Old homes not forgotten in Park City
Every night an old siren blares atop the downtown museum. The Ten o’clock Whistle is a reminder of a thick-skinned Park City Past.
"That siren was used to tell the miners to go home," said Julie Hopkins, Park City Historical Society and Museum Board Member.
An old, colorful, western history can sometimes be forgotten in the town known for world-class skiing, the Olympics and the Sundance Film Festival. But amid the glitz and glamour, resting beneath the ski runs are grandiose archaic structures, that recall a neglected time.
"These houses date back to the mining days. There are histories and stories of widowed women whose husbands died in the mines. These women lived in these houses," Hopkins said.
The Park City Historical Society hasn’t forgotten. The society will feature its 10th Annual Park City Historic Home Tour on Saturday. The tour will include 16 historic homes and buildings that will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"We will explore the history and architecture of Upper Woodside and upper Parke Avenues in Historic Old Town Park City," said Ron Butkovitch, chair of this year’s tour. "We want to share the charm, personality and history of this year’s town."
Five preservation awards will be given at a reception following the tour at Shabu restaurant at 333 Main Street from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets for the reception are $35.
Tickets for the Historic Home Tour are $15 for Historical Society members and $20 for non-members. They are available in advance at the museum at 528 Main Street or by calling, (435) 649-7457. Tickets are also available the day of the tour at the tour headquarters located on the corner of Park Ave. and Fourth Street.
A "Taste of Park City History" will take place Friday. Dinners will be served in 12 historic homes for groups of eight.
"We added a ‘Taste of Park City History’ into the event for the first time last year," Butkovich said. "Local Park City Chefs prepared a gourmet dinner and our guests were entertained by appearances of colorful characters from Park City’s past. We sold out last year, so we’ve expanded this year. Tickets are selling fast most likely because everyone’s heard which chefs are participating." Tickets are $175 per person, which includes Saturday’s events.
The Park City Annual Historic Home Tour and A taste of Park City History are presented by Prudential Utah Real Estate. All proceeds benefit the Park City Historic Society and Museum. The society and the museum is currently in the middle of a campaign to raise $6 million to expand the downtown museum.
Here is a list of the homes, and some of their histories, on this year’s tour:
104 Park Ave. John Harrington purchased this property from the Park City Townsite Corporation in 1897 and built this house. John was born in Ireland in 1850 and came to the United States as a young man in 1870. He was working as a miner in Nevada in 1880 when he married Bridget. The couple soon moved to Park City where John found underground work at the Ontario mine. Bridget suffered from heart disease and died on Feb, 28, 1910. Two of their sons also died from heart problems the same year leaving John and his son John Jr. to grieve for their family.
121 Park Ave. Established in 1881, St. Mary of the Assumption is the oldest continuously operating Catholic Church in Utah. The first structure on the site was a wooden frame building that housed the church and a school. It quickly became the religious and cultural hub of the town. On the Fourth of July in 1884, an arsonist destroyed the structure, but a subscription drive quickly raised the money to rebuild to church.
139 Park Ave. This home is only one of two remaining two-story T-cottages in Park City. Martha F. Wilson had it constructed in 1889, one year before she married E.M. Gillis. The couple sold the house in 1892 to Henry and Aramintha Bates Shields.
206 Park Ave. The original three-room Jefferson School with its distinctive bell tower was built in 1887.
263 Park Ave. James James and his son Frank came to Park City in 1880 form Wisconsin. Frank and his bride, Ida, purchased the property for $125. Frank died from Bright’s disease seven years later at age 32.
109 Woodside. In 1887, William and Mary Elizabeth Rosevear purchased this property for $440. William worked at the Ontario mine and served on the Miner’s Hospital Board. He developed miner’s consumption and died in his house in 1906.
115 Woodside. Thomas Cunningham built this house in 1883. He died in 1905 at 55 years of age to miner’s consumption. He left behind his wife and four sons.
133 Woodside. This house was probably built by George and Permelia Curtis between 1884 and 1889. In 1908, Maggie Scanlon purchased the home. Her husband, john, died in February of 1909, leaving Maggie to raise their five young children.
316 Woodside. Originally the Smith Livery Stabel was located on this site. Alexander Smith offered 15 houses for hire along with single-or double-seated buggies, cutters and bobsleighs equipped with buffalo robes and sleigh bells. Smith died suddenly in 1885 at only 43 years of age, leaving the property to his wife Phoebe.
232 Woodside. In August 1890, the members of the IOOF (International Order of Odd Fellows) voted to build a home for Mrs. William Warren and provide it rent-free during her widowhood.
27 Hillside. Matthias Connelly, the brother of Maggie Scanlon, bought this house in 1830. Matt was born in Ireland in 1851 and immigrated to America at the age of 16. In 1833 he moved to Park City and eventually became the foreman of the Ontario mine.
305 Park Ave.
323 Park Ave.
325 Park Ave.
351 Park Ave.
363 Park Ave.
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Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson has decried what she called a lenient sentence in a child sex abuse case in which a 20-year-old reportedly attempted to impregnate a 12-year-old. The perpetrator was sentenced to 20 days in jail and 10 years of probation.