“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dayton in Lyon County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Camels in Dayton

Camels in Dayton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 14, 2010
1. Camels in Dayton Marker
Camels were imported into the United States for military purposes in the mid-1850's. Lt. Edward Beale of the U.S. Army tested the animals for caravan operations in the deserts of the Southwest. The experiment was not successful and the camels were auctioned off. Some were brought here to haul wood and salt to the mines and mills of the Comstock. They were corralled behind this stone hay barn, known as the Leslie Hay Barn. Used extensively between Sacramento and Nevada points for some ten years, they were later abandoned to fend for themselves. Few were seen after the 1880's.

State Historical Marker No. 199
Nevada State Park System
Dayton Historical Society

Erected by Nevada State Park System and the Dayton Historical Society. (Marker Number 199.)
Location. 39° 14.326′ N, 119° 35.476′ W. Marker is in Dayton, Nevada, in Lyon County. Marker is on Pike Street near 2nd Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Pike Street, Dayton NV 89403, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Odeon Saloon - Billiard Parlour Dayton Lodge No. 5 I.O.O.F. (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carson & Colorado Railroad
Camels in Dayton? image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 14, 2010
2. Camels in Dayton?
The camels may be gone from the hay yard, but their place is now occupied by Alpacas. In the background is the Leslie Hay Barn, which is the same building that the then-resident camels would have recognized as home.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Nevada Added Station (approx. 0.2 miles away); Union Hotel & Post Office (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chinatown (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dayton (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Pony Express (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hall's Station (approx. 0.2 miles 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. A series of markers documenting the Great Western Camel Experiment.
Also see . . .
1. Eliot Lord's 1883 Comstock Mining and Miners, on why camels were not suited for the area:. "...Yet their substitution for mules was not a pronounced success, for they disliked to travel on stony mountain paths, which formed part of the route, and could hardly be urged forward by blows and curses. Their feet were cut by the sharp pebbles and alkali dust inflamed the sores, the rudely fitting pack-saddles chafed their backs and painful blisters were frequently formed....Judged by its progress and results, the experiment of the camels may be regarded
The Leslie Hay Barn (1861), now Camel Barn Antiques image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 14, 2010
3. The Leslie Hay Barn (1861), now Camel Barn Antiques
as an instance of the fertility of American enterprise in projects and expedients rather than as a well-considered and fairly conducted test." (Submitted on February 17, 2010.) 

2. Camels. Online Nevada's article on the history of camels in Nevada. (Submitted on February 17, 2010.) 

3. The Camel Experiment in California. George Stammerjohn's article, published by the Fort Tejon Historical Society, describes the history and myths surrounding the camels that eventually ended up in Dayton. (Submitted on February 17, 2010.) 

4. New Amended Text for Marker. The Nevada State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) recently updated the text of the roughly 260 state historical markers in Nevada. The Nevada SHPO placed the amended text of each individual marker on its website and will change the actual markers in the field as funding allows. Minor changes have been made to the marker for content. The link will take you to the Nevada SHPO page for the marker with the amended text. (Submitted on November 12, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.) 
Categories. Animals
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 17, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,287 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on March 23, 2011, by Carole Wiseman of Dayton, Nevada. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 17, 2010, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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