Former Boy Scout provides material for museum display

One recent Saturday, a fellow came into the Dayton Museum and introduced himself as Jim Taylor. Jim wanted to know if the museum was interested in some early history of the Dayton Boy Scouts. Of course, I'm always interested in learning about things that makes the Dayton Valley the history-rich area it is.

He had taken the time to separate old school photos to make a group of individual pictures of the young men in the Dayton 1929-33 Boy Scouts. Bert Perondi supplied the information for some of the display. One of the documents of those Scouts is called "My Tenderfoot Scout Board." This score card is signed by the Scoutmaster John Agrusa, who was a teacher then at the Dayton schools.

The Scouts' camp was at Zephyr Cove, Lake Tahoe, and named "Camp Tee-Tonk-Ah," or "Big Lodge." The drive in those days took four hours over a road described as winding and narrow through dense forest and steep terrain. Big Lodge was abandoned in 1939.

In 1933, a new troop was formed by Professor George Gottschalk. There were six, 12-year-old boys in the troop. Now in his 80s, Bert Perondi, still a Dayton resident, belonged to the troop.

These Dayton Scouts were involved with the 1935 re-enactment of the Pony Express rides. The Nevada riders were hand-picked Boy Scouts and were awarded a 75th Diamond Jubilee Pony Express Medallion.

Gilbert Martini, 14, was supposed to ride through to Dayton on a borrowed horse, wearing a uniform loaned by the Boy Scout Council. Gilbert proudly made the trip through Dayton; however, for some reason, he was never awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medallion.

Thanks to Jim Taylor for donating his time and story to the Dayton Museum. His great display of Dayton Scouts in the early days is on exhibit for everyone to enjoy.

The Dayton Museum is on Shady Lane and Logan Street in Old Town Dayton. It is open during the week at random hours and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Go to Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-0462 or 246-0441. The Historical Society of Dayton Valley meets at noon on the third Wednesday of the month at the Community Center.

• Ruby McFarland is a 17-year resident of Dayton, a board member of the Dayton Historical Society and a docent at the museum.


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