Smoky Valley prospectors passing through the region in the spring of 1864 to procure salt for Austin's mills discovered $180-a-ton Ore. In the fall of that year gold bearing ledges were found on Mineral Ridge, seven miles northwest, and there the Silver Peak and Red Mountain Co. began operations. They moved a ten stamp mill from Jacobville in the fall of 1865 and a town with the appearance of an adobe Mexican village was formed on the western edge of Clayton Valley. The mill only ran a few months then shut down because values were lost in the tailings.
During 1866-67 interest headed by John Blair took over the Silverpeak and Red Mountain operations, purchased other mines, and at a cost of 100,000 erected a 20-stamp mill which was said to one of the finest on the Pacific Slope. With this modern mill operated by experienced personnel and a long gravity tramway from Mineral Ridge which delivered ore to the mill at a cost of only two dollars a ton, the future seemed assured. Then for no reasons that were announced, all operations abruptly terminated in Nov 1870 and the mines and mill were shut down.
For the next three decades a few companies made attempts to reopen the mines, but at the turn of the century the properties still remained in the hands of John Blair. In 1906 eastern investors organized the Pittsburg Silver Peak Gold Mining Co. to exploit the mines and operations three miles north at Blair. Silver Peak lost its Post Office in 1913, but got it back three years later when Blair was abandoned. Fire destroyed several buildings in 1948, but the camp lives on as a result of the Lithium and salt mining in the 1960's.
Reference to: Stanley W. Paher, Ghost Towns and Mining Camps