February 10 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Park City Museum and Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History will host a Zoom lecture called The Complex Role of Coal in the Development of the West which will be presented by Donovan Symonds on Wednesday, February 10 from 5 to 6 p.m. The lecture will have a particular emphasis on Coalville and the surrounding areas. To register for the lecture, please sign-up on Park City Museum’s website.
The popular images of coal mining are black faces, explosions, canaries, and dirty air. However, the history of coal development in the West is much more complicated. Coal was an essential commodity in the late nineteenth century and a major driving force in the industrial revolution, as well as influencing how people lived. It supplied energy for boilers which drove the pumps and winding engines in the western silver mines. Coal was the prime source of home heating and a vital fuel in the development of the railways and the growing steel industry.
The presentation will compare coal and silver mining including: immigrants who worked in the mines, the dangers in both types of mining, the economics of each commodity, why so many coal mines exploded including the three tragic explosions at Almy in Wyoming, why the railways were so influential in the development of the early local coal mines, and Brigham Young’s involvement/influence in coal mine development in Summit County.
Donovan Symonds is a retired mining engineer who has worked in both coal and hard rock mining. He is a museum docent and coordinator of the Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History lecture series. He first moved to Park City in 1978.
Image credit: Summit County Historical Museum