Park City resident turns 100
December 28, 2005
Dale Thompson Of the Record Staff
Charles Grose celebrates his one-hundredth birthday today. He still greets visitors at the front door and welcomes them into his house.
Grose has called Park City home for his entire life. He was born on December 28, 1905 to parents Thomas R. Grose Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Brockway Grose, who were both born in Park City.
"My Grandfather Grose came from New Jersey. He was a sailor on a British ship and he decided not to go back to England," Grose says.
Before moving to New Jersey, Grandfather Grose was a stonemason on the Brooklyn Bridge.
He came to Park City as a Mormon pioneer, where he settled down and had a family.
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When Thomas R. Grose Sr. was 16 he began working in the mines where he was employed for much of his life.
The city was still a mining town throughout Grose’s childhood. According to him, "That’s all it was."
Charles Grose grew up in a home without many of the amenities we take for granted today, "In those days we had kerosene lamps, and no running water. We had a well."
He still uses a wood burning stove today because he prefers it to the electric or gas models.
Grose attended the Jefferson School during his elementary years. Today the building is no longer standing because, "they made apartments out of it," he says.
Transportation was very different when he grew up in Park City. "We never had any cars when I was younger. All I remember was ore wagons and sleighs going up and down the canyon," he says of Ontario Canyon.
Trains were also popular, "They had two trains in here when I was a kid, The Union Pacific from Ogden and the DNRG from Salt Lake. I remember going to Salt Lake once on the train." He went there to see the circus when he was 12 or 13 years old.
Around that time cars made their first appearance, "I remember when I was 10 or 12 years old, that was when the first cars came to Park City. Fords mostly." He added, "My first car was a Hudson."
In 1929 he married Eva Zinger in the Salt Lake Temple. "She worked at American Linen in Salt Lake," he said.
While Eva commuted to Salt Lake, Charles was employed at the local mill "I cut and framed timbers for the mines."
He worked in several positions at the mill and was shift boss when it was closed down, "The train was still running when I quit work."
He has watched Park City grow from a small mining town to the international resort destination that it is today. When asked about the changes over the years he replied, "I’ve practically seen them all. I think the biggest change was when Droubay started a ski resort.
According to "A History of Summit County" S.K Droubay was Vice President and General Manager of the United Park City Mines. In 1962 the mining company applied for and received a federal grant to start a ski area. "They started with that gondola," Grose said.
It was one of the first structures built as part of the Treasure Mountains recreation center.
More houses gradually cropped up over the years but Grose can remember a time when, "there were no houses below where the train turned around. At the ‘Y’ as we called it."
Only a few buildings on Main Street remain the same. "The theatre is still there, it was named the Dewey Theatre when I was a kid," he said of what is now the Egyptian Theatre.
He has two sons, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. "My grandson said he’s going to have something planned for me," Grose said about his one-hundredth birthday celebration.