Silver Reef is a ghost town located about 15 miles northeast of St. George, Utah. The town is small, but rich in history and still showcases much of that history to area visitors today.
Located off Interstate 15, Silver Reef was founded as a mining town in 1866 when a prospector from Nevada discovered a vein of silver in a Sandstone formation. While geologists were skeptical about the find because silver is usually not found in Sandstone, it was later verified to be silver and brought an influx of minors to come work the area and claim their own silver. To accommodate the minors a town was established.
At the time that the town had a mile-long main street with many businesses including a Wells Fargo Office and a restaurant. The restaurant is still open today but most of the other businesses have closed down after mining operations ended in the 1950s. There are a few dozen homes constructed in the area.
The history of Silver Reef has been treasured and maintained for visitor viewing at the Silver Reef Museum. Those visiting the ghost town can visit the museum to learn more about the old mining operations.
Unlike most other cities and towns established in Washington County, Silver Reef was never settled by Mormon pioneers. In fact, there was never an LDS Chapel constructed in the area. Instead, the area residents were primarily Catholic.