Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History will bring Silver King Mine saga to life |

Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History will bring Silver King Mine saga to life

Historian Sally Elliott knows how convoluted Park City's mining history can be and how it affects the public's awareness. So she decided to something about it.

"I thought if they can see someone acting as the characters who made it happen, it can put the story into perspective," said Elliott, who is also one of the chairs of the Park City Historical Society's Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History preservation group.

At 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, she and members of the local community will give a free living history presentation about the 11 people who founded the Silver King Mine in 1892.

The evening will begin with a brief introduction by Elliott before the actors take the stage.

"The cast will dress up in costumes, and they will read scripts I prepared for them," she said. "It's a very amateur portrayal of these characters."

The characters will be portrayed by descendants of these historic figures as well as Elliott's fellow committee members. (See accompanying box)

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"They all wanted to be rich and famous, and unlike many who have the same aspirations, these people struck it lucky," Elliott said.

McCarthey, Gallivan and Robinson are descendants of their characters, Elliott said.

"I had approached descendants of the others, but they declined to participate because they had stage fright," she said.

Each of the characters' stories will be told throughout the presentation, Elliott said.

"Albion Emery, who was the Silver Queen's husband at the time of the Silver King Mine founding, had been the postmaster of Park City before becoming the secretary of the Daley Mine, where David Keith was superintendent," Elliott said. "Tom Kearns was then hired as a miner."

John Judge worked on tunnels and contracts for David Keith, she said.

"John knew a lot about mining and worked down in the holes with his miners," Elliott said. "David was the experienced guy. He knew ore was underground and wet, so he learned about pumping water."

Jenny Judge Kearns, who married Thomas Kearns, was Judge's niece.

She met Tom when she was 17 at a St. Mary's church function and married when Jenny was 20, Elliott said.

Elliott knew how complicated each of these characters' lives were, so she wanted to put all she had learned into a single lecture.

"It takes a contorted mind to store it all," she said with a laugh. "When I started the writing, I actually felt like I had to become each one of the people so I could write about their lives."

Sally spent more than 40 hours writing the presentation, and cites her husband, Torch, for the idea to turn the lecture into a theatrical production.

"I initially had 11 people standing in front of an audience reading scripts, but he said it would be better if these characters interacted with each other," she said. "He put pieces of the script together and made conversations."

The presentation will be highlighted by projected images of historic historical photographs of these people, as well as of the Silver King Mine and the Silver King Claim, according to Elliott.

Donovan Symonds, Shay Blackley and Rob Newey will handle the technical side of the presentation, while Ron Butkovich handles costumes.

"This just popped into my brain," she said of the presentation. "I have never done anything like that before. So I thought it would be fun."

What: Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History Presentation

When: 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25

Where: Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave.

Cost: Free


Cast of the Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History upcoming presentation

• Thomas Kearns McCarthey will portray Silver King Mine owner Thomas Kearns

• Alicia O’Meara plays his wife Jenny Judge Kearns

• Mickey Gallivan portrays James Ivers, founding partner of the Silver King Mine

• Phyllis Robinson will play Ivers’ wife Bridget Welsh Ivers

• Karl Lund will take on the role of Albion Emery, husband of Susanna Egeria Bransford Emery Holmes Delitch Engalitcheff and one of the directors of the Silver King Mining Company

• Egnalitcheff, known as Utah’s Silver Queen, will be played by Pat Pond

• David Hedderly-Smith will take the stage as John Judge, part owner of the Silver King Mine

• Paige Anderson will portray Mary Harney Judge, John’s wife and business woman

• Donald Roll will play Silver King Mine president David Keith

• Rosie Moore will take the mantle of Keith’s wife MAry Ferguson Keith

• Robin Filion will play W.V. Rice, one of the directors of the Silver King Mining Company

In addition to the Silver King Mine presentation on Feb. 25, Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History will host other events.

• March 6 – “First Tracks: How the U.S. Ski Team Came to park City Occupied the Silver King boarding houses.” The event will feature a breakfast at Mid-Mountain Lodge at the Miners Club.

• March 21 – “Mining Methods of Park City District” lecture by Mark Danninger, 5 p.m. at the Park City Museum Education and Collections Center, 2079 Sidewinder Drive.

For information, visit