PHOTOS: At 4am, gunshots rang through the dark night, as local townsfolk awoke to a most terrifying sight. A large fire had erupted at the top of Main Street, and the American Hotel was engulfed in uncontrollable flames. Park City’s Sheriff, Thomas Walden, had sounded the alarm with three successive shots, and the whistle at the Marsac Mill quickly notified the nearby mining campsite and homesteaders.
The date was Sunday, June 19, 1898, and with strong winds blowing from the east, the fire quickly spread from building to building and house to house. Since its population surge a decade earlier, Park City had been bustling with men, women, children, and families. The silver, lead, and zinc discovered in the nearby mountains had driven hundreds of prospectors, miners, and camp followers to the small Utah settlement.