The Remains of the Rock Point Mill

You wouldn’t know it driving past, but this scenic, cottonwood-shaded area alongside Highway 50 through Dayton was once home to a spellbinding ore-processing operation. And though nature’s started to reclaim it, the Rock Point Mill still stands as one of the many reminders of the Comstock mining district and the tremendous wealth it generated.

The mill was built in 1861 by Charles C. Stevenson, who also served as Nevada’s governor from 1887 to 1890. Forty stamps crushed the ore that came from Gold Hill, Silver City and, of course, Virginia City. Flumes carried water from the nearby Carson River to the mill site. At one time, the mill had the capacity to crush 40 tons of ore per day.

Dayton’s Rock Point Mill site

A fire ravaged the original mill in 1882, and another fire wreaked havoc in 1909. Though it was immediately rebuilt, the new mill closed in 1920 and was moved to Silver City. Between 1920 and 1954, the site was used a dump.

Now part of the Dayton State Park, the remains of the historic Rock Point Mill include rock walls strung along the hillsides and concrete slabs sprouting from the earth. A wood-framed doorway leads into a room enclosed in rock. Outside, a stone staircase winds up a hill that provides amazing views of the surrounding town. An earthen dam still exists and provides a scenic basin hidden from the highway.

A sign near the base of the ruins tells the mill’s story through words and photographs. Rock-lined pathways wind uphill toward the dam, around the dump and to a round concrete structure at the top of a high hill. A convenient bench allows visitors to sit and admire the view. In addition, the site is connected to the Dayton State Park through a tunnel that runs underneath Highway 50.

Venturing among the ruins, you get a sense of the operation’s vast scale. As one of three ore-processing plants in Dayton, The Rock Point Mill was a crucial fixture not only of the town, but of the Comstock mining district as well. Today, it serves as an historical remnant of a bygone era, reminding contemporary Dayton of its roots and the role it played in the shaping of the west.


Reprinted with permission from Dennis Cassinelli is an author and historian living in Northern Nevada. Learn more about his work by visiting his site!

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Pick up your ‘Welcome to Northern Nevada’ Community Guide!

Free ‘Northern Nevada’ community guides are available at Coldwell Banker Select in Dayton, Nevada

If you’re in the Dayton/Carson City area, please be sure to drop by our office at 175 Highway 50 East in Dayton to pick up a free copy of our Welcome to Northern Nevada community guide. In it you’ll find interesting stories about our Northern Nevada communities, as well as information on schools, local healthcare and outdoor recreation. The guide also features phone numbers for local utilities, government offices and transportation, as well as senior services and emergency contacts.

Pick up your guide today and see all the wonderful amenities Northern Nevada has to offer!

Coldwell Banker Select is located at:
175 Highway 50 East
Dayton, Nevada 89403

Our Dayton office is located at 175 Highway 50 East, Dayton, NV 89403.

We’re right between Subway and Pizza Factory! (Yes, we eat a lot of pizza and sandwiches here.)

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On Location: Hollywood Movies Filmed in Dayton, Nevada

Years ago, I was watching a movie on network television when I suddenly jumped from my seat, pointed at the TV, and screamed, “Look! Look! That’s Dayton! That’s Dayton!”

Unfortunately, in my excitement, I knocked over a whole bowl of popcorn.

But you can’t blame me: It’s exciting when you recognize a location in a Hollywood movie. Especially if it’s your hometown!

The movie was “The Wizard,” a 1989 film starring Fred Savage, probably best known as the kid from “The Princess Bride.” He also starred in “The Wonder Years.”

“The Wizard,” is about a young, autistic child who has an uncanny knack for mastering video games – specifically, the Nintendo-console video games that were popular at the time (I can’t even begin to comprehend video games nowadays). He and his brother set off on a road trip for a video-game tournament in Los Angeles … and in the process travel through some areas Northern Nevadans will find very familiar.

Daytonites in particular will love a pivotal scene in which Beau Bridges and Christian Slater get in a fight with another guy. The backdrop for the scene is downtown Dayton!

