Explore Park City's History
Prospectors discovered silver in 1868 in the area that soon after became Park City. Mine owners made fortunes, while thousands of miners simply made a living. After silver prices declined, Park City reinvented itself as a ski resort town.
Come discover more of the town’s unique history at the Park City Museum.
From Around the World
How did early settlers find their way to Park City? After learning about the Kimball Stagecoach, which carried people and mail to Park City, climb aboard a re-created railcar. Look out the train’s window and back through time as you watch a film about Park City’s place in the frontier West. On the platform outside, meet new arrivals from around the world and learn about their history.
Mega Mine and the Days of Ore
Visitors examine the scaled, late 19th century Mega Mine. Surface mining operations such as a mill, Cornish pump, and aerial tramway are highlighted on the two-story-tall structure. Inside the Mega Mine, discover workings, mine bosses on quadricycles, and the Cornish pump and hoist, which travel all the way to the 1,000-foot level.
Mining required strong backs, and wreaked havoc on miners’ lungs. Downstairs, learn about the dark, wet, and dangerous profession as you explore mining equipment, learn how ore becomes silver, and earn your pay by drilling into the rock face.
The Dungeon: Park City’s Territorial Jail
Visiting the original territorial jail in the basement of the historic City Hall is an unforgettable experience. Hear stories about “guests” who visited these cells, and learn about some of Park City’s more dangerous criminals.
Hazardous working conditions in the mines led many in Park City to join fraternal organizations and, later, labor unions for protection. The Cell Theater presents this often controversial history, including original Industrial Workers of the World—or Wobbly— graffiti from 1916.
Skier Subway Theater
Climb into an original car from the world’s only “Skier Subway” and watch a film explaining Park City’s transition from a mining to a skiing town.
Muckers & Millionaires
Millions of dollars in mineral wealth came out of Park City’s mines, but little of it stayed in town. This exhibit explores the great divide between Park City miners (muckers) and the mine owners who chose to live in mansions in Salt Lake City. Explore the differences in both groups’ clothing, housing, and entertainment, and learn about some of the characters who shaped Park City’s history.
Living in Park City
What was it like to live in Park City 100 or more years ago?
Visit the local post office, swing by the neighborhood market, and help connect calls at the telephone company. After learning about the history of skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, swing by the Egyptian Theatre and take in a show to learn about the importance of theater in Park City’s past and present.
Thirsty for more?
The local saloon was more than just a place to wet your whistle. Listen to stories and learn about changing attitudes and economics in the 1960s at a historic, refurbished Park City bar.
1926 Fire Truck
Park City took a chance and ordered an “auto” fire truck in 1922. They were so pleased that they ordered another one four years later. This 1926 Graham Brothers Dodge with custom-made body has returned to its original home in the historic 1901 Fire Tower.
The Great Fire of 1898
Fire tore through the heart of Park City the morning of June 19, 1898. Listen to Park Record editor Sam Raddon report on the fire that led to over $1 million dollars worth of damage and the displacement of 500 local citizens.
The Tozer Gallery offers yet another reason to come back to the Museum again and again. Over 1,000 square feet showcase children’s and guest-curated exhibitions. Thought-provoking national traveling exhibitions feature the best of contemporary study while sharing some facet of Park City’s history and community.
The Park City Museum is pleased to host Postcards from Mecca: The California Desert Photographs of Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves from February 25 through July 7, 2024. …