Park City Home to Humble History

Professional real estate manPhoto by Grant V. Messerlyby Joel Carson
President &
Principal Broker
Utah Real Estate P.C.

You don’t have to be a skier or snowboarder to love Park City, Utah. In fact, if you’re looking for a great vacation home, condo or luxury cabin, there are many reasons to buy real estate on Utah’s glorious Wasatch Back.

Long before fancy shops, restaurants and posh resorts called Park City home, the Wasatch Mountains were known to be rich in natural resources and that led to a rich history. This town has got some character. Nowhere is that character more evident than right smack in the middle of town on Historic Main Street.

The discovery of silver brought people to this section of the great Rocky Mountains and people brought all kinds of excitement to the region.

An organization called Historic Park City, Utah helps breathe life into that history. Stories of old help remind locals of the town’s humble beginnings. A report published online at says, “Since silver was discovered in the hills, there have been booms, busts, fires, and freezes, but the town’s adventurous spirit has never dimmed.”

Would you believe this world-renowned resort community almost became a ghost town? Now there are more than 200 unique businesses downtown. “Visitors can shop among over 100 independent boutiques, dine at 50 one-of-a-kind restaurants, relax at a restorative spa, ride the town lift to play in the mountains, stay in style within a short walk of everything, revel in our spirited nightlife, discover something to treasure from our lively art community, connect with someone who can help you start a life in Park City, or meet within the heart of a mountain town,” according to Historic Park City Utah.

‘There’s Silver in Them Thar Hills’

The city was discovered in 1868 when soldiers stationed in Salt Lake City climbed through Big Cottonwood Canyon in search of silver. The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1870 and eager miners rode in to town on the rails hoping to strike it rich. George Hearst did just that. He purchased the Ontario Mine for $30,000. That mine produced more than $50 million.

The city incorporated in 1884. By 1889 5,000 people inhabited the mountain town. Ten years later the population had increased to 7,500.

A devastating fire wreaked havoc on the town in 1898 when ¾ of the town was destroyed.

It wasn’t until 1930 that the idea of skiing came to light. In the industry the town found a new kind of silver lining. The first ski jump was built on the Creole mine dump, according to the town’s official history.

Is that Silver Snow?

In 1946 the first lift was installed at Snow Park (now Deer Valley). As the ski industry began to build, the mining industry declined steadily threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of miners.

By 1951 residents feared Park City was becoming a Ghost Town. In 1963 Park City qualified for a federal loan from the Federal Area Redevelopment Agency. “With government assistance and other contributions, the new ski resort Treasure Mountain Resort opened with a gondola, a chairlift and 2 J-bars. As word of the new ski area spread, people start moving back to Park City,” the town’s history reports.

The rest is history. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and anyone who hadn’t heard of Utah’s golden mountain town became keenly aware. “More than 40% of the events were held in Park City at the Utah Olympic Park, Deer Valley, and Park City Mountain Resort and the event brought international fame to Park City, whose population and development has continued to grow as a result,” according to the town history.

Come Home to Park City

Today some of the most luxurious vacation homes are located here, but its humble beginnings are very much a part of the mountain town’s allure.

If you’re ready to shop for homes on the stunning Wasatch Back, call me today at 801-673-3333. Browse our Park City home listings online and just imagine all the riches you’ll find right here at home.

* 84060 Deer Valley * 84060 Park City * 84068 Park City * 84098 Park City

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