The Clayton silver mines are still active and are
some of the oldest mines in Idaho to remain in operation. The founding
of Clayton was a result of the discovery of silver in the upper Kinnikinik
Creek area during the 1880s. The original smelter was built in 1881 and
ran occasionally until 1904. Today, the stone foundations are all that
Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.
UPDATE: Started as a mining town YES. By Henry Ford, NO. Although he did own some property here at one time, a simple mining claim...not the whole town.
The current population is 26, which the population sign at both ends of our tiny town states. though that only includes a small area...not the outlying populations that call Clayton home. but the sign has read 26 for over 10 years...and our population fluctuates on occasion.
The city of Clayton still has a mayor and city council and several operating businesses. i know, i live here, grew up here, and now own the store and salon, as well as a home.
Just last year, a museum was put together, in an old building belonging to the Clayton Silver Mine, on Ford street. something everyone should come check out, it's open May-September.
There are 2 bars, a cafe, a post office, a salon, and a store, as well as a fire station and a community center. yes, there are the remains of the old smelter...and there's a historical sign stating the facts about that.
Clayton Silver Mine shut down in 1986, not due to a cave in, nor did any cave in kill anyone, EVER...the price of silver just dropped below operating costs.
Clayton Silver Mine is not in the 'city limits', but neither were most of the houses until 3 years ago when we annexed the rest of us in. The mine sits on private property, and is not open tot he public, that doesn't seem to stop looters from tromping around and trespassing to steal things...though they do get caught and prosecuted on occasion.
Clayton has a very full history and a very bright future. The Thompson Creek Mine, operated just a short 2 miles up the river, employs over 300 people.
Three Rivers Stone quarry operating just a mere 5 miles down the river from town employs about a hundred on average.
These people all live in and around Clayton and support out small town. We are a semi-ghost town.
The 4th of July in Clayton is the main event. the last several years, the BBQ and arts and crafts fair hosted over 2000 people. That's right, two thousand people.
I encourage EVERYONE traveling along the salmon river/hwy 75 to stop; take a look around; appreciate our small town....