From Carson City, Nevada, we stopped by Dayton, on Highway 50 just east of Carson City. It’s a small, quiet town where history buffs and lovers of all things Old West will enjoy. Prospectors and settlers were drawn to the fertile valley because of both the Carson River and the promise of gold. In fact, the first discovery of gold in Nevada was found in what is known today as Old Town Dayton. Today, visitors to the area are charmed by its nostalgic board sidewalks and the shops, dining establishments, and homes located in buildings from Dayton’s historic past.


1865 Schoolhouse

Dayton’s historic grammar school was built here in 1865 and used constantly until 1958. I is the oldest schoolhouse in the state that is still located at its original site.  In 1990s the County gave stewardship of the schoolhouse to the historical society, who made it Dayton’s Museum.

Old Wagon / Carriage House

This bucolic barn and wagon/carriage house is one of the oldest buildings in Dayton. Today it is a privately owned garage.

(Hand-quarried Building)

Originally the Birdsall Mercantile, this building was constructed with hand-quarried sandstone surmised to have come from a small rocky quarry off Pike Street.At one time it also served as a Wells Fargo & Co. Agency.  Today it is the Dayton’s Justice Court complex.

Old Saloon

Originally the Europa Saloon built in 1885, this local “watering hole” was rumored to have been one of Mark Twain’s haunts.  It was moved to it’s present site in the early 1900s and was used as a bar through the years, although it was also a restaurant.  A western bar/steakhouse occupies the premises today.

Fox Hotel

Known as the Occidental Hotel from 1889 to 1907.  



Union Hotel

Was built circa 1870 after the 1861 hotel.  Union Hotel boasted a two-story outhouse that connected to the back doors of the hotel.  Known as Gruber Hotel prior to the civil war.  Now a private property.


Odeon Hotel

was build in 1862 by the Odd Fellows, is one of Nevada’s earliest saloons and billiard parlors.  Today  a saloon and a dinner house occupy the building.

Medical Site

This was a site of a doctor’s office, a drugstore, and Dr. John Clark Hazlett’s residence.  Tpday only the house structure, which is a private residence , remains.

Firehouse / Jail

  The current structure was a firehouse with 1960’s wrought iron mail-order jail cells in back.  Today the building is only open on special occasions or by appointment.


Old Church

In 1937 the Yerington Roman Catholic Indian School Church was moved here and renamed Dayton’s St. Ann’s Catholic Church.  It is not open to the public.


Early Comstock Structure

This building features architecture and construction typical of many early Comstock Buildings.  This private residence is not open to the public.

Early “Jollity” Saloon

This building was the local “Hardy Gurdy House”. the early-day saloon provided female employees who danced with customers. Today the building houses a restaurant.

There are more interesting sites and places around Dayton, but we only have few hours to see it all. Maybe one day we will be back and explore more of Dayton’s history and what have been change after several decades….  and hope that their Museum will open a least earlier, so that travelers/tourist like us can see what the museum has to offer.


 I admire how Dayton preserved their “old town”, were the ghost of the past still remains. The old town is a reminder of the old era were most people have already forgotten, and the younger generation haven’t seen it.


 Travel back in the past… visit Dayton, Nevada.


(Highway 50 survival passport can be stamp at the Credit Union Bank)


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