The Montage Hotel is built on what was once the great Daly West Mine. The toppled steel headframe and the great engines surrounding it were once enclosed in a building, one of many impressive structures that made up this very large mining complex.
John J. Daly arrived in Park City in 1876, with a little money in his pocket. Orphaned in Illinois when he was 12 years old, Daly only received 2 years of formal schooling. Rather than rely on the charity of relatives, he struck out as a cabin boy on a steamboat bound for Fort Benton, Montana. While there, Daly worked for traders and around the evening campfire, learned from their stories. In 1869, he arrived at the White Pine Mining District in Nevada where he gained great knowledge of mining techniques.
On his arrival in Utah, he worked at the Utah State Penitentiary where he met John Judge who also worked there. Oddly enough, the famous Ontario Mine Superintendent R. C. Chambers had also worked at the Utah State Penitentiary on his arrival in Utah. The three would later conspire to produce great mining wealth.
Presumably, John Daly met R. C. Chambers when he worked briefly at the Ontario Mine after a stint working the Jones Bonanza Mine on Bonanza Flat. Daly became convinced that the Jones Bonanza ores were the same vein as the Ontario and he began to acquire claims in Empire Canyon.
In 1885 with 24 claims, he established the Daly Mining Company with the help and cooperation of R. C. Chambers and Chamber’s Ontario Mine partners.
In 1891, as it became apparent that the Ontario's ore vein was heading west, John Daly acquired 40 patented mining claims and established the Daly West Mining Company in Empire Canyon with the Ontario owners controlling an undivided half of the property. By 1898, John Daly was President and R. C. Chambers was Vice President. The 15 claims of the Morgan Group, the Quincy Mine and the Little Bell Mine were all added to the Daly West’s large holdings and eventually the Daly West comprised of 1200 acres in Empire Canyon. However, disputes arose with the Ontario owners (who owned half of the mine) and gradually members of the Bamberger family amassed the majority of the Daly West stock.
On July 15, 1902 one of the worst underground mining accidents occurred when dynamite housed underground exploded. Thirty-four miners died either from the explosion or asphyxiation as the fumes from the explosion backed up into Daly West and Ontario mines.
In 2015, the large steel Daly West Headframe collapsed as the shaft caved. The shaft was remediated by Clark Martinez with the help of the Utah Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project.
Saving the Daly West Headframe
In conjunction with the Empire Pass Master Owners Association, Park City Municipal and Deer Valley Resort, we embarked on a project to raise the Daly West Headframe which collapsed in 2015 due to shaft subsidence and place it on a new concrete pad. With the use of the two largest cranes in Utah, the 80,000 lb. structure was raised on July 1, 2022 and proudly stands again near the Montage and Empire Lift at Deer Valley Resort.
Engineering: McMullin Engineering
Construction: Rise Construction
Status: Completed in 2022
*As part of the Memorandum of Agreement for implementation of the Flagstaff Agreement between Park City Municipal Corp and Empire Pass Master Owners Association, Inc.
Check out a video on our YouTube channel!
Before and After
Learn More By Reading These "Way We Were" Articles:
An Important Steel Monument by Brian Buck, Mining Consultant
What England Knew by Dalton Gackle. Research Coordinator
The Big Merger at Park City by Dalton Gackle, Research Coordinator
Dizziness and Shortness of Breath by Steve Leatham
Coal Mining is a Different Game by Donovan Symonds, Mining Engineer
Trained Safety Crews Helped Rescue Miners by Mahala Ruddell, Research Coordinator
Wish You Were Here by Mahala Ruddell, Research Coordinator
Miner Survives Fall Down Shaft by Mahala Ruddell, Research Coordinator
A Peruvian Expedition by Mahala Ruddell. Research Coordinator
Difficult Decisions at the Height of Disaster by Mahala Ruddell, Research Coordinator
Or Check Out These Recorded Lectures On Our YouTube Channel
"John J. Daly and the Daly-West Mine" lecture by Brian Buck
"Raising the Daly West Headframe" lecture by Brian Buck, Doug Ogilvy, and Steve Issowits
"Raising the Daly West Headframe" Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History Recap Video
"When the Daly West Shaft Collapsed" lecture by Brian Buck and Clark Martinez