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A little slice of home

Susie Williams is living history.

Since moving to Park City in 1964, she has worked at the Main Street Post Office and tended bar at The Bucket and Red Banjo. She has also gardened, golfed, wrangled for the resorts and renovated her 100-year-old home.

"I started and ended on Main Street," said Williams, who still on the southern end of the street. "It was kind of a renegade town. In those days it was like a family because it was blue collar."

If Williams is something of a Main Street mainstay, her home, and the history it represents, is a main attraction. The coal shed is gone, and the outhouse has been replaced with a modern bathroom. But the space, visitors say, is still imbued with the same historic spirit.

One of the many houses in the neighborhood owned by the Baxter family, the house was built in the 1890s as a four-room T-cottage. 1930 it was one of the few older houses that had complete plumbing for the kitchen and bathroom.

Original chandeliers, French doors, even a fireplace chute remain from the original structure. "Everyone’s updated their homes like people do," Williams said, "but they still look old."

Williams house will not be shown in the Park City Historic Home Tour Saturday, June 14, but the home just north of hers on 5 King Road will gives spectators a glimpse into her family’s history.

Visitors can walk through 16 historic homes on Daly Avenue from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Volunteers from the Park City Historic Museum will be on hand to answer questions. "It’s just a great chance to see a variety of houses in various stages of renovation," Courtney Cochley of the museum said. "It really puts things into perspective. I always tend to like the people who lived in the houses."

Williams, from California, married Tom "Shorty" Williams in 1969. The Williamses purchased the home at 5 King Road in 1894, when the original settlement at Lake Flat dwindled and miners moved into housing in town, according to the Park City Historical Society and Museum.

The family acquired the home at 10 Daly Ave., where Williams currently lives, for $250 around the turn of the century and connected the two houses with a breezeway.

Today, Drew and Lucienne Blake live in the historic home at 5 King Road. Drew Blake bought and renovated the home with his father in 1999.

"It’s so fun that [our house] has history. I’ve heard that our house was the first house that had lighting and indoor plumbing. Crowds would gather every night in the turnaround to see the lights turned on.

Drew Blake recalled when Shorty Williams stopped by the house after Blake had purchased it. "He couldn’t believe how different it was," Blake said. Before remodeling, Blake described the home as a ski-bum hangout. "There were skis piled everywhere. It was a total crash house. I think there were like five or six people in three bedrooms," he said.

Blake removed the linoleum and Formica surfaces and converted the attic into a loft for his three children.

"It kind of is what it is," he said. "Everything in Old Town is being taken apart. We’ve tried to keep the old historic integrity as much as possible. You can kind of feel the spirit of the place."

Info box:

What: Historic Home tour

When: Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: $15 for Historical Society members, $20 for nonmembers.


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