LEEDS — It is the late 1800s in the bustling mining town of Silver Reef, a makeshift courthouse has been set up in one of the saloons and trouble is starting to brew. An Irish miner name Truby has refused to take off his hat in “court” and Marshal Diamond is not impressed.
As history tells it, Gary Dixon a docent at the Silver Reef Museum said, neither Truby nor Diamond were very fond of each other and the hat was the tipping point.
What ensued was a classic wild west shootout in which neither man was the victor. Both men were shot dead, Dixon said. According to the story both men shot each other with a .45-caliber pistol but what is even more interesting is that both men were also found with .45-caliber bullets in their backs.
Dixon said that neither of the men were very well liked.
Flash forward to 2015 and a fair-size crowd gathered under the porch of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant building in Silver Reef to watch the true history of Southern Utah’s wilder days come to life at a high noon shootout on Main Street.
The re-enactment of Truby and Diamond’s fateful encounter was part of Leeds’ — which encompasses Silver Reef — “Wild West Days” celebration which took place on Friday and Saturday in Leeds Town Park, 218 N. Main St. in Leeds as well as various points of historical interest in the area.
The two-day festival included a variety of activities that catered to young and old alike.
History buffs had several opportunities to explore the mining history of the area including the Silver Reef Museum and old cemeteries while on an open cart guided tour that left from Town Park and took guests on a fun and fact-filled ride.
Down at Town Park in Leeds food and craft vendors sold their wares: pocket knives, wooden crafts, cactus jelly and more; bands played on stage and people participated in gunny sack races and other pioneer style games.
For children, the highlight of the event was a giant bubble cannon that spewed out thick bubbles that piled high around the children who squealed with delight as they dove into the cloud of soapy fun.
Leeds Mayor Wayne Peterson said that turnout had been good, especially Friday evening when the heat of the day had subsided and the Leeds Town Play drew family and friends to watch their loved ones tell the history of this small but significant corner of Southern Utah.
Saturday evening is expected to draw large crowds as well to hear Rock N Horse band live, watch the Leeds Town Play and participate in some country dancing.
“Wild West Days” continues to 11 p.m. Saturday. The Leeds Town Play begins at 8:30 p.m.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
- Weekend gets wild with ‘Wild West Days’ showing off history, heritage of Leeds
- No Filter: 6 saloons, gambling and gunfights; Wild West thrills at Silver Reef
- Explore: Pioneer cemeteries provide link to silver mining past; Silver Reef
- Wild West Days highlights American art forms, history — 2014
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