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Spring cleaning gets museum ready for more visitors

Ruby McFarland

Well, every now and again Dayton Museum Historical Society members must jump in and clean house. We have several hundred visitors come through our doors annually and have to tidy up so you can continue to enjoy our history.

The museum is located in the 140-plus-year-old elementary school building and has seen its share of footprints. This fine old stone building is the second or third oldest standing schoolhouse in Nevada.

As anyone who lives in Nevada can testify, the wind blows hard at times; with the wind comes dust. I would dare say there is probably dust hiding somewhere in the building from 1865, the schoolhouse construction completion date, but our crew is ferreting out the dirt.

The very high ceilings in the structure are hard to reach so the triple-hung windows are neglected and the curtains often need a good washing. Most people don’t realize that the windows are an old art form themselves. One doesn’t find triple hung every day, if at all.

The original pine floor receives a lot of dirt that is ground into its surface in the main travel areas. These floors are carefully cleaned and oiled to prevent wear and tear. The stone walls are 18 inches thick, which makes a wide window sill – every bug in Lyon County stops and dies on those sills, so it takes much care to keep the sills free of debris.

The glass cabinets housing historic artifacts protect against little hands touching items that can’t be replaced. Most museums would ask you to leave if you touch. We aren’t that stringent, but there are times your name could be written in the dust. That’s a daily malady caused by Nevada windstorms.

It’s always nice to come into a clean house. Please come and enjoy our tidy little museum – our members want you to admire their hard work. And while you are at it, you should get a good insight of what life was like back then.

The Dayton Museum is located on Shady Lane and Logan in Old Town Dayton. It’s also the location of the Dayton Chamber office. It is open during the week at random hours and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Check out the Web site: daytonnvhistory.org. Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-0462 or 246-0441.

The Dayton Historical Society 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.