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Piute County

Piute County was split off from Beaver county in 1865.  Its western boundary follows the crest of the Tushar Mountains.  Most of the population is concentrated in the Sevier River Valley.  Grass Valley (Otter Creek) lies between the Sevier Plateau in the center of the county and the Parker Range on the eastern border.

Piute County has been occupied by both the Fremont and the later Paiute Indians who were mainly gatherers and hunters of food and who produced beautiful baskets for many uses.  Circleville and Unction were settled in 1864 by a group of Mormon pioneers from Ephraim.  The Sevier Valley provided good grazing and livestock—especially dairy cattle—remain important to the economy.  Minerals once played a dominant economic role.  A gold and silver boom in the Tushars spawned such towns as Bullion, Kimberly and Marysvale.  The Ohio Mining District was organized in 1868 and by 1872 Bullion Canyon boasted 50 buildings and hundreds of eager miners.  Kimberly, in the Gold Mountain District, developed around the rich Annie Laurie claim, located in 1891.  The completion of a Denver and Rio Grande Railroad branch line to Marysvale in 1900 linked Piute’s mines and farms to the marketplace.

Today, recreational activities create job opportunities.  Piute and Otter Creek reservoirs provide good boating and fishing.  The Parker ranch just south of Circleville has become a tourist attraction because of its association with the outlaw Butch Cassidy. Off-road enthusiasts come from all around to travel the 275-mile-long Piute Trail which winds across the Fishlake National Forest. Dirt Wheels Magazine has rated it one of the 15 best trail rides in the country.