Thursday, June 21, 2012
Journey through the Comstock Lode Dayton, Nevada June 11, 2012
Directions: Dayton, Nevada, is located on Highway 50 about 12 miles northeast of Carson City. It close to Virginia City and Gold Hill making it possible for a day excursion to all the historic towns.
History: The discovery of gold in 1849 in Gold Canyon led to the creation of a tent trading post. For the first ten years of its existence Dayton was a struggling community known as Chinatown because of the large number of orientals in the area. Communities nearby attracted more residents for a long time.
By 1861 Chinatown, renamed Dayton, becamea milling and shipping center for the Comstock Lode. the Pony Express had a station in town and many shippers had warehouses in the area. There were at least a dozen prominent mills on the Carson River among them the Rock Point, Woodsworth and Douglass mills. At the heighth of milling in the area Dayton mills collectively had over 180 stamps to process ore.
The population dwindled in 1878 but a population managed to remain in town for a number of reasons. A decline in Comstock mining in 1878 led many residents to move to other strikes in the state. The town never attained ghost town status becuase of the Carson and Colorado Railroad which maintained Dayton as a shipping center. In 1929 a revival occurred with placer mining in 1929 formally ending in 1941. Today Dayton is a small community with historic buildings and interesting mill ruins along the Carson River.
Historians have long argued whether Dayton or Genoa, Nevada, is the first settlement in the state. What the argument centers around is whether a lose group of tents or small group of prospectors can be considered a settlement. (Information from Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps by Stanley Paher)