Museum brings back brown bag series
Like many businesses in town, the Park City Museum has a decidedly seasonal crowd. While the ski season brings hordes of visitors eager for talks and tours, the off season inevitably involves smaller crowds and locals more familiar with the museum’s friendly confines. So, when the tourist flow slows, the museum begins to present some different programs.
This Thursday, the Park City Historical Society and Museum will present the first of its annual Brown Bag Series Lectures. The noontime presentations feature different aspects of Park City’s history and offer Parkites and visitors a chance to enjoy some history with their lunches.
"We hold the Brown Bags in the jail and we invite everyone to bring their lunch," said Park City Historical Society and Museum executive director Sandra Morrison.
With lunch bags in mind, the events are fittingly named. Morrison said the museum holds the events in the slow season when there is the spare time to organize them. The programs last about an hour and typically include time for a question-and-answer session. This year’s lectures will take place May 11 and 18 from noon to 1 p.m.
Morrison said the museum typically hosts more Brown Bag programs, however, because the staff is focusing on the museum’s upcoming redesign, the fewer people had time to work on the lectures. She did note, however, the two programs the Historical Society and Museum would offer.
The first lecture, on May 11, will feature Park City’s professional photographers.
"That one has developed from when the Main Street Photography Company closed down," said Morrison. "They gave us all their material."
She said historical society researcher Hal Compton came up with the idea for the lecture as he was cataloging the array of photos from the Photography Company.
According to historical society project coordinator Courtney Cochley, the program will focus mostly on four photographers.
"It covers the four major professional photographers who have documented Park City’s History," she said.
Those include Willis Adams, Joseph "Pop Jenks" Jenkins, Kendall Webb and Nick Nass. Cochley said the main subjects are Jenkins and Webb, because the museum has their complete collections. The lecture will primarily cover 20th century from 1910 through the 1960s, although Cochley did say there would be some older and newer material as well, including Adams’, tenuously preserved pictures from the 19th century.
The second lecture, on May 18, will focus more on the mining times and some less artistic, more practical work. Delivered by Park City Museum volunteer and mining industry veteran Dick Pick, the talk will center on milling and smelting in other words, the ways in which metal is derived from ore.
"He’s talking about the whole milling process," said Cochley.
The talk will cover how the ore is crushed and how metal is removed from rock and will include material about all of the products from Park City’s mines, from silver to lead and other minerals.
Morrison said the lecture stems from a program developed for the eighth-grade science curriculum.
"Because our volunteer helpers spent so much work putting [it] together, we thought this would be a good opportunity to teach people about it," she said.
Both of the talks will include beverages and a small bite to eat to go with the lunches visitors bring.
"We will provide cookies," said Cochley.
Morrison said the jail could hold about 30 people for each of the talks. The events are free and open to the public.
For more information about the Park City Historical Society and Musem’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, visit http://www.parkcityhistory.org or call 649-7457.
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