Silver in them thar hills: Smithsonian lecture explores geologic history of Silver Reef

Silver Reef Museum, Leeds, Utah, Aug. 28, 2012 | Photo courtesy of Silver Reef Museum, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — In preparation for the Smithsonian “The Way We Worked” traveling exhibition’s stop at the Silver Reef Museum in Leeds from Sept. 16 to Nov. 4, a countywide celebration entitled “Washington County Works!” has been showcasing art and information on the way people worked throughout the history of the county.

Silver Reef silver minted coins by artist Jerry Anderson on display at The Museum at Silver Reef, Leeds, Utah, photo undated | Image courtesy of the Silver Reef Foundation Inc., St. George News

That celebration continues Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Electric Theater with the presentation of “Silver in Sandstone: The Geologic History of Silver Reef.” The event is free to attend, but advanced registration is required and can be made online.

The presence of silver ore deposits at Silver Reef in Leeds has been a controversial topic within the geologic literature for well over 100 years.

Saturday’s presentation by Marc Deshowitz, a geological consultant in the petroleum industry, will shed some light on this controversy and offer an explanation that will take guests back in geologic time in order to understand the history of the region, explaining many of the land forms that are observed across this spectacular landscape.

Just like a psychologist examining a patient in order to understand why they behave the way that they do, the “Silver in Sandstone” presentation will dive into the earth’s history in order to provide an integrated interpretation that explains not only the presence of silver ore deposits at Leeds but also the presence of other features which were created from the same event in Earth’s history.

Organizers hope that guests will have some fun and come away looking at this region differently after attending this presentation.

About the presenter

Marc Deshowitz is a native of the Boston area. After 30 years as a petroleum geologist working for Amoco and Shell Oil Company, Deshowitz and his wife, Chrystal, decided that they needed a lifestyle change, so they moved to Southern Utah in 2008 to be closer to family. Deshowitz and his wife lead educational excursions across the Colorado Plateau for Dixie Road Scholar.

About “The Way We Worked”

Bringing “The Way We Worked” to Utah has been made possible by Utah Humanities. The exhibition, created by the National Archives, is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

The Washington County tour of “The Way We Worked” is hosted by the Silver Reef Museum and Arts to Zion. For more information about the traveling exhibit visit the Utah Humanities website.

Event details

  • What: Smithsonian Exhibition Lecture: “Silver in Sandstone: The Geologic History of Silver Reef.”
  • When: Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m.
  • Where: The Electric Theater, 68 E. Tabernacle, St. George.
  • Cost: Free, reservations are required.
  • Register: Online.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

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