Museum’s guided walks give on-site history lessons
July 12, 2016
Park City is a town full of history and the Park City Museum not only provides mini history lessons with its permanent displays, but it also gives locals and visitors a chance to learn more through guided historic walks on Main Street.
These walks cover more than 100 years, said Diane Knispel, the museum's education director.
"We want to give people more information about Main Street, the buildings and what they were historically," Knispel told The Park Record. "I think people don't realize how important Main Street was to the mining community and how important it is to the local community today."
Groups meet at the museum's gift shop and ride the Main Street Trolley to the top of Main Street and walk down with a museum volunteer.
"We stop at buildings that have historic significance and we talk about them as we meander down the street," Knispel said. "Typically the tour will stop at the museum, but if a tour is going quickly, we will sometimes go as far down as Zoom, which was the old railroad depot."
The tours usually take at least an hour and 15 minutes.
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"People have questions and it takes longer than we always think it will," Knispel said with a laugh. "But we want to stop and make sure we answer their questions and make sure we get all the buildings in."
Groups are limited to 15 people.
"The reason why we cap it off at 15 is because we want everyone [to] hear the volunteers who also will show some pictures of the buildings," Knispel said. "We show the old picture and compare the building to what it is today."
The museum encourages people who are interested in the tours to call a few days in advance to ensure a place in a group.
"That way, we will be able to hold a spot for them," Knispel said. "We can also set up another time for larger groups such as family reunions. All they have to do is call us."
Since the tours start at 2 p.m., Knispel encourages groups to meet at the museum at 1:45 p.m.
"That way we can make sure all who are signed up for the tours are present and we can know who hasn't arrived yet," she said.
The tours are appropriate for ages 13 to adult and the cost is $5 per person.
"We encourage the tourists to wear comfortable shoes, bring sunblock and some water," Knispel said.
Park City Museum volunteers usually lead the tours, but Knispel will step in if a volunteer can't make it.
"I've done a few already and I love doing them because they are so much fun," she said. "What I have learned as a tour guide is that a lot of the buildings have housed so many different things over the years, but architecturally, the owners try to keep the structure the same as they were way back long ago. It's interesting to see what they are now, and to see and learn about what was there back in the 1800s."
The Park City Museum, 528 Main St., hosts guided historic walks Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityhistory.org.
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