The Way We Were: The House on the hill |

The Way We Were: The House on the hill

Mahala Ruddell, Research Coordinator, Park City Museum

The house at 27 Hillside Avenue was built prior to 1889. It was likely originally constructed in the "hall-parlor" style. Named for its floor plan, hall-parlor construction was simple and rectangular in shape. The first floor was made up of two rooms, side-by-side: the hall, a square room; and an adjoining parlor, usually smaller than the hall. The porch at 27 Hillside was added later, probably around 1900, and the front door moved. The double-hung windows were replaced with horizontal windows, popular at the time, giving the house a "pyramid style" look.

Matthias Connelly, an immigrant from Ireland, bought the house in 1890. Matthias had arrived in America in 1867 at the age of 16. He had stayed for a short while first in New York and then in California before moving to Virginia City, Nevada to start work in the mining industry. In 1883 he moved to Park City and obtained a position in the Ontario Mine. He and his wife Emma settled well into Park City and Matthias eventually dedicated 25 years of service to the Ontario. He retired in 1906 because he was unhappy with a change of management in the company, and the Connellys moved to Washington to try their hand at ranching. Utah hadn’t given up its hold on Matthias, however, and after just one year away, he returned to work for the Utah Copper Company at Garfield. In 1915, he decided to undergo surgery for an unspecified ailment he’d suffered from for several years. The surgery "was scarcely completed," The Park Record reported the next day, September 11, 1915, "when there was a reaction and he died about 1:30."

The Connellys only lived at 27 Hillside for a short time, selling it to John Kearns in 1894. The house passed through a series of owners for the next decade before falling into the hands of James Boulton and his family in 1905. The Boulton family was well-known in the community and beloved by society, participating in civic life and even hosting voter registration at their own home. They moved to Salt Lake City in 1935. When Mrs. Boulton died in 1940, the Park Record remembered her well and expressed the entire community’s sorrow. "After a long, busy and useful life," the newspaper said, "she died as she had lived — honored, trusted and loved."

If you are interested in viewing this and other historic houses of Park City’s "Upper Main" neighborhood, please join us for our annual Historic Home Tour on Saturday, June 13, 2015. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. For more information please call the Park City Museum at 435-649-7457 or visit our website at