Dayton historian deserves praise |

Dayton historian deserves praise

This weekend’s Founder’s Day celebration will again highlight the significant role Dayton has played in Nevada’s treasured past.

Combined with Dayton’s 1999 commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold in Nevada, this gala event should insure the historic community a prominent place in the state’s history books.

However, without the persistence, determination and inexhaustible efforts of Dayton’s foremost advocate and historian, both historical events might have been noted by no more than a passing glance. A number of residents, organizations and businesses have made significant contributions toward these two special celebrations. They are very deserving of praise and commendation, but Nevada native and longtime Dayton resident Laura Tennant supplied the necessary foresight, inspiration, expertise and tenacity to bring it all to fruition.

Most know Laura as the effervescent, ever busy editor of the local newspaper. As editor and “chief (often the only) reporter”, she has spent the past 15 years covering every conceivable community event – local meetings, human-interest stories, photo opportunities, school functions, and interviews with whatever interesting character might be passing through Dayton on any particular day.

In fact, it was her happenstance meeting with historian Martin Griffith, approximately 10 years ago as he was hiking the emigrant trail through Dayton, that inspired him to further research local claims to it being the state’s first settlement.

Griffith eventually discovered the diary of pioneer woman Lucena Parsons, giving credence to those longtime claims.

A founding member of the Dayton Historical Society, Laura has dedicated years toward making the Dayton Museum a proper home for the area’s treasures. Ask her a question about Dayton’s past and she is a virtual encyclopedia of information. (And will not hesitate to recite it to you, either!)

Laura was a founder of and has remained actively involved in Dayton Valley Days and been a community leader and organizer of too many other happenings to mention here. The fact she found the time and energy to successfully initiate and organize the commemoration of two of the most significant events in Dayton and Nevada history is indeed a statement to the talents of a very special woman.

The official logo of this weekend’s 150th birthday celebration recognizes pioneer women. I can’t think of a better testament to that heritage than the indomitable spirit and perseverance of Dayton’s own special pioneer – Laura Tennant.

Thank you, Laura.

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