Thursday, July 28, 2011

Visiting Ophir

Firehouse in Ophir

What makes something a ghost town?  Old buildings?  Historic origins?  Some Utah "ghost towns" are still inhabited.  Ophir is a tiny town in a narrow, pretty canyon.  Back in the day, it was filled with miners and activity.

Welcome sign as you enter town.

I had read some internet reports that visitors were not welcome in Ophir, but the sign at the entrance of town proclaims otherwise.  We received a friendly wave from a local sitting on his front porch.  I suspect residents don't want you trespassing on their private property, so mind your manners and you'll be fine!

Mine shaft visible as you enter town.

As you drive up the canyon, you can see remnants of the mining that once took place here.  There are pieces of old equipment and old mine shafts on the mountainside.  We stopped at the Ophir historic site, driving up the steep gravel driveway and parking behind the schoolhouse.

Columbine at the Ophir Historic Site

There are several cabins here with walkways.  Whoever erected the outhouses definitely had a sense of humor!

Outhouse at the Ophir Historic Site

A sign indicates tours are given on Saturdays between 11am and 3pm.  As we visited on a Monday, we did not take the tour. 

Building at the Ophir Historic Site

Obviously some care and effort has gone into preserving Ophir's history, and if you are in the area, it is definitely worth at stop.  There is quite a bit to see in just a little space.  Even on days when the tour is unavailable, you can peek into the school windows and wander between the buildings at the historic site.

Restored Mining Wagon

After a long day on the road, we opted not to backtrack through Tooele County to get home, but turned east instead and traveled through Utah County, and then back to Salt Lake.

If you go:
There are NO SERVICES in Ophir.
Visiting the historic site is FREE.

1 comment:

  1. Fun place! I'd go back again for the tour someday.