Fascinating News about Milford
. . . . Explore the Past and Pursue New Adventures and Opportunities.
Milford is an interesting, small town with a colorful rough and tumble history that dates from the 1870s and chronicles early Utah railroading and the intrepid silver and gold seekers of the times. The town is situated 40 miles west of Beaver City off the beaten path of Interstate 15 and tucked between mountain ranges of the western desert area. Milford is a fascinating place to visit for vacationers interested in the old west, ghost towns, early American railroading, rockhounding and outdoor adventures and sporting. Milford is also the gateway to Lehman Cave National Monument and Great Basin National Park located 89 miles west. Traveling west from Milford, tourists can visit the abandoned mining sites and ghost towns of Frisco, Shauntie, and Newhouse. The Mineral Mountains and other parts of the western Beaver County ranges offer excellent hunting. Major hunts include deer, antelope, elk, chucker, turkey and pheasants. The West Desert is also home to large herds of wild horses and mountain lions. For a bit more adventure, consider signing up for a five-day cattle drive on a dude ranch in the Blue Mountains south of Milford.
Modern-day Milford is now making news regarding the development of renewable energy and environmental friendly technology. (Link)
Mineral Riches and Railroading
Milford is best known for early Utah mining and railroading activity. The Lincoln Mine, considered the first mine to open in Utah, in 1858, was located in the Mineral Mountains east of Milford. This lead and silver mine set the stage for a frenzy of exploration. Stories of silver and gold strikes lured miners from throughout the West. Two of the earliest mines to open were the Moscow and Shauntie mines, both situated in the Shauntie Mountains, southwest of Milford. In the early 1870s, mining districts were organized and the rush was on. The famous Horn Silver Mine discovered in 1875, produced over $60,000,000 in zinc, copper, lead, silver, and gold. It was located just 15 miles west of Milford in the San Francisco Mountains. The town of Frisco, with nearly 6,000 inhabitants at its peak, sprang up overnight, and was considered one of wildest, freewheeling towns in the West. (Click on the links for further information: Utah History to Go, Horn Silver Mine and Utah Outdoors - Frisco Ghost Town.)
Milford was the terminal for the old Utah Southern Railroad that served the mines. In 1903, a group led by William Andrews Clark of Montana announced intentions to construct a line between Salt Lake and southern California. The (LASL) Railroad, as it was named, acquired existing Union Pacific trackage, south of Salt Lake City to the Utah/Nevada border. UP was the majority owner of the Utah Southern. Construction of the remaining line between Utah and Los Angeles proceeded rapidly, and the line was opened on May 1, 1905. (Read more about the LASL)
Today, railroading continues to be a valuable economic source for the region. The Union Pacific Railroad is the County’s second largest employer and they manage 25 freight trains per day in Milford and the number is expected to rise to 30-32 trains with 2 to 4 more tracks by the year 2010.
Note: RailPAC, a California rail passenger advocacy group serving California and Nevada, has stated that one of its goals is the resumption of Amtrak's Desert Wind passenger service from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, to Salt Lake City and on to Chicago. Passenger service would mean a lot to Milford and the rapidly growing area of Southern Utah. As the price of crude oil moves closer to $100 per barrel, passenger rail service just might be back. See additional photos below. (Click to Enlarge)