Town History

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thumbnail The Early Settlers  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

In 1948, this historical marker was dedicated to honor George Snyder and his large family who arrived in the Park City area on May 25, 1872. On July Fourth of that same year a celebration was held to officially name Park City. The bell hung atop city hall from 1902-1948. It was used as a warning for fires and any other catastrophe that might strike. The marker now lives at the entrance to the Holiday Village Mall on Kearns Blvd.

thumbnail Park City Disasters: The Great Fire of 1898  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

On June 19, 1898 most of Park City burned to the ground. Residents helplessly stood by as the flames jumped from building to building. Miraculously no lives were lost and there was no looting. Without missing an issue, The Park Record set up temporary headquarters in a canvas tent. Reconstruction began immediately at the rate of almost a building a day. By 1899 the City Hall had been rebuilt and Park City was still a leader in the silver boom.

thumbnail Nelson Hill - Park City Mountain Resort  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

Recognize this spot? It's now the base of the Park City Mountain Resort. The area used to be known as Nelson Hill after the family which owned and farmed it for many years. Nelson Hill was also the original home of the Miners Hospital, built in 1904 on land donated by the family. In 1979 the building was moved to allow the construction of the Shadow Ridge Hotel.

thumbnail The Berry Brothers' Blacksmith Shop  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

Berry Brothers blacksmith shop was built in 1881 at 6th and Main. It was destroyed by the fire of 1898 but was soon rebuilt on the same site. Here ore wagons were repaired and horses were shod.

thumbnail More about the Berry Brothers  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

The Berry Bros. Shop operated on Main Street for nearly 65 years, shoeing horses, repairing ore wagons, and doing all the forged iron and steel work for the City, It was here that the shackles used in the old Territorial Jail, better known as the "Dungeon" were made. The shop burned in the great fire of 1898, but was rebuilt and continued business until it was torn down in 1945.

thumbnail Smith and Brim Grocery  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

This 1913 scene at the Smith and Brim Grocery on Main Street has been recreated at the Park City Museum. The original Smith Grocery dates back to the early 1890's but hard times eventually forced Smith to take on a partner and the store became known as Smith and Brim. It was located on Main Street across the street from the museum where many of the original fixtures including the meat rack, display counter, coffee grinder and can grabbers have been reassembled in an exhibit.

thumbnail Park City's First National Bank  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

Jerome Paxton (left) managed Park City's First National Bank throughout the Roaring Twenties. The horse shoes hanging from the light fixtures were said to bring good luck to both depositors and bank personnel. In 1934 First National merged with First Security Bank.

thumbnail Park City Baseball  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

It wasn't the World Series, but this Park City Baseball team did win the Utah State Championship at the Pioneer Jubilee Games in Salt Lake City in 1897.

thumbnail More about Park City Baseball  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

Judging from the expressions on these faces, Park City residents were serious about their baseball back in 1914. For many years Park City had a traveling team which would tangle with opponents from the Wasatch Front and outlying communities like Evanston, Wyoming. At various times the games were played in the old city park (now the Holiday Village Mall) and in the field next to the old high school (most recently used as the Carl Winters Middle School). There were also ball diamonds in Deer Valley.

thumbnail Park City and World War I  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

The thought of war has been on the minds of Parkites before. This gathering of World War I soldiers marched down Main Street to honor one of their fallen comrades. The shabby store fronts reflect the decline in the price of metals and Park Citys faltering economy at the end of the war.

thumbnail Great Buildings: False Fronts  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

False fronts like this one were common in old western towns. It gave the building a more imposing appearance and provided lots of space for a sign. This building is now home to the Easy Street Brasserie & Bar on the corner of Main and Heber.

thumbnail Great Buildings: 440 Main Street  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

This Restaurant at 440 Main Street was built around 1900 by James Farrell as an office building, and later was used by the Park City Variety Store. Today it is again a restaurant, Bandits' Grill and Bar.

thumbnail Great Buildings: The Old Town Hall  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

