Park City History Bits - December 19, 2013

Dec 19, 2013

Did you know Park City’s own Little Train That Could, could for about nine years?

This is Mark Eaton with your weekly Park City History Bit.

In 1891, a narrow-gauge train called the Prospector joined Union Pacific and Denver and Rio Grande Railroads in providing railroad service in Park City. An important difference (in addition to size) was its cargo. While the larger trains carried passengers, equipment and supplies, the Prospector carried mostly ore from the Crescent Mine in Upper Thaynes Canyon, around Crescent Ridge, to the Crescent Mill near the bottom of Main Street.

The little train later became known as the Crescent Tramway. An earlier engine was called the Maud Withey, named after the wife of Crescent Mine President, L. H. Withey. The steam-operated engine carried 660 gallons of water, which was converted to steam by burning two cords of wood. Heavy snow prevented the Crescent Tram from operating in the winter. 

By 1900, the Crescent Tram stopped operation, and the track was removed and sold for scrap. The Crescent Tram engine and ore cars were dispersed to different locations, but most of the roadbed remains and provides a good hiking trail in the summer. 

This Park City History Bit is brought to you by the Park City Museum, and their newest exhibit, “Miners to Moguls: 50 Years of Park City Skiing”, and is sponsored by Julie Hopkins of Keller Williams Real Estate.