First Tracks will give donors a glimpse into Park City’s mining history |

First Tracks will give donors a glimpse into Park City’s mining history

In the fall of 1998, developer United Park City Mines tore down the Kearns-Keith Mill that was located below Pioneer Lift.

“They did in the middle of the night with no approvals, no demolition permits,” said historian Sally Elliott. “I was so angry that I called the Park City Historical Society, the Park City Chamber of Commerce, the City Council, the Summit County Commission and the mayor Brad Olch to have a meeting.”

The meeting was held at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge, which was provided by the resort’s President and General Manager Bob Wheaton.

“We all sat and decided that the demolition was an awful thing to happen and that we would work to make sure it wouldn’t happen again,” Elliott said.

“This summer we want to work on the more threatened structures…”Sally Elliott,Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History

Even before the demolition of the Kearns-Keith Mill, a group of local residents were working to preserve historic structures. One of the structure was the Silver King Boarding House, which is now known as the Mid-Mountain Restaurant. The group organized a fleet of seven bulldozers to move it from its century-old location near Bonanza Lift up the mountain to where it sits now near the Pioneer Lift in Walker Webster Gulch.

In 2015, Elliott – along with Park City Museum Executive Director Sandra Morrison and the museum’s former Executive Director Marianne Cone – worked to establish the Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History, a fundraising organization that is on a mission to stabilize and preserve the legacy of the local historic mining structures.

Elliott co-chairs the Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History’s steering committee with Morrison and Donald Roll.

The organization has teamed with Park City Mountain for First Tracks, an event which will be held on March 1, that will include skiing, breakfast at Mid-Mountain Lodge, formerly known as the Silver King Boarding House, and special guest speakers.

“The speakers will include some of those citizens who were instrumental advocating for the preservation of these historic structures,” Elliott said.

They include:

• David Hampshire, former editor in chief of The Park Record, historian and primary advocate for preserving the Mid-Mountain Lodge and Restaurant.

“He was a fierce advocate for preservation of Mid-Mountain and he pulled everyone together,” Elliott said.

• Vince Donile, operator of Claimjumper Restaurant and Mid-Mountain Restaurant operator for 20 years.

“He paid for the restoration of Mid-Mountain and paid to move it from the base of Bonanza Lift to it’s new location in the Pioneer Lift area of Park City Mountain Resort,” Elliott said.

• Cliff Reid, who provided the bulldozers for that project.

“He lined up the bulldozers that pushed the Mid-Mountain up the hill,” Elliott explained.

The final speaker will be Phil Jones, former President and General Manager of Park City Mountain Resort.

First Tracks, which is sponsored by Park City Mountain, is open to Miners Club members, Elliott said.

“Bill Rock [Park City Mountain, CO0] surprised us,” she said. “He announced that anyone who gives $1,000 to the effort can become a member of Miner’s Club.”

As part of Park City Mountain’s five-year commitment to fundraising efforts of Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History, the resort has promised a $10,000 Epic Promise in-kind grant this year, according to Jessica Miller, a Park City Mountain spokesperson.

“So I thought we could combine that with a lovely breakfast,” Elliott said.

The deadline to register for First Tracks is Feb. 26.

The money raised through fundraising efforts and memberships will help stabilize other historic mining structures in Park City proper and Deer Valley Resort, Elliott said.

“This summer we want to work on the more threatened structures – the Little Ore Bin at Deer Valley, Jupiter Ore Bin in Jupiter Bowl and Thaynes Conveyor,” she said. “The conveyor is probably the most threatened and that’s where we would start.”

For information about First Tracks and to donate to or register for the event, visit

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