Saving Carson & Colorado depot...

John Barnhill Oct 25, 2006

  1. John Barnhill

    John Barnhill TrainBoard Member

    Saving Old Railroad Station On Track
    Last week, the Historical Society of Dayton Valley accepted a tremendous responsibility in the name of historical preservation, agreeing to assume stewardship of the Carson & Colorado Railroad Station and property located on more than one acre at the intersection of Main Street, U.S. 50 East and Dayton Valley Road.
    Recently, the Historical Society feared the 1880s RR depot would be moved off the lot where it has been located since the late 1950s. That idea created a stir because historic buffs planned to rehabilitate the building, create a visitor’s center, Dayton Chamber office and gateway to Old Town Dayton.
    Last year, under Lyon County’s sponsorship, the Historical Society was awarded funds from the Nevada Department of Transportation’s Enhancement Program under the National Historic Preservation Act to purchase the property, the first phase of the project.
    After recent meetings held with county officials, property owner Jim Bawden, NDOT officials, Historical Society and Dayton Chamber representatives, Lyon County agreed to accept $550,000 allocated by NDOT so the property could be purchased from Mr. Bawden as soon as possible. After that transaction, which is expected to occur before Dec01, county officials agreed to turn the property over to the Historical Society.
    Thanks to support given by Commissioner Bob Milz, Donna Kristaponis, county manager, and Bawden, owner, Landmark Homes, prior plans for the RR Station and property remain status quo. Thanks also to Tom Minor, representing the Historical Society’s interests - the original idea of saving the station began with Tom, his mother Del and sister Julie a number of years ago.
    Former Dayton Chamber administrator, Roxanne Paine, kept the historical preservation project alive before she moved to Colorado. She continues to keep an eye on it. Thank you, Roxie.
    Linda Clements, Mabel Masterman and I also represented the Historical Society at meetings held on Friday, Oct13 and Wednesday, Oct18.
    The Historical Society conveys more appreciation than words can say to Jim Bawden who purchased the RR Station property from the owner to save it for the community of Dayton. If he had not done so, locals expected a Taco Bell or Rite-Aide to be built at one of Nevada’s most historic corners where pioneers passed by in the mid-1840s on their way to California’s gold fields.
    There’s more: When the Save the Historic Dayton Station’s first grant application was denied, Bawden agreed with Commissioner Milz to wait another grant cycle, in essence, tying up his investment funds, which mean plenty to a major land developer and businessman.
    Bawden made it clear at a Dayton meeting and in an e-mail to the Historical Society of his sincere intentions, noting he supports saving the property for restoration to benefit Dayton’s residents and those of Old Town Dayton as well. And, he believes the project should be the catalyst to a successful restoration endeavor for the ‘old town.”
    For newcomers, Dayton, founded at the mouth of Gold Canyon, is the site of Nevada’s first gold discovery, 1849, and has staked its claim to being the state’s earliest Euro-American permanent settlement in Nevada.
    Commissioner Milz said he believes the community will step up to the plate to assist in the rehabilitation project that will add another page to Dayton’s colorful history.
    During the recent meetings, the Historical Society learned Lyon County had concerns about accepting the grant because a viable business plan was not in place; however, the county agreed to help us write a grant to obtain funds to hire a professional to draft a financial plan for the project’s future. What’s next? After Jim receives his $550,000 and the keys to the building are in the Historical Society’s hands, we shall begin drafting the financial plan to prepare writing a grant to NDOT to obtain funds for Phase 2 of the project to be submitted at their next cycle. Meanwhile, we will ask anyone in the community wishing to assist in this extremely important project to call us at 775-246-3256. - Laura Tennant, The Reno Gazette-Journal (ED. NOTE: Dayton, Nevada is about 20 miles south and slightly east of Reno. - lwg)

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