From boom to ruin; free lecture explores Silver Reef economics

Old mining carts on display outside The Museum at Silver Reef, Leeds, Utah | Image courtesy of the Silver Reef Foundation Inc., St. George News

LEEDS — Now notably a historical ghost town and the home of a museum and relics from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Silver Reef was once the largest town in Washington County and even had its own Chinatown in an era when silver mining boomed – boomed, that is, until the mines closed and the town’s population all but disappeared.

Photo of Old Christy Mill with mill pond published in the Silver Reef Miner News, undated | Image courtesy of the Silver Reef Museum, St. George News

The public is invited to learn about Silver Reef and its place in Southern Utah’s history through a free lecture Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Museum at Silver Reef, 1903 Wells Fargo Road in Leeds.

The mines of Silver Reef produced hundreds of thousands of dollars of bullion and millions of dollars of silver ore, according to Silver Reef Foundation Inc., during that thriving decade at the turn of the century,

Wells Fargo’s Express Office was housed in a building there, completed in 1877, and ran the freight and stage coach operations as well as a bank.

Silver Reef had a significant economic impact on Washington County at the time and was impacted itself by federal legislation and world events.

Silver Reef Foundation Treasurer Andrew Peterson will deliver Saturday’s lecture on the economics and business of Silver Reef, silver mining, labor actions and currency from the late 19th century as well as those external influences that affected the town.

The museum requests RSVPs by telephone to 435-879-2254, by email to [email protected] or by registering online. There is no charge to attend but donations will be accepted.

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About the presenter

Andrew Peterson serves as treasurer of the Silver Reef Foundation, which operates the Silver Reef Museum. He has lived in Southern Utah for about three years and works as an accountant in St. George. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Cornell University and a master’s degree in accountancy from Southern Utah University. 

Event Details

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Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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