Museum’s Historic Home Tour zeroes in on upper Main Street
June 9, 2015
Historic structures are part of the Park City Museum’s mission.
For the past month, volunteers placed ribbons on as many of these buildings as they could.
This week, the museum will host its 18th annual Park City Historic Home Tour on Saturday, June 13.
Tourists will have the opportunity to not only see the exteriors of these structures, but also step inside and hear stories about their original and former owners, said Sandra Morrison, executive director of the Park City Museum.
"The museum has in its possession all of these photos and objects from the past that tell the story of Park City history, but these homes and buildings are our big, visible evidence of our past," Morrison told The Park Record. "On the home tour, you go inside these historic buildings and can just imagine how people lived here 100 years ago. You can feel what it was like. These buildings are so prominent in our town and that’s why we connect so easily to our history."
Each year, the museum selects a different neighborhood for the tour.
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"We want to make sure the area we choose is a small one because we don’t want everyone to have to walk all over Old Town," Morrison said.
This year’s tour will take place on upper Main Street from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The area was selected to tie in with the Treasure Mountain Inn’s 50th anniversary, according to Morrison. (See accompanying story titled "Treasure Mountain Inn celebrates 50th anniversary")
"[Co-owners] Thea Leonard and Andy Beerman approached us about the anniversary," she said. "Construction on the inn started in 1964 when the Treasure Mountain ski area opened. The grand opening of the inn was a year later. We thought if we started the home tour there, it would pay tribute to the inn, but also would have our tour fall into place."
There are six historic buildings on the tour that include homes on King Road, Daly and Hillside Avenues.
In addition to the Treasure Mountain Inn, the tour will feature another facility that was used for lodging, the Imperial Hotel, Morrison said.
"They did a big remodel and no one has been inside since," she said. "So that will be fabulous to see."
The Imperial Hotel was built in the late 1800s after a repeal of a federal law that required single miners to live in boarding houses provided by their employers and mine owners, Morrison explained.
"These boarding houses were up in the mountains where Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort are located," she said. "Consequently, they didn’t have much of a social life because they were mining all the time."
After Utah became a state in 1896, the state government passed a new boarding house bill in 1901 that rescinded the federal directive and allowed single miners to live anywhere they wanted.
"That’s when a construction boom began in downtown Park City because miners would much prefer to live near Main Street where all the activities were," Morrison said. "That way they could have a social life and be part of the community."
The Imperial Hotel was originally called the Bogan Boarding House.
"Its owner, John Bogan, claimed his mine at the Bogan Shaft that is located on what is now known as Park City Mountain Resort," Morrison said.
One of the draws of the Park City Museum’s annual Home Tour is that the past isn’t that long ago.
"It was only in the past 100 years or so that all of this happened," Morrison said.
Morrison also said she is grateful for the homeowners who open their doors to the tour.
"They are a combination of primary residents who live in Park City full time and second homeowners who live out of town," she said. "They are incredibly generous because both sets love Park City and our history and are usually more than happy to have their homes featured on the tour."
Another thing that Morrison finds interesting about the home tour and Park City’s past is that many of the issues that were prominent a century ago, are sill discussed in our community today.
"Back then, people from all over the country came to Park City for the mining industry," she said. "Today our residents come from all over the country and the world for our skiing industry.
Also, Morrison feels it’s more important for local residents to get back in touch with their local history these days because of all the changes with construction and renovation that have taken place on Main Street in the past months.
"Our history is what makes us different than a lot of other communities across the West," she said.
The Park City Museum’s 18th Annual Historic Home Tour will be held Saturday, June 13, on upper Main Street from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $15 for museum members and can be purchased in advance by calling 435-649-7457. Tickets will also be sold the day of the tour at Treasure Mountain Inn, 255 Main St. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityhistory.org .