LORE ART ADVENTURE
Adventures in Local History
Explore the rich history upon which this community was built, from pioneers and gritty miners, to ghosts, and the eventual transition to glamourous mountain destination! Here are some opportunities to uncover the colorful stories of how we got here and how things used to be.
Travel Through History
Before Park City was a resort town, it was a silver mining town that attracted settlers in the 1870s. Today, the Park City Museum offers historical exhibits and events to preserve the area’s heritage. On June 23 the Park City Museum will host a Historic Home Tour featuring 8-10 houses throughout Old Town. Tourists can purchase a map and embark on this self-guided tour where you can go inside each home and explore the original features.
All the homes are within walking distance, though a fun way to complete the tour is by using Summit County’s fleet of electric bikes. You can check out a bike and return it at stations throughout the county as you travel from place to place. It’s a great way to enjoy the mountain air and the bikes make the hilly terrain manageable with electric pedal-assist.
History Walk: If you’re not in town for the Historic Home Tour, don’t worry. The Park City Museum offers a Historic Walking Tour from June through early September. Every weekday at 2:00 p.m., tours leave the museum and explore Historic downtown. Learn about the architecture, people, and events that shaped the unique culture of Park City. Bring your walking shoes!
Skiing in the summer
Utah was the site of the 2002 Olympic Games, and is famously known to have “the Greatest Snow on Earth.” Learn about a hallmark of Utah culture – skiing – at the Alf Engen Ski Museum. Up at the Utah Olympic Park near I-80, the museum is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm and is free to the public. Learn about the history of skiing, famous skiers, and the science of Utah’s snow and various winter sports. You can even try your hand at ski jumping with the Take Flight simulator.
Alf Engen, a famous U.S. skier hailing from Norway, was the ski school director at Alta Ski Area for 40 years. He was the U.S. National Ski Jumping Champion 16 times, and won the 4-Way Skiing Championship (downhill, slalom, jumping and cross-country competitions) in 1940. He is known as the “Father of the Powder Skiing Technique” and instructed thousands in the sport.
Cheer on the Olympians: Experience the magic of the Winter Olympics… in the summer. Check out a Flying Aces show at Utah Olympic Park. These athletes show off their coolest ski tricks, jumps and aerials – diving right into a state-of-the-art pool. These performances are high-energy showcases featuring ski and snowboard world champions, and you won’t want to miss their next trick.
Historic Park City
Park City started as a mining town, and almost turned into a ghost town, before it was revitalized as a mountain resort mecca. Learn about the town’s history at the Park City Museum with interactive exhibits, original artifacts, and engaging storytelling. Discover all things Park City – from the transition to a ski town to its famous criminals to the devastating fire in 1898. Explore exhibits like a stagecoach, a refurbished bar, and a skier subway.
Insider Tip: The Park City buses are free! There are bike racks and stops throughout town. The Park City Museum is located just across the street from the Public Transit Center, so take the bus and don’t worry about parking.
Echo from the past
While driving north on I-80, just past the Echo Reservoir, you’ll come to the tiny town of Echo. While it looks like just a map dot, Echo used to be a thriving corridor for travellers seeking their fortune in the West in the mid- to late-1800s. A few notable historical buildings remain that are worth exploring.
The Echo Canyon Church was built in 1876 by Protestants and was used as a schoolhouse during the week. Check out the Late Gothic Revival architecture and admire the hand-made brick, which was fired on site.
The original Echo Canyon Post Office building is still in use today. Echo has one of the longest operational mail services in the state, dating back to 1854, when it was run out of the town’s hotel. In 1928, a separate Post Office building was constructed. The entire building has been moved twice and beautifully restored Still in use today, the residents use the old-fashioned personal mailboxes inside! Make sure to explore this piece of postal service history.
When the school population outgrew the churches in town, the Echo Canyon School was constructed. With two rooms – one for grades 1-3 and one for grades 4-6 – the school served about 40 students a year from 1914 to the 1940s. The school resembles a train depot, and some speculate that the Union Pacific Railroad contributed to its construction.
Get history with a side of haunting via Park City Ghost Tours. Every evening at 7 pm, meet at Main Street for a tour of Park City’s paranormal side. Be sure to make a reservation at least 24-hours in advance.
Sneak Peek: One of Park City’s spirits is the Man in the Yellow Slicker. There are reports of a ghost of an old-time miner throughout Park City history. Sometimes he’s helpful… and sometimes he isn’t.
IF YOU DECIDE TO STAY
In addition to getting the guaranteed lowest rates, booking your lodging here is another way to help sustain art in our local community. A portion of your booking goes back to the Park City Summit County Arts Council.