Silver Reef is an old mining town located outside of St. George, Utah. This town was established in the late 1800s by John Kemple. By 1879, there were approximately 2,000 people living there. a fire broke out and destroyed most of the businesses. This fire and mine explosions led to Silver Reef becoming a ghost town.
The town of Silver
Reef, located outside of St. George, Utah, was first established thanks to a
man by the name of John Kemple. Kemple found what he believed to be a vein of
silver in the sandstone formation in Washington County, Utah. His assumptions
proved to be correct, and when two men from Salt Lake heard of his findings,
they sent a man to stake claims on the area. This man, William Barbee, staked
21 claims, and many miners moved out to Silver Reef to not only help him with
his land, but to claim their own. In 1875, news of this new mining
town reached Salt Lake City bankers, the Walker Brothers. They had high
interest in investing in mining. William Tecumseh Barbee was sent by the Walker
Brothers to scope out the prospects.