At one point, you very clearly can see the courthouse in the background, as well as the Union Hotel. The scene ends with “the bad guy” driving toward the stoplight, from an angle similar to the photo below.

The intersection of Highway 50 and Dayton Valley Road in Dayton, Nevada








That scene in particular shows how much Dayton has changed over the years. In the movie, the parcel where the Chevron station now stands is a vacant lot. The bridge that crosses the Carson River is two-lane instead of four-lane.

And, if you look closely, you can see Dayton Elementary School in the distance, back when it was painted yellow.

If you have a chance to see the movie, you should check it out, even if only to catch the downtown Dayton scene. However, there are many other locations you also might recognize, including a shot of the famous Volkswagen spider sculpture along Highway 50 through Mound House. There also are several distinctive shots of downtown Reno – including, of course, the Reno Arch.

Honkytonk Man” (1982) is another movie that boasts scenes filmed in downtown Dayton. It stars Clint Eastwood as a Depression-era country musician who’s dying of tuberculosis. He and his nephew, Whit (played by Eastwood’s son, Kyle), embark on one last road trip to Nashville, Tenn., where Eastwood’s character has a shot at appearing on the Grand Ole Opry.

There are a few scenes near the beginning that’ll have Daytonites pointing at the television and hollering (and perhaps even knocking over a bowl of popcorn).

In one, Eastwood is confronted by two police officers and arrested for stealing chickens. The street clearly is downtown Dayton; I believe at one point you can make out the former End of the Trail saloon (which now of course is the Gold Canyon Steakhouse).

Later on, Whit breaks Eastwood’s character out of jail, and the two speed down Pike Street. The Union Hotel is visible in the distance, as well as the Odeon Hall … from an angle similar to the photo below.

Downtown Dayton, with the Union Hotel in the background.








Much of “Honkytonk Man,” in fact, was shot around Northern Nevada, including areas such as Genoa and Jack’s Valley Road. Area residents will have a field day watching the movie and spotting familiar locations.

Both “Honkytonk Man” and “The Wizard” appeared in the 1980s, and unfortunately, I’m not aware of any film crews descending upon Dayton since then. It’s a wonderful community for filming, though, as it combines modern-day amenities with a rustic, small-town ambiance. Let’s hope the next big blockbuster is filmed here!

There’s another, very famous movie that was filmed in Dayton – and it appeared much earlier than the 1980s. Can you guess? (If you live in Dayton, you’re probably already shouting out the answer.)

It starred Clark Gable … and Montgomery Clift … and an actress whom, well, you might have heard of: Marilyn Monroe.

If you’re not already waving your hand in excitement, yelling “Pick me, pick me, I know!”, then I’ll go ahead and give you the answer: It’s 1961’s “The Misfits.”

Reviews of the film are mixed, but that doesn’t stop Daytonites from having a sense of pride over the movie’s being filmed here. Many scenes were shot in downtown Dayton, and what now is J’s Bistro, in fact, at one time was called “The Misfits!”

All three movies are worth checking out, if for no other reason than to catch glimpses of Dayton. Just be sure your popcorn is safely out of reach, so you don’t knock it over in excitement when you recognize one of the locations!

Do you have any additional fun facts about movies that were filmed in Dayton … or were you present during the fillming of any of the movies? Add to the conversation by leaving your comment below!

Jody Foley is a Realtor® who’s served the Dayton, Nevada community for more than 25 years. If anyone made a movie about her life, it’d probably be an action-packed flick filled with lots of car chases!

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A Slideshow of Dayton, Nevada

Dayton, Nevada, is known for its beautiful high-desert setting, rich historical heritage, wonderful location and the meandering Carson River. It’s also near such landmarks as Reno, Lake Tahoe and Virginia City!

Real-estate agent Jody Foley has been serving Dayton for more than 20 years and is proud to present this slideshow highlighting her community. However, these photos show only a fraction of what Dayton has to offer. The best way to get to know the area is to experience it for yourself … you’ll be amazed by all there is to see and do in this “small town!”

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the Dayton area, be sure to call Jody … for every move! You can visit her on the Web at

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