Park City Public Cemetery...

I am a firm believer that history of a place is etched upon the tombstones within its cemeteries. Park City has two very interesting final resting places. I began with its first cemetery- the Park City Cemetery, whose beginning was quite by accident. Pearle Snyder, the infant daughter of one of the town's most prominent families, died in the winter of 1879. At the time, bodies were taken out of town but the winter was too harsh so they buried her on a hillside in their pasture. Ironically, this tragedy was the beginning of the town's first graveyard.

Armed with this incredible book, Park City Stories in Stone, I headed out for my day. What a history lesson!
The saddest sight in any cemetery is the grave of a child. There are a large number of them here. Park City's child mortality rate was exceptionally high. It was common for a mother to give birth to eight or ten children, and then lose all but two or three.


I found these two tombstones of brothers, Peter and Martin Cooney, intriguing. Their grave markers are remarkable by the appearance of a cement log, symbolizing their affiliation with the Woodmen of the World (WOW) organization. Prior to our current health/life insurance coverage, men joined fraternal organizations to care for them and their families in the event of injury or death. WOW (1890) is still a fraternal benefit society based in Omaha, that operates a large privately held insurance company for its members.
This row of markers commemorates the July 16, 1902 tragedy where several tons of explosives stored deep in the Daly West Mine exploded and rocked the earth beneath Park City. The blast killed a dozen miners outright, including two men working a mile away in the Ontario Mine. In all, the disaster killed 34 men and led the Legislature to outlaw the storage of explosives underground.
This is the resting place of one of the last of the Chinese immigrants in Park City (of nearly 300) who came to work in the mines. He established himself by changing his Chinese name of Dong Ling Hing, to DeGrover, after US President Grover Cleveland, whom he greatly admired. Working hard, he established himself in the city, owning several businesses and a lot of real estate, including laundries and boarding houses (Chinese were not allowed to work in the mines). He is the only Chinese burial left. Due to Chinese customs, the others were eventually disinterred and returned to be buried on Chinese soil.
I had to include this modern headstone because it is so interesting. Gregory Andrew Ores (1961) was an outdoorsman, philosopher, tile artisan, kind and gentle man, friend to all. His life ended on Dec. 26, 1996 in an avalanche. This seemed a perfect location for this touching tribute.

Stories through the centuries are told here.


"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal."
~From a headstone in Ireland

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