayton Valley Days celebration.
The station is one of only two remaining original Carson & Colorado train depots. The other, built in Wabuska, has been rehabilitated and is now at the Carson City Railroad Museum.
Sponsored by the “Save the Dayton Station” committee, the ceremony will begin at noon Saturday at the corner of Highway 50 East and Main Street in Old Town Dayton. Committee member Robert Glashan will host the ceremony.
Sen. Mark Amodei, a native Nevadan whose ancestors came from Silver City, will be a guest speaker. Retired Dayton school teacher and songwriter Tom Zachary will entertain, including the singing of “Home Means Nevada.”
According to committee chairwoman Roxie Paine, the completed project will be called “The Gateway to the Comstock” and include a visitor’s center.
Funds will be used to purchase the property, rehabilitate the building, design and build replicas of Dayton’s two-story outhouse and a water tower at the site. Long-range plans include preservation of the Gold Canyon wagon trail and route to Virginia City, making the site of Nevada’s first gold discovery accessible to tourists traveling through the community.
“Ultimately, the total project will cost about $1.25 million, with narrow-gauge track and a replica of the Joe Douglas engine, picnic area and even a bed and breakfast,” Paine said. “It will all be part of a beginning point for people who come to Dayton to see our historic area.
“If we get the grants, the building will belong to the county and, at the proper time, the Historic Society will become proprietors.”
The committee is writing a grant application for Nevada Department of Transportation funding to cover the first phase of the project, including the purchase of the property and turning the building to face Highway 50. Paine estimated initial costs of approximately $600,000.
Rehabilitation of the building is part of Phase II and will cost an estimated $500,000.
In addition to grants, Paine said funds will be raised through special events, selling of memorabilia at the Dayton Historic Museum and corporate sponsors.
Dayton Historical Society President Laura Tennant said, “The site is probably the oldest roadway in Nevada. Pioneers of the 1840s crossed the Carson River at that point on their way to California. It is also where the Pony Express station was located.”
IF YOU GO
What: Dayton Valley Days
When: noon Saturday
Where: Corner of Highway 50 East and Main Street in Old Town Dayton.