The name of the former mining camp commemorates the daughter, Sarah Fay McCune, of Alfred William McCune, a major investor in the district.
-Nevada Place Names, Helen Carlson
The claims were located in 1900 and sold in 1902 to A. W. McEwan, who in the next ten years netted over $300,000 from the surface workings.
-The Horseshoe Mine, Fay Nevada, by A. M. Strong
A brief overview:
The Horseshoe Mine was located about ten years ago, and although high-grade ore was found on the surface, very little except assessment work was done on the property until two years later, when A. W. McEwan, a well-known operator from Montana, took over the mine. The new owner immediately began active and systematic development of the property. He opened up the mine by a 400 ft. shaft, built a fine mill and cyanide plant, installed the present water supply system and built the town of Fay. The mine paid from the grass roots and at the end of two years, McEwan had netted a profit of over $300,000. At the end of this period McEwan became interested in a mine in Peru, and leased the Horseshoe to C. Pray SMith. The high grade ores up the upper levels had already been exhausted by McEwan, who had failed to keep his development work ahead. Smith changed the arrangement of the mill and made many costly and foolish experiments in the treatment of the ore, which resulted in his making a complete financial failure of the undertaking. When Smith abandoned the property, it was so heavily encumbered with debt that it had to be sold to satisfy the claims of creditors.
-Report on the Horseshoe Mine, Fay, Nevada, November 1, 1910.
1900 seemed to be about the time when Deer Lodge's guts started leaking into Fay.
Deerlodge and Fay
The camp is steadily increasing in population
Chas. Craw and family are among the late arrivals
Mrs. Rose was an out going passenger on the stage to join her husband in Tuscarora.
Since the starting of the Horseshoe G. M. Co's mill it has been running successfully and satisfactorily and will soon be numbered among the gold producers of Nevada.
Mr. A. W. McCune and other gentlemen connected with the working and management of the property also A. Menard, of the Fay Merct. company, arrived Wednesday from Salt Lake City.
The Justice Court has been occupied the past week with a case of assault and battery from Deerlodge in which a nominal fine was imposed, the defendant paying the fine and quit the camp.
The Fay Mercantile Co. are doing a steadily increasing business and have a stock of merchandise replete for family trade, and the increasing number of wood haulers and others at work in and around the camp, and we notice with Joe DeFries on their working staff.
Deerlodge is getting more quiet every day, the butcher business of Cook, Norris, and Lyte being mostly transferred and traasnacted at Fay. Some good promising mining claims are however being opened up by Geo Moody, Lee Rouzong and others, which will help to revive the camp at some future time.
-Pioche Record, September 14, 1900
Just becuase you're accused.....
CHARGED WITH LARCENY
G. Pray Smith in Trouble In Nevada
G. Pray Smith is in serious trouble at Pioche, Nev., according to information that has just come to this city from Fay. R. M. Johnson of Salt Lake, who is interested in mining property at Fay, and who claims to have suffered through Smith's manipulations, is in receipt of a letter carrying information that E. J. McCune has had Smith arrested on the charge of grand larceny, and that on the 19th inst. officers were on their way to Pioche with the prisoner, where he will be held in custody till the time of his trial. The immediate charge against Smith is that he stole forty-seven pounds of amalgam from the Horseshoe mill. The value of the amalgam is placed at $50 a pound. G. Pray Smith has been operating quite extensively in and around Fay, Nev., for some time past.
-Salt Lake Herald, July 21, 1904
... doesn't mean you're guilty.
Replying to reports sent out of camp concerning his administration at the head of the Shawmut-Nevada company, Mr. Smith says they are maliciously false. During the past year he has expended in the operation of the mines and mills, in the purchase of supplies and the employment of labor, over $100,000 and he challenges any person to show that his course has been other than an honorable one. In vindication of his course, Mr. Smith submits the following above the signature of E. J. McCune, agent of the Horseshoe Gold Mining Company:
Whereas the newspapers of this city have stated on the 21st and 22nd inst. that G. PRay Smith had been arrested on charge of grand larceny of amalgam and other goods, and that he had been arrested at the instance of E. J. McCune, the agent of the Horseshoe Gold Mining COmpany, will you kindly state that the story is false in every particular and there there is no foundation for it whatever.
It is true that George Perkins and WIlliam Lamb were arrested under charge of grand larceny and the case was dismissed against them when it became known that the goods they were accused of stealing had been sold to them by G. Pray Smith and delivered to them at the hand of George E. Coxe, and that no crime had been committed by either man. Mr. G. Pray Smith now has the option for the purchase of the Horseshoe property and the relations between him and the Horseshoe Gold Mining company are friendly, so far as I know.
-Salt Lake Tribune, July 23, 1904
Llike many camps, there was a cetain amount of misbehavior.
SHOOTING AT FAY OVER MONEY DISPUTE
As a direct result of the shooting which occured at Fay early last Saturday morning, J.R. Sams, who had been more or less conspicuous around that camp for several years, lies buried in a little plot near the mining town, while J.H. Brown, his slayer, goes about in his usual way attending to his customary vocation. Brown, who is a saloonkeeper at Fay, had some trouble with Sams over an account which the latter owed him. He made repeated demands on Sams for the amount and finally harsh words were passed, culminating in the killing. The tragedy was enacted near Brown's saloon and the body of the dead man remained in the spot where it fell until well along in the afternoon when Deputy Small and Acting Coroner Thomas arrived on the scene.It is understood that the vote of the grandy jury stood 11 for an indictment and four against, twelve votes being required to return a true bill.
-Pioche Record, April 15, 1911
Even in a busy camp, you had to have a vacation once in a while.
NEWS NOTES FROM THE CAMP OF FAY
Fay, Nevada August 30-- Will Warren and wife and Grandma Lytle of Eagle Valley passed through the city a few days ago on their way home from Yellowstone Park. Will says he did not much appreciate the idea of sleeping out with the lava roaring underneath him and the grizzle bears pulling his pillow out from underneath him hunting for something to eat.
-Pioche Record, August 31, 1912
Around 1915, the mines at Fay ceased to be productive and the town slowly withered away, with the post office finally closing in 1924. Minor strikes and finds took place but weren't enough to save the town.
HOPEFUL ARE THE RESIDENTS OF FAY
Fred Jensen, one of the leading mine operators at Fay, was in the city one day last week. He reports very little activity in that section at the present time, but states that residents of that part of the country are hopeful of renewed interest being taken in the mines of that district in the near future.
-Pioche Record, November 2, 1917
Even towards the end, efforts were made to keep the mines going.
TO DISMANTLE FAY MILL RESUME MINE OPERATIONS
Mining operations will be resumed at teh gold camp of Fay, twenty-five miles northeast of Picoche, by a company now being rganized by F. A. Hazard and John. C. Charles of Los Angeles. The mine will be reopened and examined and it is the intention of management to sink the main working shaft an additional 400 feet. THe large mill, which cost $182,000 toerect, will be immediately dismantled and the building and machinery sold. TH eheavy hoist and steam plant will be replaced with internal combustion engines. The extra buildings will be wrecked and the lumber disposed of.
-Picoche Record, July 25, 1919