Parkite partners with Park City and Library for the Utah History Lecture Series |

Parkite partners with Park City and Library for the Utah History Lecture Series

First presentation will be Sept. 22

From left: Utah History Lecture Series founder Rebecca Marriott Champion stands with Park City Library Director Andriane Juarez, Park City Executive Assistant Kaite Madsen and local resident Howard Edwards in front of the Park City Library. The series will start with author Eileen Hallet Stone on Friday, Sept. 22.
(Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

Philosopher George Santayana is known for originating the quote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” in his essay “Reason in Common Sense.”

Park City resident Rebecca Marriott Champion has taken that idea one step further when she conceived the idea of a free Utah History Lecture series that will feature monthly hour-long presentations starting at 4 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 22, in the Park City Library Conference Room.

Salt Lake Tribune columnist Eileen Hallet Stone, author of “Historic Tales of Utah,” which was published last year by The History Press, will give the Sept. 22 presentation.

“Knowing your place in the world through your physical surroundings and the history of those surroundings gives you a pride and sense of who you are,” Marriott Champion said during an interview with The Park Record. “If you have a curiosity about the historical value of the place where you have chose to live, it can give our life purpose and happiness. There are so many interesting stories about Utah from its beginnings in 1847 to the present. This is why I decided to start the Park City Library Utah History Series. This series will explore some of those stories.”

Marriott Champion worked with the library and Park City Municipal to get the series off the ground.

The speakers, like Stone, are mostly University of Utah professors and historians, said Katie Madsen, executive assistant at Park City Municipal Corporation.

“Rebecca has been able to locate some really good speakers,” Madsen said. “These are professors and people who have written books about Utah history.”

Madsen was called in to work with Marriott Champion, who proposed the idea to Park City Manager Diane Foster.

“I was excited to hear about it, and I have gotten excited as it came together more and more,” Madsen said. “I grew up in Utah, and I’m excited to hear stories I haven’t heard before and learn about places that I have lived.”

Park City Mayor Jack Thomas is also interested in the lectures.

“I’m looking forward to the Utah History Lecture Series so that those who have lived in the Park City community for a long time, as well as tourists and new residents, can learn about these aspects of who we are,” Thomas said in a statement.

Thomas said his own history comes from two avenues of Utah history that involves Park City and Salt Lake County.

“On one side of my family, my roots are from a miner, a Methodist minister, and a grandmother who taught in a one room school house at the Ontario Mine,” he said. “On the other side of my family, my roots are from pioneers who settled Draper, Utah. I love knowing and understanding the history of my ancestors and where I came from.”

Park City Library Director Adriane Juarez is honored to host the Utah History Lecture Series.

“We feel grateful,” Juarez said. “It’s appropriate to have a historic lecture series in this historic building. We are thrilled.”

The idea of the lectures have piqued interest in local residents including Howard Edwards, who lives in Thaynes Canyon, and Myles Rademan, founder of Leadership Park City, an organization that identifies, encourages and trains new community leaders.

“The history of Park City is based on the development of mining, and Brigham Young was traditionally a critic of mining and he didn’t want his people, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to go into this life,” Edwards said. “He would rather see them in agriculture and trade.”

After the military and other people made mining discoveries in Park City and other locations, however, the industry provided jobs for Mormons that emigrated from Europe.

“They settled in Park City and worked in the mines,” said Edwards, whose ancestors came to Utah with Young and other groups. “I think a lecture series is great, because I would think people are usually curious of how things got started wherever they live.”

Rademan said the mining history is one of the great strengths of Park City.

“We have a National Historic District that is part of our town,” he said. “We are very proud of our mining and frontier history with the settlement of the West. It’s a very interesting history and something that is unique.”

Rademan is interested in the lecture series because he is someone who likes history. “I’m not from Utah, but I grew up the street from Betsy Ross’ house, so I was surrounded with history from an early age,” he said. “I’m interested in all of those things and how it all fits together in the fabric of who we are today. None of us got to where we are by ourselves. I would like to know a little more about that.”

The Utah History Lecture Series will kick off at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, at the Park City Library Conference Room, 1255 Park Ave. The free event will feature author Eileen Hallet Stone. Space is limited to 60 people. RSVP by emailing

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