The San Francisco Mountains are a 20 mile long range in Beaver County whose high point reaches some 9,600 feet (and change). The mountains once rang with the sounds of two very different mining towns, and their ancillary smelters and charcoal kilns. The town of Frisco, founded in 1875, was a truly rip-roaring frontier burg, complete with a railroad stop, 21 saloons, gunfights and killings a-plenty (as many as dozen a night!) and a population at the high-water mark of 6000. It was a deadly but also very rich town. 50 million dollars worth of silver was pulled out of one mine alone. A massive cave-in put a dent in its expansion and after 1920 the last miner drifted away. Now there remain some kilns, foundations, sunken holes and the usual detritus of long-faded ghost towns. Just up and over the pass from the wild fun that was Frisco was the considerably more sober town of Newhouse. Public drunkenness was forbidden and the only saloon was located a mile outside the city limits. This town too faded out in the early 1920's.
As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay, specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.