Silver Reef

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The discovery of silver ore in sandstone was met with much skepticism. Most of the ore was taken from close to the surface and the area looked like a large rock quarry. The town grew to over 1000 people. Nine grocery stores, 8 dry good stores, 5 restaurants and 6 saloons serviced the residents. The boom town lasted from 1870 until 1881. Today Silver Reef is being restored. It is easy to locate – just head north from St. George on I-15. About fifteen minutes and you will see the exit for Leeds. Drive through Leeds and at the north end of Leeds a sign will direct you to Silver Reef.
[Zion – St. George Area Map]

Wells Fargo and Silver Reef Museum

In 1878 this building was called the finest stone building in all of southern Utah. The musuem and art gallery was rededicated in 1986.

Rice Bank

The Rice Bank was completely taken apart and then rebuilt. It was used as a makeshift jail at one time. After one mine foreman was run out of town and another tarred and feathered, the authorities entered the town and arrested the union leaders. Because of the number arrested and the limited space in the rice Bank, a line was drawn around the building and any man crossing the line was threatened with being shot.

Abandoned ruins from the Silver Mining Days

All around Silver Reef you will notice the abandoned ruins from the days when this little town was booming with Silver miners.

Silver Reef Kiln Trail

The Forest Service has created a fun hike to one of the old stone kilns, used to process the ore. The trail is located just up the canyon. Head west on the main road through Silver Reef. After entering the canyon the road will fork, one way to Danish Ranch and the other to Oak Grove. Take the right fork towards Oak Grove. A short distance after the fork and on the right side of the road you will see a parking spot. The short hike leads you to the stone kiln.
 

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