Have you ever asked ‘Are those shoes in those trees?’ when you’ve driven up Deer Valley Drive?
This is Chris Waddell with your weekly Park City History Bit.
Before there was a trail under those trees, Pacific Avenue, nick-named Easy Street, lay there, lined with miner shacks. As Park City moved to skiing in the ‘60s, “hippies” began renting the street’s wood-framed buildings. About this time shoes began appearing in the trees.
A realignment of State Highway 224 leading to present-day Deer Valley was proposed in 1977, and this threatened the historic buildings. The Utah State Historical Society and local historian Phil Notarianni conducted a survey of a cabin believed to have been built before the Great Fire of 1898. Residents of Easy Street protested the possible destruction of their houses and trees.
Resident Susan Prigge presented a petition to City Council requesting the highway redirect the trees. Her efforts saved the trees, but the miners’ cabins weren’t so lucky. Park City declared all Easy Street buildings a fire and safety hazard in ‘79 and recommended they be demolished. Expansion of Deer Valley Drive followed in the ‘80s.
In 1997, Mountain Trails Foundation held a “trail party” under the trees to commemorate the Easy Street legacy. Sally Elliott encouraged people to “bring a six-pack to sip and new ‘old’ shoes to put on the Shoe Tree.”
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.