Park City Museum offers more than a motherlode of local mining history |

Park City Museum offers more than a motherlode of local mining history

This story is found in the Summer 2019 edition of Park City Parent.

The Park City Museum, 528 Main St., provides interactive and hands-on exhibits for all ages to enjoy.

Come see the Kimball Brothers Stagecoach, discover the many jobs in the early underground silver mines, try your hand at being a miner and check out the Territorial Jail.

Visitors can ask for the museum’s History Detectives activity for kids at the front desk to guide them through the exhibits.

The museum’s permanent exhibits include:


How did early settlers find their way to Park City? After learning about the Kimball Stagecoach, which carried people and mail to Park City, climb aboard a re-created railcar. Look out the train’s window and back through time as you watch a film about Park City’s place in the frontier West. On the platform outside, meet new arrivals from around the world and learn about their history.


Visitors examine the scaled, late 19th century Mega Mine. Surface mining operations such as a mill, Cornish pump, and aerial tramway are high- lighted on the two-story-tall structure. Inside the Mega Mine, discover workings, mine bosses on quadricycles, and the Cornish pump and hoist, which travel all the way to the 1,000-foot level.

Mining required strong backs and wreaked havoc on miners’ lungs. Downstairs, learn about the dark, wet, and dangerous profession as you explore mining equipment, learn how ore becomes silver, and earn your pay by drilling into the rock face.


Climb into an original car from the world’s only “Skier Subway” and watch a film explaining Park City’s transition from a mining to a skiing town.


Visiting the original territorial jail in the basement of the historic City Hall is an unforgettable experience. Hear stories about “guests” who visited these cells, and learn about some of Park City’s more dangerous criminals.

Hazardous working conditions in the mines led many in the Park to join fraternal organizations and, later, labor unions for protection. The

Cell Theater presents this often controversial history, including original Industrial Workers of the World—or Wobbly— graffiti from 1916.


Millions of dollars in mineral wealth came out of Park City’s mines, but little of it stayed in town. This exhibit explores the great divide between Park City miners (muckers) and the mine owners who chose to live in mansions in Salt Lake City. Explore the differences in both groups’ clothing, housing, and entertainment, and learn about some of the characters who shaped Park City’s history.


What was it like to live in Park City 100 or more years ago? Visit the local post office, swing by the neighborhood market, and help connect calls at the telephone company. After learning about the history of skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, swing by the Egyptian Theatre and take in a show to learn about the importance of theater in Park City’s past and present.


Thirsty for more? The local saloon was more than just a place to wet your whistle. Listen to stories and learn about changing attitudes and economics in the 1960s at a historic, refurbished Park City bar.


Park City took a chance and ordered an “auto” fire truck in 1922. They were so pleased that they ordered another one four years later. This 1926 Graham Brothers Dodge with custom-made body has returned to its original home in the historic 1901 Fire Tower.


Fire tore through the heart of Park City the morning of June 19, 1898. Listen to Park Record editor Sam Raddon report on the fire that led to over $1 million dollars worth of damage and the displacement of 500 local citizens.

In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Park City Museum’s Tozer Gallery presents traveling exhibits in its 1,000 square-foot area.

The Park City Museum is also a great place to take the following:


The Park City Museum is great to explore with your Scout or Youth Group. Please call to reserve a time for a special youth program.

Check the website for Special Events held throughout the year and information about our Family membership program.

Call Diane Knispel at 435-649-7457 ext. 102, email her at, or visit the website for more information.

For more stories from this edition, visit the Park City Parent special section.

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