Share the amazement at the new miniature mining equipment
August 29, 2007
I don’t think the Historical Society of Dayton Valley will ever be able to thank our friend John Falkowski enough for donating the wonderful diorama of mining equipment. The miniature display shows various ways gold is extracted from the ground and ways to process it. Since I wrote about the display a few weeks ago, John has added to it. People come by just to see these wonderful pieces and are as impressed as I am about the detail of work in the models.
John will tell you straight away that he doesn’t like to do things half way. He wants the miniatures to be as close to the big things as possible. That includes the fact the models all work just as they should.
We have docent classes on Saturday mornings most weekends – if we have enough people. When we talked about John’s diorama, I was surprised that our class that usually lasts 1.5 hours was still going at 2.5 hours. I had to stop taking questions to resume at a later time.
We spent much time on the square set display. Square set bracing was used in the Virginia City mining shafts to keep the pockets created by the miners from caving in on them. The man who invented the square set was Philip Deideshimer and the system is used throughout the Comstock mining area. Every now and then though, the old timbers give way and Virginia City sinks a little.
I’d like to think you might all come to see this diorama. As I was daydreaming one Sunday, John and his nephew drove up and opened the back of the car. Lo and behold a replica of the infamous Old Town two-story outhouse appeared.
Now, mind you, the real two-story outhouse left Dayton some time ago, but John took the time to research it and built us a great duplicate in miniature. It’s also on display at the museum.
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Dayton Valley Days is coming September 15-16. John said we could borrow a dredge like the one that dug the pits in Dayton. We will have people at hand who can explain how it works. Each of these items will amaze you I’m sure. Come see the outhouse and the rest of the historic artifacts in the Dayton Museum.
The Dayton Museum is located on Shady Lane and Logan in Old Town Dayton. It’s open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 1- 4 p.m. Sundays.
Check the Web site: daytonnvhistory.org. Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-0462 or 246-0441. The Historical Society of Dayton Valley meets the third Wednesdays at noon at the Dayton Valley Community Center.
• Ruby McFarland has lived in Dayton since October 1987, she serves as a board member of the Dayton Historical Society and a docent at the museum.