Photos courtesy of Park City Museum
Park City’s rich history lives on indefinitely at the Glenwood Cemetery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the final resting place of 949 souls that offer a glimpse into town’s silver-mining beginnings.
This summer, Park City Museum is offering you a chance to step back in time and learn more about those buried in the five-acre cemetery, which was established in 1885 as a burial ground for several fraternal organizations. These fraternal orders, which include the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights of Pythias, Loyal Order of Moose, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Woodmen of the World and Benevolent, Protective Order of Elks and others, offered health and life insurance, which the mines did not provide for its workers, many of whom were immigrants.
The stories of these workers and their families are told on the weathered tombstones, dating from 1885 through the 1920s, when burials tapered off. They reveal heartbreak and hard living, when the early generations of Parkites dealt with danger, illness and untimely deaths due to the harsh living and working conditions.
Some notable names to look for include Alexander Smith, who was instrumental in getting the cemetery started and hold the distinction of being Glenwood’s first “resident,” and John Nimmo, who served as the shift boss at Daly-West Mine and lost his life in 1902, when Park City suffered its darkest day in history as 34 miners lost their lives when dynamite caps triggered an explosion in an underground power magazine.
Another particularly tragic story is the Mawhinney family, who immigrated from Ireland for a better life, but instead, the family plot had five little headstones: Newborn John died in 1880 and just three weeks later, 4-year-old Agnes followed. Also passing was 2-year-old Rachel, 15-year-old Mary and namesake Robert Jr. Early on in Park City’s history, it’s estimated that one of every five children died from causes related to weather, poor sanitation, inadequate medical care or a combination of reasons.
Glenwood adheres to historic cemetery guidelines, allowing native vegetation to grow all season and creating a wildflower sanctuary among the headstones. Mowing happens once a year, after all the vegetation has gone to seed.
Along with twice-weekly tours of Glenwood Cemetery, which begin Tuesday, June 28 and run through Sept. 1, Park City Museum is offering walking tours of Historic Main Street daily, Monday through Friday, through Sept. 2. See below for details and more information about both tours.
When: Park City Museum offers tours of the Historic Glenwood Cemetery on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. from June 28 to Sept. 1.
How & how much: Register for a tour at parkcityhistory.org. Tours are $15 per person.
Where: Meet at Glenwood Cemetery by the gate – 401 Silver King Dr.
What to bring: Bring a water bottle and camera, and be sure to wear sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes. No dogs, please.
Questions: Please contact Diane Knispel, email@example.com, or call 435-574-9554.
When: The Park City Museum’s popular Historic Main Street Walking Tours are offered daily, Monday through Friday, from 2-3:30 p.m. from June 27 to Sept. 2.
How & how much: Make your reservations for a tour by calling 435-216-9693; space is limited to 15 people per tour. Tours are $10 per person.
Where: Meet at the Park City Museum Store, 528 Main St. Cost is $10 per person
What to know: Explore the architecture and stories of Park City’s unique history, from its days as a booming mine town to its incarnation as an emerging ski town. The tour is most appropriate for ages 13 and up. Please arrive 10 minutes early, wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water and wear sun protection.
Questions: For general questions about the tour, please call 435-574-9554.