If you are into uniqueness, then you’ll be right at home in the Silver Springs ghost town, just a mile or so north, then turn west past a delightful Old West store-front outdoor mall for about another mile off Leeds Exit 22. Actual Address: 1903 Wells Fargo Rd, Leeds, UT 84746.
One un-matched feature of Silver Springs is the claim that it’s the only place in the USA where silver was mined from sandstone. How did it get there? This Legends of America page has information on the discovery. If you’re there on the right day, you may be lucky enough to watch skilled ladies in pioneer dresses whip out a warm, colorful rag doll in minutes. (You can even take one home by making a donation.) You may see Lawmen and Muddy-River Gang members keeping an eye on each other as they saunter along the wooden walks, time ticking down to the inevitable Old West shoot out.
If you’d like to surround yourself with things the settlers used to get through a day, $3.00 will get you into the visitor’s center, or $10.00 will set your whole family loose inside to discover old treasures in the glass displays or set high on the shelves, listen to a phone that tells old time stories of whichever photo you choose, or browse the colorful diversity of the gift shop.
With the admission fee comes a hand stamp that lets you mosey on in to the cafe, where a World’s Fair sized display shows and tells history of the area industry, accompanied by delectable smells from the luncheon counter along a wall.
One of my favorite features was the Powder House, with a miniature layout of Silver Reef as a bustling city. In the corner are paper maps you can take with you, showing locations of other prominent landmarks. Hiking along a short trail from the Powder House to the foundation and partial walls of a once-grand house perched on a hill offers a sweeping view of other abandoned and since re-purposed structures. (The thrifty settlers weren’t about to let good building materials sit idle.) Yet the map allows you to imagine the place as it once was.
After all, your imagination is the best time machine ever made.