Long Lines Site: Dayton, MO

The former AT&T Long Lines microwave relay site in Dayton, Missouri, was a site used for relaying telephone calls along Long Lines’ Helena, MO-LaCygne, KS “loop route” between the 1950s and 1980s/90s, when microwave relay technology was replaced with fiber lines.

The Dayton site, located in a rural area in the southeastern tip of Cass County, had two hops: one to the northeast to Holden, and another west-southwest to LaCygne, Kansas. From LaCygne, the route further extends into Kansas. In both the 1960 and 1966 maps, the Helena-LaCygne route exclusively handled telephone calls.

The site is located approximately 47 miles south-southeast of the regional headquarters in downtown Kansas City. The site would have originally been unmanned and only periodically checked upon by staff from the regional headquarters unless an alarm was activated.

Dayton features a windowless, basic white block building with a slightly unfamiliar design along this route. The site also features a basic tower, which has long since had its KS-15676 horn-reflector antennas removed, along with the waveguides and other equipment.

The site is currently owned by Sedalia Smiles — the same company that owns the Slater site. The number on a sign on the front door is different from the number listed on the Slater site. However, like the Slater site, the site has no obstruction lighting and is not listed in the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database.

C. Vance, the person who submitted photos for this site, mentioned the lack of lighting. Sedalia Smiles’ owners, Steven and Jackie Semon, of Sedalia, had previously been fined by the FCC for failing to maintain obstruction lighting on one of their other former Long Lines sites near Everton, Missouri. While this site may be exempt from requiring obstruction lighting, it is still worth noting.

I was wandering at night a week ago and came upon Dayton. There was no sign of the tower at night. It’s a Sedalia Smiles tower per the sign. They have at least one instance of a citation from the FCC for the light being out on their tower near Stockton Lake, Everton.

I went back today and it looks like there is supposed to be a light atop the tower. The tower is in poor condition. The paint is faded and peeling. There are no typical cell antennae. There are three small circular antennae. The building is fenced off on all but the west and south sides. Looking it from the SE corner there are a number of loose coax cables going from the tower toward the building.

-C. Vance

C. said he hasn’t tried calling the number on the door. The number listed on the Slater site was out of service as of 2018.

Along with the lack of obstruction lighting, the site has fallen into disrepair since its days in the Bell System. Vines have grown all over the building and the perimeter fencing, rust covers the door, and paint on the tower and building is fading.

The site appears to no longer be used for anything, although like the Slater site, and as C. Vance mentioned, the tower has tiny white parabolic dishes located on it. The purposes of the parabolic dishes and the sites current function is unknown.

Update (May 2022)

A page viewer commented about this site on Twitter, offering more information about the tower and the purposes of the small parabolic dishes.


Special thanks to C. Vance for sending these photos to me. He has listed these photos under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Creative Commons license.

A general view of the site. (Photo: C. Vance)
Looking at the southwestern corner of the Dayton, MO former AT&T Long Lines site in rural Cass County. The site has fallen into disrepair — a lot of rust, vines on everything and faded paint. At one time, the site passed telephone calls on the Helena, MO-LaCygne, KS “loop route,” which was later expanded into Kansas. (Photo: C. Vance)
A view of the site from the northwestern edge of the property. (Photo: C. Vance)
A look of the northern side of the building, which features two ventilation air intakes. (Photo: C. Vance)
A photo of the rusty, padlocked door for entrance into the building. The sign reveals the owner of the site — Sedalia Smiles, which owns other sites across western Missouri. (Photo: C. Vance)
A look at the southern edge of the building. The “blast shield,” a feature of many Long Lines sites built during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and ’60s, is visible along with the generator’s damaged air intake vent. The hole above the air intake vent was for the generator’s exhaust, which is missing. (Photo: C. Vance)
A photo of the fence surrounding the perimeter of the tower base. Vines have grown all throughout the fence, one of many signs of the disrepair affecting the site. (Photo: C. Vance)
A photo of the bottom-mid section of the tower. Two tiny parabolic dish antennas can be seen near the top of this image. (Photo: C. Vance)
Another view of the tower, with the waveguide holders clearly visible. The KS-15676 horn-reflector antennas have long since been removed, but the tower still hosts tiny white parabolic dishes that can be seen on the tower. (Photo: C. Vance)

Photos submitted Feb. 27, 2022 by C. Vance. Page and description published March 2, 2022.