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. There were hotels, 9 stores, 6 saloons, a bank, several restaurant, a hospital, 2 dance halls, 2 news papers, a china town and 3 cemeteries. 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