The Wild West lives On in Dayton, Nevada!
These days, Dayton, Nevada is a bucolic town just east of the capital of Carson City, but 160 years ago it was arguably the first settlement in the state. The first legal marriage and divorce in Nevada occured here along with the first non-native birth! What was going on back then?
Well, to start with, Dayton was one of the last overnight stops before emigrants tackled the High Sierras on their way to the California Gold Rush. Abner Blackburn was one of those, and using a bread pan and a butcher knife, was the first to discover gold at the site. Soon over 200 miners were were working in the area, and along with them came demands for food, beverages and socialization! By 1853, a trading post was built and they even held a New Year's Eve dance to celebrate, attended by 150 men and 9 women, including Sarah Winnemucca, an Indian princess.
Mining continued up the local Gold Canyon (Old Dayton) which led to the world famous Comstock Silver Lode in 1859. Even Mark Twain came to document this incredible period of Nevada history. At the base of the hill over 335 stamping mills crushed rocks in the extraction of silver ore with deafening sound while the Carson River flowed through wheat fields on the surrounding plains. All the supporting businesses like blacksmiths, grocery stores, lumber mills, physicians, lawyers, meat markets, and hardware stores sprung up alongside schools, churches, restaurants and hotels. This hustle and bustle kept up until the the mining industry burned out at the turn of the century, and Dayton returned to its humble beginnings.
Now, Dayton is a wonderful small town with a rich history and great amenities complemented by year-round world class golf courses surrounded by reasonably priced homes. No wonder it has become one of the favorite retirement communities in the Silver State.
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About The Author
Jana Orear is a Marketing Assistant for Great Nevada Homes, Inc., REALTORS with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, who can assist you with the purchase or sale of real estate in Gardnerville, Minden, Genoa, Carson City, Dayton, and Reno/Sparks.