The first Chinese brought to this site in 1856 built the “Reese” ditch from the Carson River to the entrance of Gold Canyon. The ditch was used for placer mining. The Chinese soon began reworking the placer sands, earning a living from those abandoned by other miners. So many Chinese followed that the settlement was called Chinatown. The name changed to Dayton in 1861 in honor of John Day, who laid out the town and later became Surveyor General of Nevada.