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Ophir Utah

Ophir Utah was established in 1870 after supposedly some soldiers had some local Indians show them where they were getting their silver. As is the norm when a big discovery is made, up springs a new town and Ophir was no exception. By 1871, 125 businesses were established and the town began to thrive.  Gold was not the metal of Ophir. Silver was the big strike and much money was made from the mines. Marcus Daley, an employee of the infamous Walker Brothers of Salt Lake bought one of the mines in Ophir Canyon and made enough money to purchase the famous Anaconda Mine in Butte Montana which made him a copper king. Unlike most boom towns, Ophir did not blossom and then fade into obscurity. The town continued on mining small scale up through the 70's before finally the big time mining, per se, shut down.  Many of the locals stayed on living in Ophir and continue living there today.  I do know of someone who will occasionally head to the hills and mine silver on a small scale basis. His last foray into the mountains netted him over 280 ounces of pure silver. Not bad for a summer job if you ask me. At one time, Ophir was considered the smallest town in Utah. The population was 25 and the city was still incorporated. When the Mayor decided he was done being mayor, no one else wanted the job and the town became a part of unincorporated Tooele County. The town definitely has a dual personality. Personality A are small 100+ year old houses that folks use for weekend and summer escapes. B are the ultra modern half million dollar houses people live in year round. What is really neat is that some of the houses have mines in their back yards. How cool is that? The town has a good sized area dedicated to the history of mining in the area. It is a fun place to walk through during the summer when everything is open. There are a number of Jeep/ATV trails that are near the town as well as other trails in the surrounding area.  If you go, remember that it is small town USA and stay out of the no trespassing zones. 

 

Ophir Utah