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Dayton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lyon County, Nevada, United States. The population was 8,964 at the 2010 census.HistoryDayton is at the western end of the Twenty-Six Mile Desert at a bend in the Carson River. Immigrants stopping there for water would consider whether to follow the river south or continue west, giving the location its first name, Ponderers Rest. In 1849, Abner Blackburn, while heading for California, discovered a gold nugget in nearby Gold Creek, one of the tributaries of the Carson River. By 1850, placer miners settled at the mouth of Gold Cañon, working sand bars deposited over the millennia along the path of the creek. At first the settlement was just called Gold Cañon or Gold Cañon Flat. Throughout the 1850s, Dayton served as the commercial hub for miners working in the canyon. In 1857 many Chinese miners came to the area to avoid mining taxes directed at the Chinese in California. With the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode, newly founded Gold Hill and Virginia City, six miles to the north, assumed prominence and most miners headed up the cañon. By 1860 the town was primarily occupied by Chinese miners and it was called "China Town" in the U.S. census of that year. However, soon people began to realize there was more profit in providing milling, goods, and services to the miners and thus came or returned to the area. In 1861, the town officially adopted the name Dayton, after John Day, a local surveyor who later became Surveyor General of Nevada. On November 29, 1861, Dayton became the governmental seat for Lyon County. Because of the availability of water from the Carson River, it soon became the first major milling center of the Comstock, and grew rapidly—from 78 residents in 1860 to 2500 in 1865. Its 1864 courthouse was one of the first in Nevada. In 1866 and 1870 devastating "Great Fires" in Dayton greatly reduced the size of the town. The 1869 opening of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad shifted ore processing upstream to the Carson River Canyon, but Dayton continued to serve as a lesser center of commerce and government. Nonetheless, in the 1870s it was a much quieter, less prosperous town. The coming of the Carson & Colorado Railroad in 1881 brought back some prosperity to Dayton, but the population nonetheless hovered around 500 residents until after World War I.Dayton is in Nevada (NV). Customize your holiday with our United States trip itinerary builder to create an adventure that suits you.
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