These fire trucks didn't just happen to be parked in front of the old City Hall building. Until around 1960 the fire department was located right here-trucks came and went through the double doors on the right. The building also housed the police department, city offices and several jails, including the famous dungeon in the basement. Today it is the Park City Museum. This famous facade is the first in a series of brass Christmas ornaments which will feature historic buildings of Park City.

thumbnail Great Buildings: Mid-Mountain Lodge  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

For nearly a century the Mid-Mountain Lodge (seen here in its original location near the angle station of the gondola) was the mine office and boarding house for the Silver King Mine. A thousand or more miners a day were fed here and many slept here as well. When skiing replaced mining, the lodge again housed travelers to the mountain. And in 1970 it was home to the U.S. Ski Team. In 1987 the building was moved 400 vertical feet to its present location to avoid demolition. It was carefully renovated and now is operated as a restaurant.

thumbnail Great Buildings: The Silver King Coalition Building  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

The Silver King Coalition Building, which had come to be Park City's unofficial symbol, went up in flames. The 80-foot high building was the terminus for the Silver King aerial tramway whose 39 steel towers supported a double cable and 75 buckets to carry ore down the mountain and coal (and sometimes miners) back up. The system revolutionized mining, cutting the cost of transporting ore from $1.50 to 22 cents a ton. Today the Town Lifts base terminal stands on the site of the Coalition Building and its standards parallel the old tramway.

thumbnail Great Buildings: Mawhinney Motors  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

In 1921 Mawhinney Motors at 1220 Park Ave. was on the northern outskirts of town. It expanded over the years to include automobile sales.

thumbnail Park City Disasters: The Blyth-Fargo Co. Department Store Fire  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

A little after 3 a.m. on Sunday March 13, 1927, fire completely consumed the Blyth-Fargo Co. department store at 427 Main, a Park City institution for 25 years. Although firemen and equipment were immediately on the scene, there was little they could do. Park City had no water supply of its own, using instead surplus water from the Silver King Coalition Mines, never enough to fill the city's 450,000 gallon reservoir. It was cold that night and townsfolk had left their taps running to prevent freezing pipes thereby draining the reservoir. Fortunately there was no wind and only some siding was scorched and a few windows were broken by the intense heat, but no other buildings were lost. In a poignant coincidence, the bound copies of the Park Record show the final ad run by The big Store facing the front page story of its demise.

thumbnail Park City Roads: Work Quality  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

This 1929 road crew posing near Kimball Junction worked to pave the Lincoln Highway, now Interstate 80. Maybe some things have improved over the years, but at least these equipment operators worked in the shade -- some even under umbrellas.

thumbnail Hibernating Cars  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

There was once a time when snow travel was less dependent on traction. Before the 1920's, most Park City cars were put on blocks for the winter. This particular photo is taken approximately 1915. In the background the distinct roofline of the Dewey Theatre is visible. The Dewey collapsed under the weight of snow in the winter of 1915-1916.

thumbnail Snow in Park City  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

This photograph from about 1930 shows snow piled up high on Main Street. The building in the background is the old Society Hall on Main Street, now the Anderson Apartments.

thumbnail Specialty Snow Plow for Park City's Main Street  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

When the snowbanks got too deep on Main Street, this mechanical marvel was used to clear them away. This photograph was taken in front of the Memorial Building apparently in the 1940's; several of the buildings shown in the top left corner of the photo, including the old Oak Saloon and the Rexall Drug Store, were destroyed by fire in 1973.

thumbnail Early Tourists  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

Two erstwhile travelers stand in front of the Union Pacific Depot in 1911. The small black sign with white lettering across the left two columns of the depot reads American Express Co.

thumbnail Past and Present  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

Today this area just east of Main Street is a parking lot. In the late 1920's it was a children's playground. This photo is one of over 30 compiled in a soft-bound book entitled Portraits of Park City by Pop Jenks produced by the Park City Historical Society.

thumbnail Park City Mountain Resort by Night  Photo Courtesy of Park City Museum and Bea Kummer., Photo description courtesy of The Park Record.

This 1972 photograph shows what Park City Mountain Resort looked like at night.

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