Friends of Ski Mining History Clean Up Big Mess

Aug 9, 2018

Local volunteers are having to spend time and money to remove garbage and graffiti from historic mine sites. 

Late last month, Sally Elliott the co-found of Friends of Ski Mining History joined a dozen others at the Alliance Mine building—located in Empire Canyon—at the very top of Daly Avenue, just past the water tower. In addition, Mountain Trails Foundation brought up a water truck and a high-pressure power washer to clean off the graffiti from the outside walls of the historic building. Elliot says they were surprised by the mess.

 “We all just scrubbed and worked and piled up trash. There were couches and mattresses. Kids had built a bike jump in there out of contract, so we had to bust that out and clean out the door. There were miles and acres of dust and rat poop it was a pretty nasty situation." Elliot continued, "The outside of the building was covered in graffiti, so we used a product called Elephant Snot that Charlie Sturgis had discovered was approved by forest service use near waterways. You scrub it on and leave it a few minutes and then scrub it with a wire brush and then take a high-pressure hose and wash it off. It was pretty amazing, we did a good little bit of work on the building. It looks much better now.”

 The building is what used to be the changing room for miners who worked underground at the Alliance Mine.

 “The miners would come in their civilian clothes and change into what they called their ‘diggers’ their digging clothes. The mine insisted that the men changed clothes after their shift at work, so they wouldn’t take pockets full of ore out of the mine.”

 Because of the increasing graffiti she says police will better patrol the area.

 “The police have decided to give more scrutiny to that canyon. Evidently kids have been going up there and doing stuff. They are regularly patrolling it now.”

 As for the graffiti inside the building on the concrete walls, she says it will be painted over.

 Meanwhile more graffiti was found in the recently restored California Comstock mine building near the base of the Thaynes chairlift. Park City Historic Preservation Planner Anya Grahn says some tagging was discovered inside on the foundation walls. She says there was also some evidence of a recent campfire- just a few yards away from the historic structure. The city is coordinating with the Park City Mountain Resort and trail user groups, asking that they report any sightings of tagging or open fires.