Dayton's history begins with Nevada's first gold discovery in July 1849. It started with a California-bound pack train, led by trail guide Abner Blackburn, setting up camp at the mouth of a canyon that drained into the Carson River. While waiting for the snow to melt in the Sierra, Blackburn went prospecting and dug gold from the creek bed. The news of his discovery spread, and prospectors rushed to the site they called Gold Canon--today's Dayton. In May 1851, diarist Lucena Pfuffer Parsons, traveling with a wagon train, camped at the site and reported about 200 miners living in the canyon. She noted that they were finding enough gold to trade for supplies. In 1859, after working their way up the canyon, miners discovery led Nevada to statehood in 1864.
Dayton historian Laura Tennant is a Silver City, Nevada, native; graduate of Old Dayton High School; a journalist; and former editor of the Dayton Courier. Laura is one of the founders of the Dayton Museum as well as the Historical Society of Dayton Valley (HSDV). Photographer Jack Folmar manages the digital and print photography for HSDV and serves as a docent for the museum. They have compiled stories and photographs from museum archives, historical societies, and personal collections, capturing Dayton's place in Nevada's history.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.