Utah DNR Bookstore, one of my favorite places to browse for local publications. In the book, I found information about the railroad tracks extending from Frisco, a rowdy ghost town near Milford, Utah, to Newhouse. I had seen remnants of those tracks from Highway 21, but hadn't thought much about them. With Desert Boy's love of trains, I figured it was time to make the journey.
We still didn't know where Newhouse was, and the roads were a little too rocky for the van, so we parked and started hiking.
We hiked for a bit, but the kids quickly decide that wasn't what they really wanted to do. They wanted to go back to the van. On the way, though, they found a distraction.
So we headed to Milford and got directions at the tourist information in the caboose. We needed to go back down in the valley more. So after running a bunch of errands and enjoying the Minersville swimming pool, we headed back towards Newhouse. This time we found it, with a turnoff from Highway 21 near mile marker 57. (One book says the road used to be marked, but it certainly isn't now. However, if you look off into the distance, you can see some of the buildings from the highway--something I had never noticed before.)
Frisco. But it didn't have many investors and little was mined until 1900, when Samuel Newhouse came from Salt Lake City. He had previously invested in the copper mines up Bingham Canyon, which proved quite successful. With his capital, plus investments from England and France, the Cactus Mine was worked more and proved to be profitable. A town developed on Newhouse's land around the mine, called Tent-town due to the temporary nature of the "buildings".
A few years later, the mine was still going strong, and some permanent buildings were erected. The town became known as Newhouse and included a cafe, library, livery stable, hospital, several stores, and a hotel. It even had an opera house and dance hall. Water was not available right there, so it was piped in from Wah Wah Springs five miles west, and an electrical system was installed. Water not used for mining and culinary purposes irrigated the city park. The saloon and red light district were relegated to a mile outside of town, off of Newhouse's property. The town was orderly in contrast to Frisco around the hill, which at its heydey had 23 saloons and was known as the wildest town in the Great Basin (from Stephen Carr's Utah Ghost Towns).
Hmm...opera house vs. 23 saloons...
The ore didn't last forever, though. It didn't even last for long. About five years after the town was settled, the Cactus Mine gave out, after producing $3.5 million worth of ore. Other mines in the area weren't big producers, so the town, like most mining towns, quickly quieted. Many buildings were moved into Milford. The cafe continued, serving sheep and cattlemen and a few miner, until 1921 when it burned down. The tracks were pulled up to Frisco in 1927, and then the track from Frisco to Milford was taken up by August 1943.