Dayton in Lyon County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Lifeblood of the Mills
The Carson River
While camping in 1849, waiting for snow to melt in the Sierra Nevada, frontiersman and wagon train guide Abner Blackburn used a butcher knife to dig Nevada's first-found gold from a creek bed at the mouth of Gold Cañon. The gold rush to Dayton was on! By 1851, there were 200 miners panning for gold at the mouth of the canyon.
Blackburn's gold strike led to the discovery of the Comstock Lode in Gold Hill and Virginia City in 1859. Dayton prospered because of the Carson River — lifeblood of the ore mills.
An estimated 30 ore-processing mills operated along the Carson River in and near Chinatown (Dayton) beginning in 1859. Many mills were massive, elaborately engineered structures. They were powered by river water and firewood cut from the mountains surrounding Dayton Valley.
The first water-powered mills on the Comstock were constructed in 1859. The Logan & Holmes Mill was built near what is now Dayton State Park, and the Hastings & Woodworth Mill was sited west of Old Town Dayton.
The Rock Point Mill, erected circa 1860 west of the Carson River, withstood the test of time. Although
In 1898, Captain Herman Davis revived the Rock Point Mill (though the mining boom had ended), renaming it the Nevada Reduction Works Mill. By 1906, Davis was operating the milling business as a closed corporation. He owned 93 percent of the stock. The company employed 55 men, paying high wages of $3 to $8 a day. When the mill burned in 1909, Davis didn’t rebuild.
In 1912, the Hotaling Estate Company rebuilt the mill. An aerial tramway carried ore from the Hayward Mine in Silver City to the mill for processing. The tramway was dismantled two years later. Dayton's milling heyday had ended.
[sidebar] Dayton's History
Welcome to Dayton's Historic Sector.
In 1849, a pack train of Mormons traveling to California's goldfields camped near what is today the town of Dayton while waiting for the Sierra snow to melt. Their guide, Abner Blackburn, discovered Nevada's first gold at the mouth of the canyon. News spread to California. By 1851, hundreds of gold-seekers had swarmed into Gold Canon, where a tent city grew and ultimately became the town that was formally named Dayton in 1861.
Blackburn's gold find led to the discovery of the Comstock Lode in Virginia City in 1859, then to the creation of the Nevada Territory in 1861, and finally to
Take a trip back in time: Close your eyes. Imagine it is 1853. Dayton's Pike and Main Streets are dusty overland emigrant trails teeming with pioneers, some on horseback, others on foot or riding atop oxen-drawn covered wagons; many of them had traveled nearly 2,000 miles on their trek toward California.
Dayton's rousing history is revealed through photographs and narrative on five historical kiosks located around town and in the Dayton Museum. (See their locations below.)
Dayton’s Historical Highlights:
• Home to Native Americans for thousands of years prior to Euro-American emigration.
• Site of Nevada's first documented gold discovery in 1849 at the mouth of Gold Cañon, where Dayton began.
• Site of Nevada's first cemetery, established in the 1850s in what was then lower Carson Valley, Utah Territory.
• Nevada's earliest permanent Euro-American settlement, inhabited since at least 1851.
• Site of first Chinese settlement in Nevada, 1857.
• Site of Pony Express stop called Nevada, 1860-1861.
(See original rock wall and monument, Pike and Main Streets.)
• Lyon County's first county seat, 1861.
• America's first transcontinental interstate, the Lincoln Highway, passed through Old Town Dayton.
Erected by U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Lincoln Highway series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1849.
Location. 39° 14.386′ N, 119° 35.354′ W. Marker is in Dayton, Nevada, in Lyon County. Marker is on Lincoln Highway (U.S. 50) south of 4th Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, near the "Welcome to Dayton" sign. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dayton NV 89403, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Camels in Dayton (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Courthouse Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Misfits (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dayton's School House - 1865 (approx. ¼ mile away); Odeon Saloon - Billiard Parlour (approx. ¼ mile away); Carson & Colorado Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); The Road to Nowhere (approx. ¼ mile away); Where Nevada Began (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dayton.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Dayton's History
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 223 times since then and 86 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on November 27, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.