In 2001, with the Winter Olympics approaching in a matter of months, Park City Historical Society Director Sandra Morrison thought Park City needed a comprehensive film which would tell the story of Park City for visitors as well as local citizens.
The result was Silver and Snow—the Park City Story, a one hour documentary which premiered at Park City’s Egyptian Theater and was broadcast on the Public Television affiliate in Salt Lake City, KUED. During the 2002 Winter Games, it screened daily at the Egyptian and excerpts of it were made available to the Olympic media for distribution worldwide.
Morrison partnered with longtime resident and amateur historian Larry Warren, who worked at the time as a television news reporter for KUTV in Salt Lake. Together they raised funds, and Warren partnered with his longtime producing partner Ken Fall to shoot, write and edit the film in cooperation with KUED, which provided video editing and technical services.
Silver and Snow tells the Park City story through interviews, old film clips and contemporary video, tracing its beginnings as a small mining camp, to its boom times as a rich silver mining center, to its decline in the post-World War Two era, to its ultimate re-invention as a ski and summer resort known around the winter sports world.
Most of those interviewed for the film have since passed away and their stories are touching, sad, poignant and often very funny. Among those Park City citizens who took part in telling the stories are men and women who worked and raised families in the dying mining town, like “Ol’ Miner” Rich Martinez, third generation residents like Wilma Larremore and Ella Sorenson, legendary skiers like Alf Engen, Stein Eriksen, Mel Fletcher and Picabo Street, and the resort owners Edgar Stern and Nick Badami, who invested in the skiing future of the town. The late Salt Lake Tribune publisher Jack Gallivan, a nephew of mining mogul Thomas Kearns, tells several humorous stories about bootlegging, prostitution, the Silver Queen and Kearns himself and how he came to build a mining fortune.
The film also includes rare film clips such as the 1934 Fourth of July parade, 1950s ski footage from old Snow Park ski area (now Deer Valley) and the 1963 opening of Treasure Mountains resort (now Park City).
The film has not been broadcast or screened since 2003 and has remained available only through purchase at the Park City Museum. On Wednesday, April 24, Silver and Snow returns to the screen at the Jim Santy Auditorium at 5 p.m., presented by the Park City Museum and the Friends of Utah Ski Mountain Mining History in partnership with the Park City Film Series and its “Made in Utah” film series.
Following the free public screening, Warren and Morrison will be available for questions. Copies of the DVD will be for sale with proceeds benefitting the Friends of Ski Mountain Mining History.