Day 14: June 22, 2011
The East Tour
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Today's bus tour headed east with the first stop at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City. The museum incorporates the old mint building but I failed to walk out far enough to get a picture of its front. Even so, the old stone and new glass make quite a contrast. The museum's many well done exhibits show Nevada's history both before and after the Europeans arrived. In addition to our group of 100+, several groups of school children were at the museum today and a little crowding sometimes occurred. This was most apparent in the narrow twisting tunnels of the authentic looking silver mine exhibit in the basement. Maybe I'd have a picture of that if it hadn't been filled with bodies; Maybe not. Seeing a museum filled with curious kids always makes me happy.

A big part of Nevada's history involves the gambling industry and a big part of that involves the machines of Charles Fey. The museum has a room full of those that includes what is generally recognized as the first successful slot machine, the "Liberty Bell".

Because of its small size, visits to the room holding the mint's original Coin Press #1 were made in timed groups of twenty. The press is still in operation and adding to its already impressive history. A medallion bearing the 2011 LHA conference logo was designed to be struck by this press. Some of us naively thought the actual pressing would be done as we watched but all 140 (That's all there is, there ain't no more.) were struck, examined, and packaged in advance. It's a beauty.

A display in the same room contains examples of all but two (I forget which) of the coins ever produced by the Carson City Mint and there are many other displays in the mint area. One is a set of medallions made for a governors conference in the 1970s and I found Ohio's.

Lunch would be served at Dayton, Nevada, but on the way we drove by the Bunny Ranch where friendly employees waved at the passing busses.

Tasty box lunches and cold drinks were waiting for us at Dayton, Nevada, then there was plenty of free time to explore the historic town. I had been through here on Monday with Geno's tour but we didn't stop and my attempt to photograph the Union Hotel turned out badly. I did better today. Though originally called Chinatown, Dayton lays (apparently not totally undisputed) claim to being the first town in Nevada and was a stop on the Pony Express. Ulysses Grant was among the people who spoke from the balcony in the fourth picture. The 1865 stone school house is now a museum chock full of local history. Outside, a large collection of "interesting" items can be viewed through barbed wire fence.

A photographer met us at Cave Rock for a group photo. Here's how it looked to me. Lake Tahoe sure looks good from there.

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