Ghost Towns, Silver Reef, Utah
Silver Reef Ghost Town
Explored the mining ghost town of silver reef and found a few several mining structures undisturbed and left standing. There were a half dozen stone ruins and a few restored buildings. If you are in the area while the museum is open its worth checking out. There are tons of old relics to see, the original safe and town photographs. The gentleman I spoke with was very knowledgeable on the history of the town and the Wells Fargo Bank. A great history lesson.
Silver Reef is a ghost town in Washington County, Utah. Silver Reef was established after John Kemple, a prospector from Nevada, discovered a vein of silver in a sandstone formation in 1866. At first, geologists were uncertain about Kemple's find because silver is not usually found in sandstone. In 1875, two bankers from Salt Lake City sent William Barbee to the site to stake mining claims.
By 1879, about 2,000 people were living in Silver Reef. The town had a mile-long Main Street with many businesses, among them a Wells Fargo office, the Rice Building, and the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. Although adjacent to many Mormon settlements, the town never had a meeting house for Latter-day Saints, only a Catholic church. In 1879, a fire destroyed several businesses, but the residents rebuilt them. Mines were gradually closed, most of them by 1884, as the worldwide price of silver dropped. By 1901, most of the buildings in town had been sent to Leeds or sold for scrap.