Silver Reef, UtahEdit This Page

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United States Gotoarrow.png Utah Gotoarrow.png Washington, County Gotoarrow.png Silver Reef

Contents

Quick History

Silverreef-mine.jpg
Silver Reef is a class 6 mining ghost town, in Washington County [1] established after a Nevada prospector discovered a silver vein in sandstone. In 1871 claims were staked and by 1876 miners flocked in from failing mines in Pioche, Nevada. The town was named Bonanza City and businesses rushed to the area. Finding property values at a premium, miners settle just north of the city and named their camp Rockpile.[2] Eventually the name of the area was changed to Silver Reef. Silver Reef City was incorporated in 1878. [3] Chinese came to work the mines with the completion of the rail road, also Cornish, Irish came in from Pioche, Nevada. Two thousand people occupied the area by 1879. The city was centered around a mile long strip that served as Main Street. There were 37 mining companies at Silver Reef. Among the many businesses was a Wells Fargo office, that is now restored and offers an outstanding museum. In 1879 a fire destroyed many of the buildings, which the residents promptly rebuilt. Mines began to close in 1884, with that many of the inhabitants of Silver Reef moved. The final mine closed in 1891. Three factors contributed to Silver Reef's demise, first, the world silver market plummeted, second, the mines filled with water faster than it could be pumped out, third, lowered miners wages. [4]Most of the buildings had been moved to Leeds by 1901, and in 1908 a fire finished off almost all that was left. Areas of Silver Reef have recently been restored and homes now dot the area. Silver Reef is the only known place in the world that silver has been found in sandstone.[5]
Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Silver Reef, Utah

Location

  • Coordinates: 37°15′10″N 113°22′04″W

Maps

Neighboring Communities

Leeds | Hurricane | Toquerville

Time Line

  • 1866: Silver found by John Kemple
  • 1874: Claims staked
  • 1875: News of the silver spreads and town develops
  • 1878-1882: Town's population peaks to 2,000
  • 1879 Fire destroys most of town, is rebuilt
  • 1884: Decline in world silver market slows production
  • 1898-1950: The mines were closed, reopened and closed again
  • 1901: Most of the residents have left
  • 1908: Fire finished off most remaining structures
  • Recent: Part of town restored, new homes constructed

Resources

Biographies

  • Memorial to those who lost their lives in coal mines in Utah in the 19th & 20th centuries [6] Lists name, date of accident, and mine.

Cemeteries

Silver-reef-protestant.jpg
Chinese Cemetery

After the mining declined at Silver Reef, many of the Chinamen's graves were left unattended and the treasures placed at the graves as was the custom were taken by local Indians. A Chinaman, Sam Gee, came from San Francisco, had all of the Chinese dead dug up and their remains placed in chests of tea and shipped to their ancestors homeland. This was felt to insure their future with their ancestors spirits. [7]

Protestant Pioneer Cemetery
Catholic Pioneer Cemetery

Check cemeteries in neighboring communities.

Church Records

Historical Newspapers

Societies, Museums and Libraries

Vital Records

Birth

Many of the miners that arrived at Silver Reef came Pioche Nevada. Births published in the Pioche Newspapers could be pared with those Silver Reef Residents.

Marriages

Death

  • Utah Department of Archives 1903 to 50 years ago
    Choices of search types - name, date of death (year, month, day, or any combination) and county.
    Images of actual death certificates.
  • Utah Death Certificates 1904 - 1956 -A free internet access to the 1904-1956 death certificates can be viewed on the Family Search Historical Records. Utah requires a death certificate before a burial is completed. A death certificate may contain information as to the name of the deceased, date of death, and place of death, as well as ;the age, birth date, parents, gender, marital status, spouse and place of residence. For information on death prior to 1904 you can search the Utah State Burial Index.

Suggested Reading

Websites

Sources and Footnotes

  1. Carr, Stephen L. The Historical Guide to Utah Ghost Towns. Salt Lake City, Utah: Western Epics, 1972. Film: FHL 78162 Book: FHL 979.2 H2cr WorldCat 595478
  2. Silver Reef Museum
  3. History of Utah; CHAPTER XXVII [27 AGRICULTURE, STOCK-RAISING, MANUFACTURES, AND MINING.1852-1886]
  4. Utah History
  5. Carr, Stephen L. The Historical Guide to Utah Ghost Towns. Salt Lake City, Utah: Western Epics, 1972. Film: FHL 78162 Book: FHL 979.2 H2cr WorldCat 595478
  6. Civish, Fred M.; Memorial to those who lost their lives in coal mines in Utah in the 19th & 20th centuries Book FHL 979.2 V28
  7. Chinese Cemetery
  8. The Silver Reef miner (Silver Reef, Utah) Film FHL 1486764
  9. Scribner, CraigAnglo perceptions of the Chinese in America : a study of The Silver Reef miner, 1879-1882 WorldCat 367520394
  10. Hall, Shawn; Connecting the West : historic railroad stops and stage stations of Elko County, Nevada WorldCat 50926294
  11. Marietta M Mariger, Marietta; Saga of three towns : Harrisburg, Leeds, Silver Reef WorldCat 5113638
  12. Proctor, Paul D. ( Silver, sinners and saints, a history of Old Silver Reef, Utah Book FHL 979.248 H2sWorldCat 232586960
  13. Thompson, George A; Some Dreams Die: Utah's Ghost Towns and Lost Treasures WorldCat 9202286 FHL 979.2 H2tg
  14. Carr, Stephen L. The Historical Guide to Utah Ghost Towns. Salt Lake City, Utah: Western Epics, 1972. Film: FHL 78162 Book: FHL 979.2 H2cr WorldCat 595478.
  15. Gubler Naegle. Cherrie; Toquerville : oasis in the desert ; a history of Toquerville and the area WorldCat 263167913

 

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  • This page was last modified on 24 July 2011, at 17:30.
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