NAME: Silver Reef
CLIMATE: Cool winter with possible snow, warm summer.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime.
Silver Reef was discovered between 1866 and 1870 (There are many different stories about the founding of this town) However in 1874 a man named William T Barbee is credited with getting the mining going. In 1875 he had 22 claims here. In 1876 Silver Reef became an established town. Main Street was over a mile long. Silver Reef had over 2000 people living here. Miners and immigrants, including many of Irish, Cornish, and Chinese origin, rushed to the area with the hope of making their fortunes. There were hotels, 9 stores, 6 saloons, a bank, several restaurants, a hospital, 2 dance halls, 2 news papers, a china town, 3 cemeteries, a theater company, and other urban amenities.
Despite great differences in ethnicity, religion, and culture, the mining boomtown and its agricultural neighbor, Leeds, formed a mutually dependent relationship. The miners at Silver Reef were sustained by produce from Leeds, and Leeds farmers flourished with cash from the miners for their crops. By 1900 Silver Reef had died as the most easily accessible silver ore had been mined and the price of silver plummeted; however, the farming community of Leeds survived. In 1891 the last mine shut down, about 25 million dollars worth of ore had been taken from the mines here. Between 1891 and 1901 another $250,000 of ore was taken out of the area. The old Wells Fargo Express office is on the National Historical Register and is now a museum. The old bank is now a gift shop. Some of the area has been preserved for its history and is worth visiting. A lot of the surrounding areas of the old town are now homes and housing developments and are restricted to public access