Next to the Museum is the Equipment Yard where machinery and devices used in the 1800s mining operations are displayed. Over the years most of this equipment, abandoned in the mining district when the silver ore ran out, has been taken by collectors. We are fortunate to still have these old tools and devices left over from the mines and mills that put Silver Reef on the map. Please do not climb on or into these artifacts.
Museum / Wells Fargo Building
The Museum is located in the original Wells Fargo Building built in 1877. It is the oldest Wells Fargo Express Station still in existence and features the original vault used to store the silver bullion waiting to be shipped. Now the Museum is packed with artifacts from Silver Reef's rich history. Back in the 1800s the south side of the building housed a mercantile store, and today that's where out gift shop resides. The north side of the basement is used for our Mine Exhibit, while the south side stores many of the artifacts found in Silver Reef, not on display.
The Cassidy Powder House was rebuilt to look like, and in the approximate location of, the original. In our replica, though, the windows were added for better lighting. Original powder houses did not have windows so that any accidental blast would be directed upwards through a weak roof, to mitigate any damage to surrounding buildings. Our replica holds a diorama of what Main Street and the mills looked like in the 1800s. An informative audio presentation can be activated to enhance your visit.
The Old Jail is the original one used in Silver Reef and was returned in 2017, after serving several other purposes in nearby towns for more than 100 years. Since its original location in Silver Reef did not have an archaeological survey done for it, the present nearby place in the middle of Centre Street was chosen. Due to its fragile condition, the inside of the Old Jail is only opened during special events, when volunteers can ensure everyone's safety.
This new trail gives good access to many of the less apparent ruins and historical areas on the grounds. Please, do not enter into or onto any ruins. Stay within the rock lined trails provided, and please, DO NOT collect or gather any artifacts found on the grounds. We know they are there, but until a proper scientific survey can be conducted someday in the future, they are best left where they are. Also, wear sturdy shoes with a good tread, since some parts of the trail are rough with steep or slippery inclines.
The Cosmopolitan Building was rebuilt on the original site of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant opened by Margaret Grambs in 1876. Mrs. Grambs long after Silver Reef's heyday, running her restaurant until the mid 1890's. Old photographs were used to replicate the original restaurant as much as possible. Then the new building was used as a modern restaurant for several years. But now the Cosmopolitan is used for Museum lectures, special exhibits, and other Museum functions.
West & Centre Streets Interpretive Trail
The current Rice Bank building was rebuilt on its original foundations. It is now used by the local water district. The original building, however, was home to the notorious Ann Bassett from 1950 until her death in 1956. In her younger days, Ann was dubbed by the press as Queen Ann (of the rustlers), and was one of the few women allowed into the Hole in the Wall Gang's hideout. Some still think Ann was also Etta Place, who was portrayed by Katharine Ross in the popular 1969 movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". Pictures of Ann and Etta showed them to be very similar in appearance, along with a scar in the same location on their foreheads. Later research, however, has shown that one of the pictures' negatives had been mistakenly flipped before the comparison was made, and also, two court records show Ann Bassett to be in the United States when Etta Place was in Bolivia. In later years Ann refused to put down in writing much about her association with Butch Cassidy and the other famous criminals she knew, adding more fuel to the controversy of who Etta Place actually was.
The buildings and ruins along and around old Main Street, are numbered and described in an interpretive trail map. They are available both on this website, and inside a black metal box outside the Museum entrance (depending on remaining supplies). Feel free to walk the trails, even when the Museum is closed, to enjoy the history and scenery that abounds. Please, however, do not enter into or onto the ruins. Please stay within the rock lined trails provided.
While it is not a real mine, it is as real as you are going to get around here; but without bats, scorpions, hidden floor shafts, and whatever else lurks in the now-abandoned mines. Our safe mine exhibit gives the real feel of being in an old mine without the risk. Mine exhibit tours are limited to 10 people due to the tight spaces, and are not recommended for small children or those with claustrophobia; the Mine Exhibit is not handicapped accessible.
Main Street Interpretive Trail
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1903 Wells Fargo Rd., Leeds, UT 84746