Nestled halfway up Park City's Historic Main Street, just up the hill from frequented bars like O’Shuck's and the No Name Saloon, you'll find Miner's Park, so named for the statue of the miner that stands there. Park City's mining roots are, of course, a source of pride and a monument to honor this piece of the town's past isn’t out of place. But even if you’ve walked past the statue dozens of times or even stopped in the park to listen to live music during an event, you might not know much about the miner statue.
The sculpture was dedicated on September 5, 1999 on Miner’s Day (Celebrated in Park City annually on Labor Day with a parade on Main and mining-themed events in City Park.) and was from “the citizens of Park City to the community.” Peter Fillerup, an artist who lived in Midway, UT, created the miner statue. A prolific bronze sculptor in Utah and throughout the West, Fillerup was honored by Gov. Herbert for his contributions to Utah’s art and history before he died in 2016. The miner depicted is an engineer, examining a piece of rock cored from the earth by a diamond drill, a tool that could extract ore from 1,000 feet away. It’s a nod to miners who were constantly searching for a new bonanza and the unimaginable wealth that came with such a discovery.
While the miner pays homage to the thousands of unnamed miners who toiled away in the deeps below the mountains and laid the foundations for Park City, the statue is actually a depiction of one very specific miner: Jim Ivers III. A well-known and respected figure in Park City history, Ivers was the grandson of James Ivers I, one of the great titans of the mining era and a founding partner (with Thomas Kearns and David Keith) of the legendary and extremely lucrative Silver King Coalition mining company. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, Ivers went into the mining industry, first hauling silver ore via horse team at age 14 and later earning a degree in Mining Engineering at Columbia. Ivers went on to work for a variety of companies in Park City and other mining towns, eventually becoming the General Manager of the United Park City Mines Company. During his UPCM tenure, Ivers oversaw the development of the Treasure Mountain ski area (now Park City Mountain), thus shepherding in a new era for Park City as a world class ski destination.
For more about Park City's fascinating past, visit the Park City Museum (528 Main St), located just across Main from the Miner's Park--there you can walk through the area's original very-dungeon-like jail--or take spooky walk into the past by way of a Park City Ghost Tour, which begin at the Miner's Park statue at 7 p.m. daily.