By Elaine Stevens, owner of the Dayton Mercantile
November 1, 2017
The Historic Dayton Mercantile is an amazing look into the rich history of Sheridan County and the beginning of the town of Dayton. The majestic old west look of the two-story building beckons people to look inside and is the subject of thousands of tourists’ photographs each year.
The Historic Dayton Mercantile sits at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains in the business district of the quiet rural town of Dayton, Wyoming. It is the largest building on Main Street at approx. 5300 sq ft. The 2-story wood frame building was originally constructed as Baker's General Store in the late 1800s. The first floor acted as the general store and post office while the second floor was the meeting place for dances, town meetings and other gatherings. The building was purchased by Henry Croghan and in 1898, he enlarged the building to build a "floating" dance floor on the second level. The beautiful maple, herringbone pattern floor is still there. The traditional store front design, typical of the late 19th and early 20th century commercial architecture remains unchanged. The large storefront windows with centrally located entry and gable roof, hidden by the frame façade is representative of small town commercial buildings in Wyoming from that era. The shape and character of the building is as it was in the 1880s. The building has retained and amazing degree of its architectural and historical integrity and was renovated according to the Secretary of the Interior‘s Standards. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 12, 2016.
Today, The Dayton Mercantile is a summer hot spot for tourists and a quick stop for locals, serving tasty toasted sandwiches and ice cream treats along with gifts, old fashioned candy and antique treasures. One step in the door brings the visitor back to a simpler time.
Visitors from 28 different countries and the entire United States come each summer to enjoy a taste of the small town hospitality. Summer hours are 10AM - 5PM, Winter hours are Saturday and Sunday only, 11AM -5PM.
The owners of the Dayton Mercantile recently received the Maurine Carley Memorial Award from the Wyoming State Historical Society for their preservation work on the Dayton Mercantile.
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