One of the places that everyone passes while driving into Park City is the McPolin Farm. Considered an icon of the entryway into the city, a historic attraction, and cultural destination for both locals and visitors, the farm is beloved by many. On any given day you will see people walking around the farm either reading about the history of the buildings or taking walks on the trails. You may also see people painting the barn or taking photographs. Then there are the elk that sometimes come down to graze on the land.
There has been considerable effort to preserve the farm over the years.
The McPolin Farm was considered the last big landmark in town after the coalition building burned down on July 20, 1981. The farm had been owned by the McLane family from 1886-1897, the McPolin family from 1897-1947, and the Osguthorpe family from 1947-1990. People who grew up in town spoke about how traffic was halted twice a day while cows from the dairy farm were taken from one side of the road to the other. This was before the road was widened to a four-lane highway like it is today. In fact, the reason why the Osguthorpe family sold the farm to the City in 1990 was because the road was being widened and the Osguthorpe family felt this would be the end of their dairy business. The Utah Department of Transportation bought fourteen acres on the east side where the barn and silos are located to widen the highway from D.A. Osguthorpe before the rest of the land was sold to Park City.
Park City purchased the one hundred- and twenty-six-acre farm on both sides of the highway and the eighty-acre PC Hill for $4.4 million in 1990 from the Osguthorpe family. The McPolin Farm was designated historic on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. In 2005, Summit Land Conservancy worked with Park City Municipal to place a permanent conservation easement on the farm. Developers were looking to place a supermarket and a subdivision on the site. The Park City Council passed a resolution saying the land would not be developed and restricted the use of the buildings because parking is so limited. They formed the Friends of the Farm Committee, which organizes a few events there every year.
In 2007, the Council agreed to have a conservation easement held by a nonprofit land trust, in this case the Summit County Conservancy, whose mission is land protection. The easement is for 120 acres, which includes both sides of Highway 224 and is for the land only; The City is responsible for taking care of the buildings.
Stayed tuned for part two of preserving the McPolin Farm. The Museum is hosting a lecture on McPolin Farm on May 10 from 5-6 p.m. at their Education and Collections Center located at 2079 Sidewinder Drive. More information can be found at www.parkcityhistory.org.