Nowhere in North America has silver been found in
sandstone rock, except just
North of St. George in a town known as Silver Reef. For approximately a
from 1873 to 1885 Silver Reef grew to become the largest town in southern Utah.
There are various stories of how silver was found in the area, but once found miners and companies from
Nevada, left the mines which were playing out and relocated to the reef.
In this area Geologic pressures forced a
long North to South section of white sandstone to buckle and stand up on its side causing it
to look somewhat
like an ocean reef.
Saloons, hotels, mercantile shops, popped up over night and soon
nearly 2,000 people
inhabited this rough mining town. Chinese immigrants played a major role in the towns
economy and at one time
there were as many as 500 Chinese people inhabiting Silver Reef. Gun fights,
gambling, horse-racing, rifle
contests and a myriad of other activities were a regular part of life for the
miners who extracted over 8-million
dollars worth of silver from the area.
However, when the silver
played out, the wooden buildings, miners, companies
all disappeared leaving only remnants of the town.
Today Silver Reef is no
longer a ghost town but is a unique and coveted place to build a
home, because of its beautiful setting near the red and white sandstone cliffs at the base of Pine Valley